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Mountain Lion Trail

  4.5 ( 50 ) Favorite


6.9 mile 11.1 kilometer loop


Ascent: 1,531' 467 m
Descent: -1,509' -460 m
High: 8,901' 2,713 m
Low: 7,627' 2,325 m


Avg Grade: 8% (5°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)


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Map Key

Colorado wrapped into one trail offering elevation, lakes, creeks, and mountain views.

Taylor Simmons

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers

Park Hours 5 AM - 10 PM and $7 park fee to be paid at visitor center.


Many in the greater Denver area consider this the most beautiful park within an hours drive of Denver. Enjoy the scenery; stop at the lake early in the trail and admire the views back to the south. This particular trail is covered by trees for a great part, but you'll be able to ignore that because the descent toward, then along, Deer Creek is a hiker's dream.

Need to Know

Park fee! Also, counterclockwise is preferable in the summer because the south, southwest side of the trail will bake in the sun by late morning and early afternoon.


Start ascending singletrack to the west. After a mile or so, your route will turn into dirt road heading northwest. After another half-mile, you'll reach a lake that offers spectacular views back to the south; it's worth a stop.

From this point, you'll follow a dirt road north for a bit, leading into a steep ascent and a few switchbacks toward Windy Peak. Before reaching the peak, you hit a junction and bear left (staying on Mountain Lion) and head back down another set of steep switchbacks toward Deer Creek. You'll continue to drop elevation as you follow along the creek; this section is quite fast, with roots, rocks, and several creek crossings.

The dirt path turns back south, then southwest as you exit the forested area. From here, the elevation profile is mostly flat, trail wide, and the footing very good. You'll have a brief descent again heading south directly back to notch creek where you started.

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Sep 3, 2019
Rick Procopio
Aug 25, 2019
Xavier Moisant
Aug 14, 2019
Siera W
Jun 16, 2019
Echo — 2h 45m
Jun 9, 2019
Chelsea Taylor
Primarily dry, occasionally wet spots along the creek 6.9mi — 3h 55m
Jun 9, 2019
Carolyn C
With Paul
Jun 9, 2019
Maegan K
Day hike with Shaw And Mayzie (pup) 7mi
Jun 1, 2019
Jess Jernberg

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 50 votes


  4.5 from 50 votes
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in Colorado


263 Views Last Month
11,538 Since Sep 11, 2015



Conquering Mountain Lion Trail
Feb 18, 2018 near Coal Creek, CO
Mountain Lake along side Mountain Lion Trail.
Apr 21, 2019 near Coal Creek, CO
Beautiful rock formations near Deer Creek
Apr 21, 2019 near Coal Creek, CO
Crossing a snowy bridge over Deer Creek.  One of these bridges had a fallen tree over it.  The stream was small enough at that point that you could cross anyway.
Mar 21, 2016 near Coal Creek, CO
Sunrise over Golden Gate State Park.
Sep 11, 2015 near Coal Creek, CO
Beautiful views are seen  as soon as you gain a bit of elevation. (Picture taken after doing first mile - clockwise run)
Apr 21, 2019 near Coal Creek, CO

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