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Goldsmith Gulch ~ A Trail Oasis South of Downtown Denver

Goldsmith, the neighborhood halfway between Denver Tech Center and Downtown, originally shared its boundaries with South Denver before it annexed to Denver. Folks from this area, at the time, didn’t want to associate with the ruckus of the wild west, and instead took its cues from Denver University to be a bit more refined. They stayed with the town of South Denver until much later when the city of Denver offered better incentives to annex.

But I was not able to find any information about how Goldsmith became its own neighborhood nor how it got its name. Even the neighborhood itself, with its funny shape of a lopsided horseshoe with the rough boundaries of Quebec, Evans, Iliff and I25 quietly hides north of Bible Park. None the less, it does have two good trails that run through it, and thus, a fun urban hike can be traveled on these urban trails in Goldsmith.

You Can Go Places

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The Goldsmith Gulch runs along the neighborhood’s east side. Put in by the City of Denver to control flooding, this short trail travels the gulch for just under a mile. Unlike its neighbor creek to the west, Westerly Creek, which is lined with concrete, this urban trail’s creek bed has a beautifully crafted stone border keeping the gulch neatly within its banks.

If you combine the Goldsmith Gulch trail with its western neighbor trail, the High Line Canal trail, which is also within the neighborhood, you can either walk a nice 3-mile loop or jump on the High Line and head to either Waterton Canyon or Green Valley Ranch.

The High Line Canal Trail stretches for 71 miles. You can walk or bike the entire length, although the northern sections in Green Valley Ranch can be challenging. A good way to walk the High Line Canal Trail is to do it in segments, breaking the lengthy 71 miles into 14 segments averaging 5 miles a piece. For more information, see this article. The High Line Canal Trail makes a great project or goal to tackle, and few people have actually walked the entire 71 miles.

Cul-de-Sacs Aplenty

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Sandwiched between the two trails are cul-de-sacs filled with nicely kept homes from the 1970s. A bevy of apartments homing students and workers from DTC, University of Denver, and downtown stand along the major thoroughfares. There’s quick access to I25 and Quebec, giving residents easy ways to get around Denver. Small businesses and a few Denver mainstay restaurants like La Fagota keep the neighborhood interesting.

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Bible Park sits south of the neighborhood, and you’ll find residents crossing Yale to get into the park.

Sometimes we have to wait a long time for the rewards of life. That’s the case for James A Bible. A hard worker for Denver Parks and Rec, he toiled in the parks for almost 50 years, starting in the field and working his way up to supervisor. At his retirement, the City of Denver honored him and named this park after him. Thus, welcome to Bible Park where the closet pulpit might be a mile marker on the High Line Canal Trail which horseshoes the park’s perimeter.

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In the middle of the park, you’ll find fine baseball fields with stadium seating and dugouts next to restrooms and concessions. Tennis courts court you in the distance, while an outside gym begs you to sit up and push up. The opposite end of the park to the northeast asks children to swing and slide. In the meantime, watch for owl nests and coyote tracks along the High Line Canal. Goldsmith Gulch meanders through the park, offering bridges to cross and reeds for shelter.

Bible Park can be a destination or a pass-through while hiking along the 71-mile High Line Canal Trail or on the shorter Goldsmith Gulch Trail. Either trail adventures through the park and provides great connectors to the regional trail system. The High Line Canal Trail also makes a horseshoe loop in the park, opening up a longer loop walk in case anyone wants it.

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So, despite a choppy shape and lots of cul-de-sacs, you can find a nice loop to walk on two great Denver urban hiking trails.

The Route (click for interactive map):

Start at 6768 E Iliff Ave. Walk south on the Goldsmith Gulch Trail until you reach Yale St. Turn right.

You’ll see Bible Park on your left. Up ahead, take a right on the High Line Canal Trail. Cross Monaco Parkway, and continue northwest on the High Line.

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At Holly Street, take a right. At Evans, take a right. At S Ivanhoe, take a right. At E Warren Ave, take a left.

At S Jasmine St, take a right. At Iliff, take a left. Cross Monaco Parkway, returning back to where you started to complete this 2.6-mile urban hike through Goldsmith.

Hiking an Oasis in Goldsmith and Supporting DenverByFoot

If you’ve enjoyed this walk, maybe you’ll enjoy some other walks curated by Denver By Foot. Get the 52 Hikes 52 Weeks Denver Calendar, which recommends a hike a week, subscribe to the YouTube Channel to hear about weekly hiking suggestions in Denver, and buy access to the Denver By Foot Challenge. The Challenge is 30 activities in Denver to do by foot where you’ll uncover treasures throughout Denver. It’s a great thing to do with friends and family, or even along during our lock down.

Finally, please support Denver By Foot by purchasing Chris Englert’s books, The Best Urban Hikes: Denver and Discovering Denver Parks. Thank you so much!

What did you like about this walk? Post it on Facebook and tag your posts with #denverbyfoot so I can find them.

See you on the trail!