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Blue Grouse - Mule Deer Loop

 4.1 (61)

10.9 Miles 17.5 Kilometers



1,588' 484 m


-1,588' -484 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (16°)

9,486' 2,891 m


8,417' 2,566 m


Shared By Nick Wilder


All Clear 21 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

An outstanding tour of Golden Gate State Park on beautiful trail with great flow.

Nick Wilder

Dogs Leashed

Features eMTB allowed

You need to purchase a day-use pass or have a valid state park pass, which you can obtain at the self-service kiosk just west of the start of this ride.


Hiding in plain site just minutes from the front range (about 20 minutes from the city of Golden), this is a hidden gem that doesn't get much traffic. It's not too long, but you could add some of the neighboring trails to make it harder. The aspen trees in this area are spectacular in September and October.


From the parking lot, get your heart pumping right away for a bit of steep climbing on mostly smooth trail of Blue Grouse. There's one tight switchback, and then it mellows out and is easier until it meets Mule Deer Trail.

Take a right turn on Mule Deer Trail, go 100 feet, then immediate left (west) on Upper Mule Deer Trail.

The trail is level, fast, and very playful. It's on the side of a very rocky slope, but excellent trail construction has made for fun little rock gardens with (usually) a perfectly smooth path winding through. It continuously looks like it's going to be tough, but magically a smooth line appears at the last minute.

Cross the road and parking area and pick up Mule Deer Trail and continue heading uphill. You'll pass through meadows and aspen stands with lots of climbing, but a few breaks, and it's never too hard. The trail is butter smooth and easy.

At the top of the climb, you cross Gap Road and soon get to the intersection of Raccoon Trail. This ride has you continuing straight, but you could take a right on Raccoon Trail to reduce your vertical loss (and subsequent climb). Either way, you go around Panorama Point (well worth checking out as a side-trip with amazing views of the high peaks!).

Whichever route you took, you'll once again cross Gap Road and start heading back to the start. The trail on this side is a bit rockier, but intermediates will enjoy the minor challenges. There are a few minor flat-to-gentle-uphill sections, but the flow is great for 5 miles of downhill fun. The flow is beautiful, as is the forest and mountain views. This is some of the finest singletrack in the front range.

You'll pass Frazier Meadow, a homestead from the mid 1800's and now a particularly good place to see the aspens changing in the fall. Continue cruising down, through a short technical section with larger rocks and tight switchbacks until you hit the Blue Grouse trail again. Enjoy the fast and fun last bit your car.


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Aug 12, 2018
Matthew Ranani
Aug 11, 2018
Bryce Randle
Aug 5, 2018
Hugh Nelson
Aug 2, 2018
Jenifer James Farrell
Jul 29, 2018
Rodrigo Soares
10.9mi — 3h 00m
Jul 22, 2018
mdbockmann Bockmann
Jul 19, 2018
Paul Dubya
Jul 8, 2018
Michael Shull

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Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 61 votes


  4.1 from 61 votes
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802 Views Last Month
19,421 Since Sep 20, 2014
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I enjoy it most from the Reverends Rdige CG connector....then ride it in the clockwise direction :) a little pearl :) Jul 5, 2016

Rode the way suggested. The first part was as described but after panorama point its rocky and difficult the rest of the way down (5 more miles with some uphill in spots). The rocks were super challenging because of the narrow sections. In hindsight I would've preffered riding to panorma point and back down the way we came. A very tough "intermediate" trail. Jul 10, 2016
Compared to other options on the front range, this trail is utterly mediocre and at best three stars. Here's what to expect: The first 1.75 miles are fun, flowy, and promising. Then you get a 1.5 mile climb up rutted, sandy, chewed up and totally boring single-track. You then blow 3/4 of that climb going down a trail that might as well be a road. At this point you will be desperate enough for something interesting you will attempt to get air off even the tiniest of bumps. You are then stuck with another 1.75 mile climb up some steep, difficult, and mostly non-technical terrain full of loose rocks, sand, and more ruts. If you can persist until the 6.5 mile point, you will be rewarded with a fun and often technical descent. Scenery-wise, don't expect much after the first 3.5 miles. It becomes more heavily wooded and when it breaks, there isn't much to see. If you are in the area, skip this trail and go do Rhythm & Blues outside Ned instead. Jun 28, 2018

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