Apex Park in Golden - Trail rating C3 T3 (scroll down for explanation).
A long time favorite, Apex offers a variety of trail features that will keep you on your toes, and the climb is a great workout. Route will be up Apex Trail, up Sluice Box, Grubstake loop clockwise, down Pick n Sledge, and down Apex Trail back to parking lot. This route is about 6 miles (though feels longer), total ride time maybe 2-1/2 hours for this group. The following link has info including links to trail map, and a street map to get you to the trailhead.
MEETING TIME/PLACE: Meet at the Heritage Square LOWER parking lot, 121 Heritage Road, Golden; trailhead is to the north side of the lot. Meeting time 9:45am, ready to pedal at 10:00am. Look for silver Pontiac Vibe hatchback and its owner Pat.
APRES-RIDE SOCIAL: Tailgate. Bring a folding chair, snacks, refreshments. We’ll get to know each other and maybe exchange a few lies about our mountain biking prowess.
Trails are given two ratings, difficulty of climbs (C0 – C4), and technical difficulty (T0 – T4). Use this as a general guideline only. Trail ratings are subjective, depend of the riders abilities, and difficulty varies along the route of any trail.
C0 - Barely up hill. Example: first few miles up Waterton Canyon (the wide gravel road)
C1 – Climbs minor by local trail standards. Example: Bear Creek Lake Park
C2 – Moderate climbs, some huffing and puffing expected. Examples: Green Mountain, Centennial Cone, Lair o’ the Bear
C3 – Lung buster. Some riders in this group will walk their bikes in sections, and all will need to stop periodically to catch their breath. Example: Apex Pick ‘n’ Sledge, Matthews Winters Morrison Slide Trail.
C4 – Evil, nasty, long climbs. Example: White Ranch starting at the bottom near hwy 93.
T0 – Well groomed gravel. Example: first few miles up Waterton Canyon (wide gravel road)
T1 - May have loose gravel, erosion ruts, some rocks, tree roots, dips and twists. Requires experience and paying attention but doesn’t require advanced riding technique. Examples: most of Centennial Cone, Colorado Trail near Buffalo Creek, South Valley Park
T2 - Rocks, switchbacks, roots, etc that require experience and technique. Examples: Heil Ranch, Bergen Peak / Elk Meadows.
T3 - Tougher rocks and switchbacks and drops up to 1 foot or a little more. Examples: Matthews Winters Morrison Slide Trail, tougher parts of Apex, the rocky side of Hall Ranch.
T4 - Highest skill level required. We don’t ride these. Few mortals do. Examples: Black diamond and double diamond downhill bike runs at Keystone. Blackjack trail at Buffalo Creek.
Please keep in mind these defining qualities of the Not Over The Hill Yet Mountain Bikers group:
• Enjoys descents. Enjoys rocks and other interesting trail irregularities. Intermediate technical riding skills. Not a beginner group.
• We stop and smell the roses. Maybe to watch each other make multiple attempts on a tricky rock section, or to take a photo, or to wait for others to catch up.
• Self-sufficient riders, i.e., if separated from group each rider able to find their own way along route or back to their car. And while most riders will help where they can if you have a bike problem, each rider needs to be able to deal with their own bike problems.
• Safe and friendly, follows trail rules and regulations, good trail etiquette towards all trail users.
If you join this or any “Not Over The Hill Yet Mountain Bikers” event, you are agreeing to the following waiver.
Release of Liability
I, and my heirs, in consideration of my participation in the events with the "Not Over The Hill Yet Mountain Bikers" Meetup Group, hereby release any leaders or organizers for this group, the group's sponsors,, and any other person officially connected with or helping organize any events with this "Not Over The Hill Yet Mountain Bikers" Meetup Group, from any and all liability for damage to or loss of personal property, sickness or injury from whatever source, legal entanglements, fines, imprisonment, death, or loss of money, which might occur while participating in these events. I am aware of the risks of participation, which include, but are not limited to, injuries from tripping, falling, crashing, collision with objects or other riders, lightning strikes, wild animals/snakes/etc., insects/spiders/etc., dogs, automobile accidents while traveling to and from the event, getting lost or separated from the group, exhaustion, and hypothermia. I understand that participation in this event is strictly voluntary and I freely choose to participate. I understand that group organizers and leaders are strictly volunteers and are not making any monetary profit from this event or from the "Not Over The Hill Yet Mountain Bikers" Meetup Group. I understand that this is a legal document and that I am giving up my right to sue or otherwise make any claim against group organizers or leaders, the group's sponsors, and any other person officially connected with or helping organize this event, and that I am responsible for any medical or other costs that I may incur as a result of my participation.