Mueller State Park

Biking, hiking, skiing and horseback riding are on the list of popular activities along the trails of this vast park.

Rocky terrain, pine forests and meadows make up the diverse landscape of Mueller State Park. There are more than 5,000 acres (2,023 hectares) of wilderness and they support a wide range of all-year-round activities. Here you can hike through the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, fish in three large ponds and ski or snowshoe across the terrain.

There are 55 miles (89 kilometers) of hiking trails that cut through the state park’s landscape. For a short, easy trail for the whole family, walk through a forest to the Grouse Mountain Overlook or stroll through a valley of wildflowers on the Lost Pond Trail. If you are looking for something more energetic, there are several challenging day-hikes. Some of the trails are designated for mountain biking and horseback riding.

As you make your way through the park, admire breathtaking scenery that is often accompanied by snow-capped mountains. The area is also renowned for its wildlife viewing. There are black bears, hawks, elks and mule deer to name but a few animal species. With grasslands, forests and meadows, there are plenty places to photograph a large variety of animals. Anglers can fish in three ponds that are stocked with trout. When you arrive at the visitor center, pick up a wildlife and bird checklist.

When the snow falls, there is still lots to do in the park. Go tubing and sledding across five hills. Snap on your snow shoes or skis and traverse the numerous ski trails. There are also routes for advanced skiers.

The park is open daily from early in the morning until late in the evening. The office is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. No matter what time of year you visit, stay overnight in the forest campground. Wood cabins are also available.

There is a small per vehicle fee for entrance into the park and camping rates are slightly cheaper in the winter.

You can find Mueller State Park 30 miles (48 kilometers) to the west of Colorado Springs. The scenic drive from the city past a mountainous landscape takes about 45 minutes.