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Mountain Lion Trail



6.9 mile 11.1 kilometer loop
81% Runnable


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 $8 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 runner'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.

Runner Notes

The descent along Deer Creek is fast with rocks and roots aplenty. They won't slow you down, but they will require some focus.


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 22, 2019
Josh M
Jul 21, 2019
Ryando Smithman
1h 00m
Aug 25, 2018
Bethany Kay
May 27, 2018
Josh M
Dec 3, 2017
Liz Cohen
Amazing trail includes singletrack, wide open views, wooded in areas and a chunk of switch back over the creek. Hunting was only downside 6.6mi
Sep 24, 2017
Jay Watts
Xterra 22K race. Beautiful trails! 13.4mi
Apr 17, 2017
Mr Singleton
Gps is incorrect for the last half mile. Amazing trail even on tired legs ;) 8mi

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 53 votes


  4.5 from 53 votes
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in Colorado


137 Views Last Month
12,189 Since Sep 11, 2015



A brief downhill section heading north just before more switchbacks!
Sep 11, 2015 near Coal Creek, CO
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
Early March before the rain has brought out the flowers.
Sep 11, 2015 near Coal Creek, CO
Beautiful rock formations near Deer Creek
Apr 21, 2019 near Coal Creek, CO
Sunrise over Golden Gate State Park.
Sep 11, 2015 near Coal Creek, CO


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