Hiking Project Logo

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


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
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 76 votes

#93

Overall
  4.5 from 76 votes
5 Star
55%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
1%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#28

in Colorado

#93

Overall
116 Views Last Month
17,645 Since Sep 11, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
64%
16%
19%
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
loading

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Minor Issues 89 days ago
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Oct 1, 2023
Jill Out
6.9mi — 5h 30m
Jul 4, 2023
Josh H
6.9mi
Oct 25, 2022
Mark L
Apr 26, 2022
Marie Novak
Apr 15, 2022
Charly Jackson
Sep 11, 2021
Nick Barendregt
Nice quiet trails with a good variety of scenery! 6.8mi — 2h 44m
Sep 4, 2021
Michelle Williams
Remember the lake at the bottom of the big climb and decent is a good place to stop for lunch 6.8mi — 2h 33m
Jul 31, 2021
Michael Taylor
6.7mi — 12h 21m
Welcome

Join the Community

Create your FREE account today!
Already have an account? Login to close this notice.

Get Started