Mule Shoe Trail can be ridden either direction, but, personally, it is more fun clockwise, especially when doing the whole loop via Mule Ear Trail
, as you end the ride with a downhill instead of a one mile uphill going counter clockwise. The ride starts at the north side of the parking lot where you'll see a ST trail on the right hand side before the entrance. Staying right on the T trail, you'll head downhill with fun turns and switchbacks.
Take note at mile .30 and .65, a ST on the left will take you to the North Gate Road that leads to the Bicentennial Trail
. Continue heading to a right curve to a short steep climb. The rest of the trail will take you up and down hills through trees and bushes. You'll also cross a really small stream which dries up during the summer and a couple of wooden bridges. At mile 1.07, you'll get to the lowest bottom of the trail and ignore the ST trail on the left that takes you to the North Fork Ogden River.
From here, you'll start the climb back up again, and at mile 1.59, you'll tackle a couple of steep switchbacks, and the trail is exposed to the sun and could be very hot. Continue through the meadows and stay straight, crossing over the Mule Shoe Jeep Road trail until you climb out to the southwest section of the North Fork Road that attaches to the Middle Gate Road.
Mule Shoe doesn't make you work too hard overall, but has some short, steep climbs on exposed areas that steam up during summer weather, so make sure to bring enough water. The trail ends at the southern North Fork road with Mule Ear Trail
across the road to start the climb.
Be cautious for moose and elk on the first part of the downhill and don't spook them.