Apex Valley Road is an easy, pleasant drive up a beautiful mountain valley past quaint summer cottages and picturesque year-round residences. This road provides access to several more difficult trails and is one of the main entry points into the extensive network of 4x4 trails around Dakota Hill and Oregon Hill. Along the way it passes through the middle of the ghost town of Apex, giving you a glimpse into the rich mining history of the area. Above Apex the road becomes rougher and more rugged as it rises out of the valley up the side of Dakota Hill. The switchbacks along this portion of the trail offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains to the south and west. This trail can be an easy, scenic outing or the beginning of a longer adventure on the many connecting trails.
Turn west off of Colorado Highway 119 onto County Road 4S to begin the trail. There is a large area on the north side of the road where you can stop and organize your group, if needed (airing down will not be necessary) but it should not be used for long-term parking or leaving a trailer.
Starting Point: Gregory Street and Colorado Highway 119 in Black Hawk, Colorado
From the intersection of Gregory Street and Colorado Highway 119 in Black Hawk, go north on 119 about 1.9 miles. Turn left onto County Road 4S to begin the trail.
Alternatively, from Rollinsville, go south on Colorado Highway 119 about 11.9 miles and turn right onto County Road 4S.
The old ghost town, that people live in, at the end is really cool. This is an excellent road to access some of the better roads in the area. 2 star as a stand-alone type road, but a 5 for quick shortcuts to more adventure!
The lower portion of this trail is not really even a trail. It's a graded gravel road, although it is quite pretty. The town of Apex was very cool. Some of the buildings have been restored (a few look lived-in) and others are in various states of disrepair and decay. It was easy to imagine a bustling little mining town back in the day. Above Apex the road got rougher and bumpier the higher I went. As I got near the top, the views back across the valley were spectacular. I did not continue on Dakota Hill on this day, though I have in the past. The weather was beautiful and the drive was quite pleasant.
Bill is an off-road enthusiast with nearly 30 years of 'wheeling experience. At one time he had a streak of about 20 years of 4-wheeling at least once a month. He likes anything from easy, dirt roads to difficult trails but stops short of extreme. Over the years he has traveled over 700 different trails, mostly in Colorado and Utah. He loves finding and exploring new areas and sharing his knowledge with others. He has been the coordinator of Calvary 4-Wheelers for many years.