Trail difficulty
Blue
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
11.25 mi (18.11 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Mule Deer Trail at Golden Gate State Park is an excellent ride to get away from the crowds and be by yourself. This park sees a fair amount of travel on the main roads and at campgrounds, but the outer-loop trails are virtually untouched. Be sure to bring your pump and plenty of water as you might not see anyone the entire time you're out. Golden Gate State Park also features fishing, backcountry camping, horseback riding, natural springs, historic landmarks, and much more.

Start from the parking lot with a short but stout climb up the Blue Grouse Trail to the connection with the Mule Deer Trail. From there you'll grunt and pedal your way upward through the pine forest over the sometimes rocky trail to the summit. On the way up there are great places to rest and take in scenic landmarks from homesteaders from the past. Stop to read the signs, see the buildings, and think of the plight of the farmers and miners that lived and died here over a century ago.

Prepare to be blessed as you skim down the other side at top speed; it’s a flurry of fun descents and rocky routes.  
 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

State Park Fee

Pros

A trail that is never crowded. Chance to see big game on the loop. Camping, fishing, rock climbing, and other activities are supported.

Cons

None.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

8,350.00 ft (2,545.08 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,755.00 ft (534.92 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Historically significant
Rock climbing
Mine
Bird watching
Wildlife
Wildlife
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Wildflowers
Fishing
Big Game Watching

Suitable for

Hiking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

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