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Windy Saddle to Lookout Mountain

Updated: Apr 28


View from Lookout Mountain summit

Conveniently located in Golden, Colorado roughly 30 minutes outside of Denver, this trail offers solid views and interesting history all bundled into one short hike. The mostly shaded trail, will take you up to Lookout Mountain where you can soak in the beauty of the Rocky Mountain Front Range and Golden’s Table Mountains before learning a bit more about the storied history of Buffalo Bill and even visit his resting place.

 

Trail Info

Windy Saddle Trail Info Table

Know Before You Go

  • Parking is limited at the windy saddle lot. There’s only enough space for a handful of cars, so if you want to do the route outlined in this post, arrive early or at a non peak time

  • The road up to the trailhead is full of cyclists. Just be cautious as you drive the curvy road to this trailhead so you don't take out one of these athletes.

  • Lookout Mountain doesn't feel like a true peak. While it is a 7,000+ foot summit, it also home to the Buffalo Bill Museum and resting place, which means this peak is accessible via car, and there is even a gift shop. That said, it still has great views of the surrounding area.

  • This route follows multiple trails and the trail names can be confusing. It begins along the Beaver Brook Trail, before following the Lookout Mountain Trail, and then taking the Buffalo Bill Trail to the summit. Keep an eye on the map so you don't take a wrong turn.


Other trails nearby

The Beaver Brook Trail also leaves from the Windy Saddle Trailhead and runs for a full 8+ miles (13 km) one way to Genesse Park. It is a rolling trail with great periodic views of Clear Creek Canyon the entire way and is extremely popular among trail runners.


 

The Trail

Lookout Mountain trailhead

From the parking lot, the hike begins along the Beaver Brook/Lookout Mountain Trail.


Views of Clear Creek Canyon from Lookout Mountain Trail

You are instantly greeted with nice views of Clear Creek Canyon and some of the higher peaks in the Front Range.


Trail junction on Lookout Mountain Trail

Only a few minutes in, you will take a left to continue along Lookout Mountain Trail. Mountain bikers are allowed here, so be mindful as you go up some of the switchbacks.


Woman walking in trees on Lookout Mountain trail

The trail remains in the trees from here until the lookout.


Buffalo Bill trail junction to Lookout Mountain

A little less than a mile in, take a left to follow the Buffalo Bill Trail. The trail names here are confusing. Right will continue along the Lookout Mountain Trail, but you want to follow Buffalo Bill to reach the summit of Lookout Mountain.


Road to buffalo bill museum

Once the trail levels out, you follow the flat path to the Buffalo Bill Museum.


View of Golden and Table Mountains from Lookout Mountain

Which is host to some excellent views of Golden and the South and North Table Mountains.


View of Rocky Mountains and road from Lookout Mountain

As well as some more nice views of the Rocky Mountain Front Range.


Buffalo Bill's resting place

And when you're tired of the views, take a walk over to Buffalo Bill's resting place. (And for $5, learn even more about Buffalo Bill at the museum).



 

SS Reflections

If you’re looking for a secluded hike to a prominent summit, this hike ain’t it. There is always something that feels awkward about hiking a few miles only to end up at a parking lot full of cars and a gift shop.

That said, my girlfriend and I really enjoyed this hike. The well maintained, shaded trails with the intermittent views made the ascent enjoyable and the views of Golden up top made the summit feel just rewarding enough. And the little bonus of learning about a historic figure, made this mini adventure a good one.


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