Mountain Lion Trail

MODERATE 397 reviews

Mountain Lion Trail is a 6.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Golden, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,581 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

At the trail head parking lot, there is an outhouse and trash bins. You'll need a day pass for the park.

Beautiful trail. My husband and I started at the trailhead around 10:30am and got back to the car around 3:30. Took about twenty minutes for lunch and stopped a few times to enjoy the surroundings. We went counterclockwise and it worked out great as far as views and once you hit the steep inclines, you’re in the shade. The trail starts deceptively easy and then hits some steep climbs, particularly as you make your way out of the forest. You end on a nice decline, beware of some lose rock in some areas. It gets the heart rate up for sure and the serenity of the park makes the work worth it!!! We hiked on a Wednesday and the park was this side of empty, which for us locals is a nice change!!

hiking
2 days ago

I started around 6:30 AM and went clockwise. There are absolutely gorgeous views the whole way around, especially if you go to Windy Peaks. Parts of the trail can be a little steep in places so watch your step. I did not run in to anyone on the trail until I was almost back at the trailhead around 10:30.

14 days ago

I went counterclockwise. Started later than I'd like at 1030 and it got really hot really fast. The last two miles or so of the loop are fairly exposed. I bring this up because the trail was very hot on my dogs paws. Had I know better, I'd have hiked clockwise allowing for more shade and plenty of water crossing for my dog. Also, my Suunto GPS measured the hike at 7.1 miles.

hiking
20 days ago

This trail has so much variety! I love all of the shade , the stream crossings and even the excitement of keeping a look out for mountain lions. I was alone, hiking/ jogging from about 3-5:15 pm. I was happy to see other hikers and mountain bikers on the trail, because I agree with the trailhead sign advice ,” Do not hike or run this alone! “. I did get a little spooked on some of the densely wooded area sections by the river. The breeze was delightful today, along with the variety of wild flowers and great views.

hiking
24 days ago

this is a beautiful trail! My Boys and I loved it. I like that it has so many ups, downs and flat. It was a great with beautiful views!

1 month ago

loved it and the views were amazing. loved the rush

1 month ago

Fairly easy hike except the hike through the pines to the peak was a lot for this Texan. Tons of access to fresh water for the pups. Saw a lot signs of wildlife but no encounters. The trail is very clearly marked which is appreciated due to all the turn offs. A lot of shaded spots except for the way down the mountain. Not crowded at all but it was also a Wednesday. I would love to go back to this trail and with the many Golden has to offer I want to try them all.

hiking
1 month ago

Parts of this trail were fantastic and others were a bit less exciting. The apex of the loop doesn’t have much a view as you’re walking through the forest going up then just transitions downward. You have to take the side trail up to windy peak for a summit type view which was a really nice spot to stop and hang out on the rocks. Going counterclockwise you have a ton of fun creek crossings at the beginning of your advent. The last bit coming back to the start of the loop had some beautiful open hillsides with all the wildflowers in bloom early June.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was overall very beautiful. However, it took about 8 miles to hike the whole thing and it was fairly difficult (towards the middle). In fact, the park classifies it as difficult! Plan being on taking at least 3 hours to finish or more and completely exhausted by the end!

In addition, a stream runs beside the trail and is relaxing and extremely enjoyable! The Mountain View was pretty and worth the hard work. I would definitely go again in the near future!

hiking
1 month ago

The full loop took us about four and a half hours. The whole hike was gorgeous. The stream ran next to the trail for most of the time.

There’s a $7 park entrance fee that you have to pay with cash.

The best view isn’t actually from the peak. It’s actually from west side of the peak. If you continue walking down the trail you’ll get to really see out onto the other peaks and valleys nearby.

Would definitely recommend this trail. Had a great time but was completely exhausted by the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike, highly recommended. Many stream crossings! We did counter clockwise, which with hindsight is IMO the best way. This way you also get the mountain bikers from the front, as that as their preferred direction. It was 7.3 miles for us though.

hiking
1 month ago

One of our favorites so far. Definitely more on the difficult side of moderate. We went counterclockwise and ended up avoiding a lot of the crowd which was nice. Pretty steady incline the first half of the hike, then a really nice decline along the creek. Ended with a little incline again before hitting the final decent back to the trail head. My Fitbit tracked this as 8 miles so I’m not sure what the discrepancy was there. Beautiful aspens throughout the hike.

hiking
1 month ago

We went counterclockwise and everything started out smooth. You definitely feel the burn when you get close to the Burro Trail around the 3-4 mile mark. The pup played in the creek every time we went to cross it, so he also had a good time. There’s lots of wildflowers blooming. Didn’t see any wildlife, but did find some moose scat (or elk, not entirely sure).

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail with a good mixture of elevation changes. Our dog loved the creek the trail follows most of the way as well.

hiking
2 months ago

Still one of our favorites. Although it was very foggy this day and there were no views from Windy Peak, the hike through the foggy forest was surreal. The brook was running pretty good and made for a nice soundtrack to the hike and a few waterfalls. Very quiet because of the weather. However this trail tends to be pretty quiet most days. Great hike no matter the weather.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Well marked trail, a variety of different views and terrain. Didn't see a soul the entire time I was out there (for you solitude junkies)

hiking
2 months ago

This is a really great loop trail that passes through a remarkable variety of terrain and natural beauty. There’s quite a bit of snow on the north side, but traction is not necessary.

hiking
2 months ago

Did just the mountain lion trail loop today. Good time to go. Just a little snow on the back side going counterclock from the trail head parking lot. Some wildflowers and cactus beginning to bloom. Deer creek is flowing nice.

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was a lot of fun. We completed the trail counter-clockwise and it starts off headed down towards a creek that you follow for a decent stretch. There are plenty of nice views as you head back out towards the open front range, with gorgeous backdrop to the whitecaps. The terrain was equally diverse; rocky areas, snow, bridges. Because the trail goes down after the first mile be prepared for the strenuous part about 2/3 of the way through. Also, if you get spooked easily, this trail continues next to rock formations and cliffs that certainly appeal to be a lovely home for a mountain lion - hence the name. There are dues for the park as a heads up. Certainly check this one out, enjoy the hike!

hiking
2 months ago

This hike was moderate to difficult (based on the steep incline at parts) and is definitely NOT 6.6 miles. We tracked almost 10 miles on our phones! It was a scenic hike along a stream for most of the trail but it would’ve been helpful to know we would hike 3 miles longer than anticipated. Good hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Moderate hike with a good incline. There was no snow and no need for spikes. We started at Knott Creek and went up to Windy Peak before coming back down in Burro Trail. If you come in from the back of the park, the road isn’t paid. Next time I’ll come in the main entrance and stop at the visitors center - also because I never have change for the $7 day pass!

Wonderful challenging trail. Would like to come back and backpack sometime.

3 months ago

4/7/18

Snow was not a concern for the most part, but I will say there was about a mile long stretch where I wish I had my spikes. still totally doable, but would have made things a little more enjoyable.

with the warm weather coming I assume beautiful conditions from here on out.

3 months ago

3/31/18. Trail was mostly clear of snow in the sun spots, where there was snow, you didn’t need micro spikes. Not many views, but a nice hike

hiking
3 months ago

Back side of the trail was still pretty snowy but no need for spikes!

3 months ago

Great hike! Barely any snow. Saw a moose!

hiking
4 months ago

Back to one of our favorite spots close to Denver. Patchy ice but was able to make it to Windy Peak without extra traction. Great snow capped views today. The stream along Mountain Lion is still frozen over making for some interesting sound effects. As usual it was pretty quiet. This is a great hike if you don't want to drive far form Denver but still want to avoid the crowds.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked entire Mountain Lion trail plus went up to Windy Peak (amazing views). Trails mostly clear. Can easily do without any additional traction, but there's a few spots (no more than 50-60 yard stretches) that it may be nice to have, but don't have to have traction.

hiking
4 months ago

Was a good trail with some good views at the top. The hike up had a decent amount of ice and some snow. I made it without micro spikes but they would have helped after the first 1.5 miles or so.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike for a sunny Tuesday! The trail was empty and easy to follow. It was snowy & a bit slippery, but nothing I couldn’t fix with my spikes. The trail up to Windy Peak was steep but manageable, and well worth the views at the top.

Load More