The Mule Creek trail is a short out and back hike located on the north end of Woodland Park, Colorado. This singletrack trail is a nice short hike, spot to walk your dog or excellent spot for some trail running. The majority of this hike follows Mule Creek and Trout Creek and has several social trails along the way that can be a little tricky to follow. The trail “ends” at the ruins of an old cabin. This dog friendly and family friendly hike can usually be done year round with occasional snow during winter months.
Mule Creek Trail Quick Facts
Mule Creek Trail: ★★ (2/5 Stars)
Distance: 6.2 Miles RT
Elevation Start: 8,000ft
Highest Elevation: 8,614ft
Total Elevation Gain: 653ft
Estimated Time to Complete: 2-3 Hours
Difficulty: Easy What does this mean?
Class: Class 1- What does this mean?
Season: Year Round
Directions to Mule Creek Trail
Trailhead: Mule Creek & Troutman Creek
Getting Here: From Woodland Park, head north on CO67 for about 4 miles and turn left on CO Rd 75. Drive on the dirt road for about a half mile to find the unmarked trailhead on your left.
Parking: There is a small parking area that can fit about 10 cars. This is not a super popular area so parking is usually not a problem. There are no restrooms at this TH.
Fee: No fee as of 2022
Dogs: This is a dog friendly hike, but dogs must be kept on a leash.
Camping: If you wanted to camp in the area, you could conceivably find a spot along the creek to post up for the night. However, in general, this area is not a great spot to camp since there is private land around much of the trail.
Make it a Loop: This is an out and back hike, but you could easily extend your hike once you reach the cabin and continue on to the 717 trail system that goes on for many more miles.
Trail X Factors: Social Trails & Water Crossings
Mule Creek trail is relatively easy to find, but on the way out to the old cabin, I found myself off trail a few times which caused me to unnecessarily cross Mule Creek a few times. In general, keep the creek to your right until you reach a small bridge about a mile into the hike. Once you cross this bridge, keep the creek on your left. If you find yourself crossing the creeks multiple times, you are likely off trail.
Best Views: The views on this hike are best around the two creeks. I fully admit that the snow might have taken away from the potential views but in general you are hiking in a valley and there really isn’t much to see.
Mule Creek Hike Route
- Men’s Trail Runners
- Women’s Trail Runners
- La Sportiva Trango Hiking Boots (Men’s)
- La Sportiva Trango Hiking Boots (Women’s)
- Backpack or Trail Running Vest
- Food & Water
- Protection from the Sun
- Optional: Water Filter
- Optional: Garmin inReach
- Optional: Hiking Poles
- Optional: Garmin Fenix Watch
- Optional: Camera and Lens
- Optional: GoPro, Joby Tripod
- *Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you.
My Trip to Mule Creek Trail: April 2022
Mule Creek was not my first option of the day to hike. In fact, it wasn’t even plan B. However, when mother nature gives you crap weather, you make the best of it. After driving down to Woodland Park and discovering I had a leaky tire, my spirits were really low. To add on to the hot start for the day – it was snowing fairly heavily. I needed a 8 mile hike for my weekly training mileage and I brought Aria with me in hopes to tiring her out a bit. LOL – this dog has endless energy.
After putting some air into my tires, I found Mule Creek as the closest hike nearby that would give me most of the miles I needed while not being above treeline. The hike itself was really uneventful and the snow did not let up the entire time we were outside. Aria loved it but I was less than thrilled about a soaking wet dog and body. When we reached the cabin at the end – I was envisioning a cool spot you could walk inside and check out. I was really hoping for a spot to get out of the snow for a bit. No dice. The cabin was really just a pile of logs with some metal trash mixed in.
Overall, Mule Creek will not be a repeat hike for me but it’s an okay spot if you are looking for a more secluded hike that is very easy for hikers of all levels.