Hike the Mountain Lion Trail

Nott Creek Trailhead, Golden Gate Canyon State Park - Search Nearby - Added by Haley Baker

As one of the longest trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, the Mountain Lion trail will take you through aspen groves, open meadows, and evergreen forests.

There are three parking lots with direct access to the Mountain Lion Trail. The main one is off of Crawford Gulch Road, but any of them are good starting points! 

This loop has pretty similar elevation gain and loss profiles no matter which way you go, so you can go any direction. This adventure will be written for starting out east, though. 

Immediately out of the trailhead you'll be greeted with an uphill slog. At the top, there's a service road. Heading west (left) will take you to the Burro Trail and Windy Peak, while heading east (right) continues along the Mountain Lion Trail. After 1.3 miles, you have the option to take a spur trail to the old quarts quarry. At 3.6 miles, you again have the option to connect with the Burro Trail and Windy Peak. At 5.4 miles, you can go to City Lights Ridge for 360° views of the park. The trail varies from service roads to rocky paths, to smooth singletrack. You'll get a little bit of everything that the park has to offer on this hike.

There are paw-print signs marking every trail throughout Golden Gate Canyon (pictured above), so you always know what trail you're on should you take one of the spurs.

There is access to several backcountry campsites along this trail, as well.

Golden Gate Canyon is also one of the best places to catch fall colors close to Denver! 

Distance

6.7 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

1230 ft Gain

Type

Loop

Activities

Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Wildflowers

Nearby Lodging

Denver West / Central City KOA

Central City, Colorado

From $40/night

Boulder A-Lodge Camping

Boulder, Colorado

From $39/night

Boulder A-Lodge Hostel

Boulder, Colorado

From $149/night

Boulder A-Lodge Cabin

Boulder, Colorado

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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