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Golden Gate Canyon State Park is a haven for hikers, runners, and mountain bikers alike.
The park protects some of the most beautiful terrain on the Colorado Front Range.
Thankfully, it is separated from the urban centers and metropolitan sprawl of the Denver area, but it's still only 14 miles up the road from the town of Golden. The park is home to a slew of fantastic trails, but many of them combine into shorter routes or out-and-backs.
If you're looking for a respectable loop ride, the route shown here follows the Mule Deer Trail for an attractive 10-mile outing. This gorgeous loop offers varied terrain ranging from steep mountainsides, towering pine forests, whispering aspen groves, wide-open meadows, and panoramic views from high points. The loop begins at a lower trailhead near Kriley Pond, just off Golden Gate Canyon Road.
From there, it climbs high into the state park, visiting the iconic Panorama Point overlook before continuing to a high point on the Mule Deer Trail on the flanks of Tremont Mountain. Note that some of the trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park are off-limits to mountain bikes.
The loop mapped here is entirely bike-legal, but if you're looking to extend this route, you'll need to read the trail signs carefully to determine which ones are open to mountain bikes.