Located in Golden, CO this short and popular hike lies within the Windy Saddle Park providing refreshing mountain views. With the option to park at the top of Lookout Mountain and walk trails within the Nature Preserve, or hike from below to the top, this area has a little bit of everything!
Lookout Mountain, Windy Saddle Park Stats
Lookout Mountain Nature Preserve
If you’re traveling from Denver on the I-70 you’ll most likely pass the top of the mountain on your left, before arriving at the trail head. If you aren’t able to, or would rather not hike, you have the option to park and walk the 2.6 miles worth of trails on top of the mountain, still providing you stunning views!
Related: Denver, CO Itinerary
There are restroom facilities at the Nature Preserve as well as picnic tables. This would be a great location for a quick stop to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and enjoy a mid afternoon or evening picnic.
Many locals enjoy this area for it isn’t too far from the city but still far enough out to provide some peace while getting fresh air. I’ve seen trail runners use this trail to get a workout in during the week.
NEW: For GPS directions and a map of the area see the interactive map at the end of the post!
Lookout Mountain Hike in Windy Saddle Park
For those that want to get a bit more physical activity in, the trail head to get up to the top of the mountain actually starts below the Nature Preserve, so you’ll want to continue down Lookout Mountain Road. The parking lot is small but because it is a short hike luckily the cars move frequently.
The trail begins climbing elevation immediately, following the edge of the mountain. About .2 miles in you’ll approach a fork in the trail. To get to Lookout Mountain you hang a left and continue up, but if you want a longer adventure and to be less remote, you can continue on the other trail which is Beaver Brook Trail.
This trail goes along for 10 miles connecting Windy Saddle Park to Genesee Park and provides more outstanding views than Lookout Mountain (in my opinion). You can hike in as far as you want then turn around, hike it round trip (20 miles total), or hike it from point to point and have someone pick you up!
If you decide to hang a left and stay on Lookout Mountain Trail, after about 1.2 miles you’ll end up hiking along side a road. This turns off a lot of experienced hikers, but if you’re just visiting to get outside, or are a beginning hiker, its still a nice trail!
Once you’ve reached the Nature Preserve at the top of the mountain you’ll have the option to walk 2.6 more miles worth of trails!
When To Visit
The best seasons to hike this trail as well as Beaver Brook Trail are summer and fall. It can be done in the winter and spring but be prepared for it to be very icy at times and slushy when the snow begins to melt. Know your limits and use your best judgement.
I visited Windy Saddle Park in mid February and there were extremely icy spots along the trail but I was still able to complete the hike up the the Nature Preserve as well as 8 miles of the Beaver Brook Trail.
Crampons were life savers! They provided a better grip while hiking in snow and ice. I’d highly suggest them for this trail during winter/spring.
Also worth visiting is the Red Rocks Amphitheater which is just a 21 minute drive from Lookout Mountain in Windy Saddle Park. The amphitheater hosts popular concerts and events throughout the year- be sure to check out their calendar!
When concerts or events aren’t being held, the amphitheater and surrounding area becomes a popular place for locals to get their workouts in. Bring your running shoes in case you’re feeling motivated!
Final thoughts on Lookout Mountain, Windy Saddle Park
I can see why this area would be popular among residents because it is the perfect place to quickly access and get lost in nature. Windy Saddle Park is close enough to Denver for a quick visit while in town, and Lookout Mountain is a short and sweet hike to get some exercise in.