COVID-19: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel, practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

Apex-Enchanted Lollipop



5.7 mile 9.2 kilometer loop
85% Runnable


Ascent: 1,179' 359 m
Descent: -1,179' -359 m
High: 7,312' 2,229 m
Low: 6,172' 1,881 m


Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 19% (11°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Mr Singleton

This is one of the best runs on the Front Range.

Mr Singleton

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers


This is the classic Apex Loop. Runners will start out with a steady climbn that leads to the Enchanted Forest. You'll swear you are in the Appalachia on this portion of the run as it rolls through a dense forest.

Runner Notes

Watch for out for mountain bikers. This trail description runs clockwise and will be exposed for the first 3 miles, but this rewards the runner with amazing downhills through Enchanted Forest.


From the parking lot head west on the Apex Trail. The Apex Trail is a steep ascent. It's steep enough to get your heart rate up, and characteristics like water bars and large rocks keep it interesting. The way back is similar and can be hard on the knees. You'll be encompassed in a rugged valley for most of the duration of the trail.

At junction of Apex Trail and Enchanted Forest continue on the Apex Trail for the loop. At the next junction, turn southwest into the Enchanted Forest and follow this trail until it rejoins the Apex Trail and heads east back to the parking lot.

Enchanted Forest is a great alternative to the upper section of the Apex Trail and enables the creation of a loop at the top of Apex Park. Aptly named, the trail follows tight and twisty singletrack through dense forest (by Colorado standards), lending it a different mood from other trails at Apex. The lush, dense forest that Enchanted Forest runs through can look more like the Pacific Northwest than the Colorado Front Range.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, History & Background


Rate This Run

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Run

Check In


Dec 14, 2019
Lauren Bosche
5.7mi — 1h 30m
Jul 17, 2019
Stephen K
Jul 16, 2019
Tyler Jones
Jun 23, 2019
Nick Fedoroff
Rocky and sweet. Descent through enchanted forest is tricky. Trail dry and in good shape. 5.7mi
May 27, 2019
John Kilman
Did the outer loop 8.4mi — 1h 35m
May 22, 2019
Emily Knapp
trail is amazing, but had to cut out the enchanted forest part because of the snow and mud. cant want to run this in good weather! 4mi — 1h 30m
Apr 27, 2019
Austin Money Buckets
Apr 23, 2019
Patrick Gillespie
Twisted ankle at mile 4 5.6mi — 1h 01m

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 58 votes


in Apex Park


  4.2 from 58 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Run Rankings


in Apex Park


in Colorado


152 Views Last Month
5,374 Since Apr 21, 2017



Looking back down the Apex trial after crossing  one of the bridges.
May 23, 2015 near Golden, CO
Apex Trail looking north
Jul 16, 2019 near Golden, CO
After the break off from Apex- heading up into the forest
Mar 31, 2015 near Golden, CO
Going up the Apex Trail.
May 23, 2015 near Golden, CO
After the break off point from Apex- heading into the forest
Mar 31, 2015 near Golden, CO
Snow covered trail leading into the Enchanted Forest area.
Mar 2, 2018 near Golden, CO

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running