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Mountain Lion Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.5 (61) 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

81%

Runnable

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 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.

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 61 votes

#114

Overall
  4.5 from 61 votes
5 Star
52%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
5%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#37

in Colorado

#114

Overall
63 Views Last Month
15,357 Since Sep 11, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
69%
9%
22%
0%

Photos

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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Check-Ins

Jan 15, 2021
Erik Zsemlye
Ran the mountain lion trails counterclockwise from Knot Creek. Trail ascending along the creek was mostly covered with boot-packed snow and/or ice.…
Sep 20, 2020
Chase Moore
Mountain Lion Loop with Burro and Rifleman add ons 10.4mi — 2h 15m
Sep 6, 2020
Keith Litkowiak
- beautiful start and finish - going clockwise, tough first 1/2 incline and tough/technical decline (had to walk numerous parts of decline)
Jul 31, 2020
Aaron Thompson
6.8mi — 1h 22m
Jun 27, 2020
David Demmer
8mi — 2h 00m
Jun 14, 2020
David Mini
Sep 22, 2019
Josh M
Jul 21, 2019
Ryando Smithman
1h 00m