This route is a moderate singletrack loop with great views, some shade, and the chance to see moose along the way.
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Spring — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
There are a few spots to begin this loop. I usually come in at the North Gate but the Middle Gate is close too. Going clockwise on the Mule Shoe Trail
will let you go downhill first and also finish going downhill. The short side trail to the overlook will give you a view of the distant falls across the canyon. Watch for moose - there are a lot of them lurking around. As you continue around the loop, you'll eventually have to climb some of the elevation that you lost right at the start. Grades are mostly doable, but the going will be tougher. You'll reach the Mule Ear Trail
, and a series of switchbacks will help to ease the climb. Continue on that trail for just over 2.5 miles before it returns you to the parking area.
If it has been wet, they will close sections of the trail to prevent mud damage, so please respect those closures if they are up. It's a great trail for beautiful sunrise views and it cools off pretty quickly in the afternoon. The trail is singletrack the whole way and nicely graded. As of now, cell reception is very spotty (I use Verizon).
Make sure to make some noise as you run, moose frequent the area and are known to be ornery.