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Best Loop-Style Trail Runs in Golden Gate Canyon State Park

If you hate retracing your steps while trail running, then this guidebook is for you!

Trail Running Difficult

Golden Gate Canyon State Park: Big Loop
Photo: Josephine Briley, Shutterstock


As Denver's metropolitan sprawl consumes seemingly every remaining farm, field, and woodland lining the base of the Colorado Front Range, protected public lands become ever more vital to the mental and physical health of the city's residents. Golden Gate Canyon State Park protects 12,000 acres of the most beautiful terrain on the Colorado Front Range. Thankfully, it is separated from the smog and traffic of the urban centers, but it's still only 14 miles up the road from the town of Golden, making it easily accessible for a day trip from the city.

The terrain in the park is extremely varied. On one big run, you can experience the dry, rocky terrain that the Front Range is known for; towering ponderosa pine forests; babbling brooks; whispering aspen groves; wide-open meadows; and panoramic views from high points. Through this spectacular terrain runs an impressive 35-mile trail system serving hikers, runners, and mountain bikers alike. However, only 19 miles of this trail system are open to wheeled traffic, leaving 16 welcome miles free from the constant two-wheeled traffic.

While there are plenty of shorter runs and out-and-back options in Golden Gate Canyon, this guidebook rounds up the best loop-style trail runs in the State Park. If you hate retracing your steps while trail running then this guidebook is for you!

Sources: https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/Parks/goldengateCanyon https://www.visitgolden.com/outdoors/parks/golden-gate-canyon-state-park/ https://www.uncovercolorado.com/state-parks/golden-gate-canyon/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GoldenGateCanyonStatePark

Routes included

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