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Blue Grouse - Mule Deer Loop

 4.0 (76)
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10.9 Miles 17.5 Kilometers



1,495' 456 m


-1,492' -455 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (16°)

9,472' 2,887 m


8,419' 2,566 m


Shared By Nick Wilder



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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Your Check-Ins


Oct 28, 2018
Elizabeth Jones
Oct 27, 2018
Tyler Pengelly
awesome ride. Care could do this after a few rides
Oct 13, 2018
Jeffrey Baun
6mi — 2h 20m
Oct 1, 2018
Andrew Salimbeni
Sep 27, 2018
Alexander Jonathan
Sep 21, 2018
Erik Zsemlye
Sep 15, 2018
Faruk Ramovic
DO NOT DO THIS CLOCKWISE!! Terrible... whoever wrote the recommendation to go clockwise should be fired. Idiot lol
Sep 10, 2018
DLS 88
awesome foliage. 10mi — 1h 30m

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 76 votes


  4.0 from 76 votes
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132 Views Last Month
21,744 Since Sep 20, 2014
Intermediate/Difficult Intermediate/Difficult

Will Butler
Boulder, CO
Will Butler   Boulder, CO
Definitely felt this was at least 4 stars. I rode it CW from Panorama Point. Good combo of techy riding and flowy singletrack. Lovely aspens this time of year as well. Sep 9, 2018
DLS 88
DLS 88   Boulder
Rode CCW and loved it, super flowy. Had to walk some of the technical uphill, going to try it again and descend the tech and climb the flowy singletrack in the CW direction. a new favorite ride Sep 10, 2018
totally agree with Justin. I don't know what trail the author was thinking of when they were writing the description, because it doesn't match this trail at all. Rock, rock, rock, and more rock. Way more technical than the description makes it sound like. Views are basically non existent because you're in trees 85% of the ride. A lot of work on the up for really not that much fun on the down, imo. Sep 10, 2018

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