Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mt. Galbraith

Distance: 4.2 mile lollypop loop
Elevation: 6,161 ft - 7,236 ft
Elevation Gain: 1,075 ft cumulative
Date Hiked: 20 October, 2012
Dogs: On leash (Jefferson County Open Space)
Bathroom at Trailhead: Yes

Views of Lookout Mountain from the Mt. Galbraith Trail


Trail map
Mt. Galbraith, up Golden Gate Canyon Road in Golden Colorado, is a foothills open space with lovely views of yet more foothills, the city of Golden, and the occasional splash of greenery/color in the Autumn.  With over 1,000 ft of elevation gain, is a great way to stay in shape in the off season.

Trailhead
Second switchback of the Cedar Gulch Trail
Looking at the Cedar Gulch Trail as it traverses a hillside heading east.  Note the trail is fairly smooth here. 
Looking down on colorful Cottonwoods of Golden Gate Canyon Road
A rockier segment
The hike is a lollypop loop with the Cedar Gulch Trail (1.3 miles) making up the stem and the Mount Galbraith Loop (1.6 miles) making up the loop. The trail mostly switchbacks across grass covered hillsides with occasional forays into Ponderosa shaded glades. The terrain alternates between soft dirt and steep rock stairs, that would make this trail unsuitable for anyone unstable on their feet. In winter, if there is any ice, the route can become treacherous so bring along spikes if you have them or better yet take a stroll on North Table Mountain just across the highway.

Cedar Gulch as it continues around a hillside
The well-marked trail junction
Heading upwards on the Mt. Galbraith Loop
Looking down on Coors Brewery and South Table Mountain, another trail with trying. 
I measured 523 ft of elevation gain at the junction between the Cedar Gulch Trail and the Mount Galbraith Trail, which is well marked and impossible to miss. Note that a spur trail leading down into one of Golden's neighborhoods, the Nightbird Trail, joins up right in this area. Don't be fooled, head upwards!

A typical rocky "stairmaster" on the backside of the Mt. Galbraith Trail
Followed by a smoother section...and so it goes.
Foothills view looking north
Coming back to the junction of the two trails

3 comments:

KT said...

It is difficult for us as dog owners to have off-leash because our one dog isn't always friendly. When we are able to have her off leash, we do enjoy it...but are just mindful of others around.

We have been to the Golden area, but have not done this hike. Looks very nice for being so close to town.

We keep filling out job applications in Colorado without any success. We are not confident enough to make a move without having at least one employment situation in place. We do keep trying though...we do feel Colorado should be our home.

mtnrunner2 said...

Hey, a hike in my 'hood (west Denver metro)! That's a great little park, which I like because it's hiker only (no bike or equestrian traffic). It's also really accessible and not all that busy, and has nice terrain variety.

It also partially burned a couple of years ago, and the trail passes through some of the burn area which is interesting. Thankfully not much damage occurred to park or nearby homes.

Honestly only about 1/3 of JeffCo dog owners use a leash (even though it's required 100% of the time), and for me that's not a positive, since I've had a few freaky encounters with poorly-socialized pets on my trail runs. And in five years I've seen probably 5 rangers, so... almost no enforcement.

But I think it would be good for owners to earn the right to have pets off-leash, like Boulder. There are plenty of nice dogs out there, and they should have their fun too.

sylvia murphy said...

KT ... keep trying. The economy is bound to rebound at some point. You can't beet the lifestyle!