Mt Galbraith Colorado Hike Guide

The Virtual Sherpa

Mt Galbraith is a 4.9 mile lollipop loop located in Golden, Colorado. This hike is a short, but sweet and offers views into downtown Denver, Golden, and the surrounding foothills. On a clear day you are able to see Mt. Evans in the distance. The hike is great for beginner hikers, families or someone who is trying to sneak in a quick hike after work or while visiting Denver. Mt Galbraith can be hiked year round with minimal snow during the winter months.

Mt Galbraith Quick Facts

Mt Galbraith Trail Rating: ★★ (2/5 Stars)

Distance: 4.9 miles RT

Elevation Start: 6,500 ft

Summit: 7,380 ft

Total Elevation Gain: 900 ft

Estimated Time to Complete: 2 Hours RT

Difficulty: Easy What does this mean?

Class: Class 1

Season: Year Round (Expect Snow October – April)

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Directions to Mt Galbraith

Trailhead: Golden Gate Canyon

Getting Here: From Golden, Colorado take Golden Gate Canyon road for about 1.4 miles until you see the trailhead and parking area on the left. The coordinates for the parking lot are 39.7737220, -105.2540770 which you can enter directly into google maps.

Parking: Free parking is available at the base of the trailhead. The lot can fit about 25 cars and there is ample parking along Golden Canyon road. The parking area does have bathrooms.


Dogs: Mt Galbraith is dog friendly and a nice trail for your fury friend. There is no water besides the small stream at the trailhead so you might want to pack some H2O for your pal.

Camping: Mt Galbraith is not a great spot for camping. The trailhead is located right off a busy road (Golden Canyon Road) and very close to Golden.

Make it a Loop: Mt. Galbraith is a lollipop loop (trail is a portion of out and back and some loop to form a lollipop looking trail) View complete map of trail here

Trail X Factors: Close to Denver

The biggest X Factor for Mt Galbraith is is proximity to Denver. If you are in town visiting the city and don’t want to drive all the way into the mountains, Mt Galbraith is a great alternative. For those of us who work a 9-5 job, Mt Galbraith is a nice way to recharge the batteries in nature while still being able to keep your normal post work schedule.

Hike Tip(s): Mt Galbraith is a low key hike, that is for sure. However, low key hikes are a great opportunity to slow down from your usual pace and enjoy being outside. This hike is a great place to bring a date, have a picnic or break out the sketching materials and enjoy the sun. If you want to make the hike “high key” you can bring your running shoes and run this loop. The trail is fairly narrow though, so be considerate to your fellow hikers (or runners).  

Best Views: As a (amateur) photographer, I am always thinking of great spots to see the sunrise and sunset. For a sunrise, Mt. Galbraith is a great spot because of the views directly east into Denver with lots of room to capture the open space below you. During the day, this hike is not a fantastic photography spot, but you may get lucky and see hawks, big horn sheep or the local golden eagle.

My Trip to Mt Galbraith: June 2016

Living less than 20 minutes away from Mt Galbraith, it was almost embarrassing to admit to some friends visiting town that I had never hiked Mt Galbraith before. We headed to the trailhead around 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon and there was still plenty of room the lot. The hike started with an easy switchback that worked its way up the side of the hill until you eventually reached a false summit. The trail was in solid condition but not wide enough for two groups of people to comfortably pass each other without one group moving off to the side.

Eventually we reached the upper loop portion of the trail and decided to hang a larry (left). The trail worked its way east along the foothill until we eventually reached the summit of Mt Galbraith. Here we enjoyed the views into Golden and Denver and watched a golden eagle circle the mountain for several minutes. It was dinner time after all and I am sure its stomach was growling! After snapping some pics and refueling on water, we continued down the trail.

The west section of the loop offered some minor rock scrambles which were a nice change of pace from the mainly dirt trail. After about 10 minutes of rock scrambles, we eventually made our way back to the start of the upper loop and continued down the parking lot. On our hike of Mt Galbraith, we ran (pun) into several runners, dogs and families. When you make the hike, bring lots of water for yourself and furry friend as it is exposed almost the entire way and has no sources of water besides the stream at the parking lot. Mt Galbraith is a solid short hike if you are looking to avoid the long mountain drive or get outside after a long day in the cubicle.

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