dogs on leash
More than 12,000 acres of dense forest, rocky peaks, and aspen-rimmed meadows laced with miles of trails awaiting the hiker, horseback rider, mountain biker and winter sports enthusiast at Golden Gate State Park. Only 30 miles from Denver, Golden Gate Canyon offers such amenities as a electrical hook-ups and tent-sites in two different campgrounds, stocked fishing ponds, picnic sites and the Panorama Point Scenic Overlook, where visitors can see 100 miles of the Continental Divide. The parks numerous group facilities can host several types of events, from weddings to family reunions and company picnics. Besides camping, overnight guests can also stay at one of the five cabins and two yurts at Golden Gate. In 2008, the park began renting out guest houses, a first for a Colorado State Park. Winter will find visitors cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, ice fishing and ice skating.
We did a loop that covered three trails. We parked at Bridge Creek Trail head and hiked in from there. We connected to Mountain Lion Trail heading westward on the trail towards the Forgotten Valley. We saw some fishermen on the lake at Forgotten Valley. We continued on towards Windy Peak and connected to Burro Trail. We looped back towards Mountain Lion for a small part of the trail and then to Bridge Creek back to the car. Overall the hike took about 2.5 hours and had patches that were icy. We brought icetrekkers and hiking poles, we did not need to use the icetrekkers but poles were nice for balance over icy parts. There were some windy parts so layers are good to have.
We hiked this 12/30/16. There wasn't too much snow, mostly icy areas. We went from the Kriley Pond TH all the way to Panorama point. We ended up hiking on Mtn Base Rd for a bit, to avoid the snow and move a bit faster. It was a beautiful afternoon to hike. It was 8.5 miles round trip. We went out and back on Mule Deer/Mtn Base Road.
We, too, did this in September and the drive was beautiful. Starting in Estes, the view of Longs and Meeker Peaks to forests filled with the fall color of aspens. Nederland is a quirky little place worth wondering around. Later, you come to the casino area of Black Hawk. Going beyond Black Hawk on 119 and 6 will lead you through some canyon areas and on to Denver.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park has multiple hiking trails. Everyday can be a new adventure. I highly recommend Horseshoe to Black Bear. Probably one of the best views you will see anywhere. Not that difficult of a hike. Make sure to buy your day pass at the visiting center. If you happen to be driving along the road heading towards your trail and come across a couple of private residences, keep going...you are not lost. There are some individuals who do own land within the park. There is also hunting up here. I would recommend staying out of the hunting area during hunting season. Or just wear very bright colors. Have fun!!
Beautiful trail. We went backwards (clockwise) and I'd recommend doing that so the sun is off you in the second half. We went the extra .5 to Windy Peak and it was definitely worth it. Make sure you pay the 7$ dollars to park or you'll end up paying a 30$ ticket.