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Colorado Trails

Raccoon Trail

Not ready to tackle a 14er (yet)? Try this 2.5-mile gem in Golden Gate State Park.

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\”Golden Gate Canyon\” by bdearth is licensed under CC BY 2.0

With over 12,000 acres and trails of all kinds, Golden Gate Canyon State Park is an oft-overlooked escape from Denver, with an abundance of hiking, biking, fishing and camping. This 2.5-mile loop begins by heading east from the Reverend’s Ridge Visitor Center—follow the double-paw-print Raccoon Trail signs through the parking lot to avoid getting sidetracked toward the campground. The loop splits 0.4 miles in and this route turns left for a short, flat prelude to the 1-mile, 400-foot climb. You’ll cruise through thick pine and aspen trees as you head east, then the trail opens up before turning south toward the loop’s apex—and highlight—at Panorama Point. Take in wide open views of Long’s Peak and the continental divide from the observation platform and rest up before heading downhill.
The loop’s southern half follows the Raccoon Trail down a few rocky switchbacks and traverses the hillside below the park road before turning abruptly north at mile 2.4 to close the loop. For a mellower climb, consider approaching the loop counter clockwise.
-Mapped and photographed by Justin Lesniak

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Permit Park entrance fee Contact Golden Gate Canyon State Park

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