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Mule Deer and Fire Trail Loop is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near San Marcos, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length 4.5 mi Elevation gain 790 ft Route type Loop

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)

The Uber Denk Trek! The goal was to hike every path on Denk Mountain. Most of the trails are a good (but generic) workout, but the initial loop around the east side of Denk (Copper Creek) is always a nice, cool, shady riparian stroll. The initial ascent up the northeast side of the hill starts the blood flowing and gets the body ready for the loops. Starting/ending point is an easy, shady parking area along Camino Junipero.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (91)
Photos (330)
Recordings (84)
Completed (156)
Steven Blakely
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 20, 2020
Mountain bikingNo shadeRocky

Great trail. I'm a novice mountain biker and had to walk some up and a little of the down due to lots of rocks but even then most of it was more than doable.

Alexandra Munn
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 12, 2020
HikingRocky
View Alexandra's Recording
Szymon Leja
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

I did my own thing and went up the hill twice lol. for fun. fun trail.

View Szymon's Recording
Ashley Williams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 13, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

This uphills hike was totally worth it. The incline up the West side of Denk Mountain was pretty steep but worth the butt kick. Recommend hiking at sunrise to avoid any rattlesnake sitings. Will definitely continue to do this trail!

Gina H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 7, 2020
HikingNo shadeOver grownPrivate propertyRocky

Lots of mountain bikers. Part of this trail is single track so be wary of bikers coming down fast. No dogs. Some of the paths are overgrown and I did run into a beehive on a smaller south side path. Great views from the top though!

View Gina's Recording
Tisha Freitas
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadePrivate propertyRocky

Trail is enjoyable...we ran into a beehive by the creek on the backside. There is also private property and no trespassing signs on this trail that have to be ignored. Great view at the top and we did not run into mountain bikers until midway through. Also, nice that we were able to still heat the water running.

Nolan Alexander
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 10, 2020
Hiking

I enjoyed the waterfall and creek section. There were also some nice viewpoints towards the top, with views of both the lagoon to the west and rolling hills to the east. I only rated the trail 3 stars because the bulk of the miles were less impressive. I particularly disliked rocky hills on the west side of the loop. If I did the hike again, I would choose an alternative, less rocky route down the hill. The Rancho La Costa Habitat area seems to have as many mountain bikers as hikers. There is a tire pump station at the peak. Some of the trails are narrow, which can make both passing bikers and social distancing awkward. We saw a California Kingsnake on the North section, not far from San Elijo Road.

AllTrails User
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 30, 2020
Hiking

Fire road for part of it, and I’m not a huge fan of that, but otherwise it’s mainly single track trail slightly over grown but pretty. Takes you to the peak and down to the waterfall and back around. trail is nice and has lots of flowers rn. Enjoy!

View AllTrails's Recording
McCue Ashley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 28, 2020
Hiking

We didn’t even do Mule trail, the other trails were just so beautiful! The whole area is a break taking oasis from suburbia.

View McCue's Recording
린 다
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 23, 2020

This park is closed during CA coronavirus lockdown. Ranger is turning people away next to gate.

Gregg Roesink
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 25, 2020
HikingNo shadeRocky

The segments I chose in my modified route were all dog friendly. The difficulty rating In my opinion would lean towards the easier end of the moderate spectrum. Would make for a great sunset headlamp hike. Also makes for a nice trail run

View Gregg's Recording
Brook Komar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 24, 2020
Hiking

I found it confusing with the multitude of intersecting trails. Lots of people on bicycles trying to run you over too. Not a lot of shade & you hear the road noise the whole time.

Rita Zeigler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2019
Hiking

This may be more than a moderate trail. Very rockie and steep depending on which way you attack the trail. There are parts of the trail marked no dogs. unfortunately those signs are after you already started the trail with your dog. absolutely no dogs on Coppet Creek Trail. Overall I enjoyed the hike.

View Rita's Recording
John Tapper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2019
HikingPrivate propertyRocky

Lots of fun. But there is a lot of uphill and a lot of loose rocks. Not for the casual walker.

Kham Srilasak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 22, 2019
Mountain biking

Not for the out of shape. Lots of big hills. I had to walk up quite a few turns.

View Kham's Recording
Matthew Titcomb
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2018
Hiking

It was a nice hike with great views of the area. We went from 8-10 in the morning and the weather was cloudy and cool. I enjoyed the sound of the creek because it had recently rained. We went clockwise which meant the creek was first and saved the peak for the end. I would do it again.

Michael Stefanski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 14, 2018
Hiking

Nice trail with some great views and extra loops if you want to extend it.

Erica Mills
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 24, 2018
Hiking
First to Review

A portion of this loop is NOT DOG FRIENDLY, just a heads up for dog owners out there :) you can take the horned lizard trail but it adds a significant amount of elevation gain, and also an extra half a mile in distance

Alexandra Christy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 13, 2020
Hiking
View Alexandra's Recording
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