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Blue Grouse - Mule Deer Loop

 4.1 (53)
Trail Mapped Wrong?


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



All Clear 8 days ago
Dry History

Getting forecast...

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

Nick Wilder

Overview [Suggest Changes]

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.
Dogs: Leashed

Description [Suggest Changes]

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


Jun 15, 2018
Bobby Kunkel
Jun 13, 2018
Kevin Oconnell
May 31, 2018
Matt Rettmer
This was a beautiful ride! This is an up/down/up/down as Rx. The Racoon section is quite the climb. 10.9mi — 1h 35m
May 26, 2018
Jason Newcomer
Different character than Front Range trails, more high country. Moose and calf. 10.2mi
May 25, 2018
Daniel Ives
Linked it with Snowhare, which was a terrible idea. Mule Deer is worth it on it's own! 15.1mi — 2h 20m
May 5, 2018
James Emme
May 1, 2018
James Emme
Apr 28, 2018
Kelvin Caiati

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Trail Ratings

  4.1 from 53 votes


  4.1 from 53 votes
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In the CW direction the climb is buff and smooth, not too steep, and really pretty. Then the descent is rockier and more technical, with tough switchbacks and fun chunky sections. Sep 20, 2015

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

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