Level: Advanced
Length: 8 mi (12.9 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +762/ -792 ft
Total: 27 riders

Mountain Biking Mountain Lion Trail

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#313 of 1,353 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#2,925 in the world

It is recommended to ride this route clockwise (due to several steep sections that are better ridden on the descent).

From the trailhead, pick up the Mountain Lion trail (starts at the restrooms). Climb until you come to an intersection with the Burro trail, and continue on Mountain Lion. You'll eventually pass a pond and an abandoned settlement on your left; keep riding and the fun begins shortly after. The trail will continue to climb, with sections of loose rock/sandy/rocky terrain. If you have to stop, due to an obstacle you can't clear or to take a breather, good luck starting again. After a few switchbacks, you'll get to the summit. Continue to follow the Mountain Lion trail. When you come to the next intersection (again with the Burro trail), be sure to take a left and continue on Mountain Lion. Descend a few switchbacks, some of which are quite rocky. You'll eventually drop down to Deer Creek and ride along the creek for approx. one mile; this mile has many rocky/technical sections and crosses the creek several times on old logs. You'll eventually come to another intersection (with a trail heading off the left to an old quarry); again, stick to Mountain Lion, and continue the descent back to the trail head.

There are several other trails that intersect with the Mountain Lion trail, some of which are for hikers only (no bikes). All intersections are clearly marked with maps, so pay attention and you'll find your way. There are maps on the state park website (http://www.parks.state.co.us/parks/goldengatecanyon/Pages/GoldenGateStatePark.aspx).

First added by ephilli2 on Aug 21, 2011. Last updated Apr 28, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
From Denver, take Hwy 6th to CO-93 N (near Golden). After merging onto CO-93, go approx. 1.4 miles, then turn left onto Golden Gate Canyon Road. Go approx. 14 miles and turn right (follow the signs toward the Visitor Center). Pick up a day pass at the Visitor Center ($7.00). Drive approx. 3.2 miles to the Nott Creek trail head, which will be on the left (marked with signs).
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Mountain Lion Trail Trail map

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Good (on Jul 5, 2021)
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Rider questions

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  • John Fisch

    I concur with the clockwise route. The climb is definitely tough, but mostly smooth, which saves the chunk for the downhill. It's still pretty tough with some tight switchbacks, very narrow trail with no choice of line and some unforgiving creek crossings.

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  • JimmyG

    I recommend this ride for the advanced rider on modern freeride style bike. While it is almost all ridable, long stretches are relentless- both up and down! If your up for this ride, do Mountain Lion Trail clockwise. Trail is well marked, starting at the Nott Creek parking lot. Free maps at the visitor station, but parking pass for the day is $7.

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  • ephilli2

    I found this trail in a Falcon Guide. Boy was I in for a surprise. This is one of the most challenging Front Range rides I've done, primarily from the technicality. Several sections of the ascent are so steep that once you stop (due to an obstacle that you can't clear or to take a breather), it's very difficult to get started again (think very steep terrain, add in a few inches of loose dirt/sand, and many large rocks/drops). Most of the trail is rideable, but several sections will challenge even the most experienced riders (in terms of aerobic ability and technical skills).

    The descent, particularly following the creek, is FUN, but again, very technical. I'm sure my 29er wheels helped me stay upright and avoid doing some endos on the many wheel-grabbing rocks. :-)

    I've ridden Bergen Peak several times; compared to the Mountain Lion route, Bergen is a piece of cake.

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