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Mountain Lion Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (59) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

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


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Map Key

6.9

Miles

11.1

KM

Loop

8,901' 2,713 m

High

7,627' 2,325 m

Low

1,531' 467 m

Up

1,509' 460 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

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

Park Hours 5 AM - 10 PM and $9 park fee to be paid at visitor center.

Overview

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.

Description

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Taylor Simmons with improvements by no no and 2 others

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 59 votes

#115

Overall
  4.5 from 59 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
42%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#38

in Colorado

#115

Overall
340 Views Last Month
14,571 Since Sep 11, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
68%
9%
23%
0%

Photos

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

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 8 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Oct 4, 2020
Ryan Tronier
Parking is challenging and the trail is crowded on a Sunday. 6.9mi — 2h 50m
Oct 3, 2020
Zeb GrandPré
5mi
Sep 13, 2020
Jeff S
Hike with A&A& Jazz — 3h 30m
Sep 7, 2020
Kristin Hargrove
walked extra to the peak. it is worth the extra mile or so. 9mi — 4h 30m
Aug 11, 2020
Jacob Magdziarz
Hike from Nott Creek to campsite 17 1.6mi — 0h 45m
Jul 20, 2020
Meg Sudhoff
3mi
Jul 19, 2020
Michael Pippenger
We missed the Windy Peak offshoot, but had a great time. Went counterclockwise (to avoid sun on western side while hiking up). Great day! 7mi — 3h 08m
Jul 18, 2020
Peter Nesbitt
6.8mi — 2h 29m