Mule Deer to Elk Trail is a 9.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from February until November.
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.
Scenery and difficulty were ideal for new hikers wanting a break from the city yet still seeking a challenge. Heavy foliage provides ideal cover in the heat of the day; wildlife interspersed throughout. Downside: jumping out of the way for mountain bikers. Can't hate; just keep your head up
You can start at the trailhead, or you can start below Kriley Pond just off Golden Gate Canyon Road. The Pond is frozen solid in the winter and fun to walk on. About a mile into mule deer, there's a good vista looking North (I think). Another half mile and you come to Frazer's Meadow, the site of an old burnt-down cabin. trail is well-maintained, and fine for older kids.