One-way Distance: 0.5 miles
MTB Skill level:
Elevation: 6900 - 7025 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 30 mins.
Trailhead: Visitor Center
Attractions: Easy connector
The Mule Deer Meadow trail is in the Dutch Charlie area of Ridgway State Park about 6 miles north of the town of Ridgway, Colorado. The half mile long trail makes a connection between the Visitor Center and the various loops in the Dakota Terraces Campground. Dakota Terraces is the only campground in the park that offers RV parking year round. Each site includes electrical hookups, a table and a charcoal grill. With the swim beach and marina within walking distance the Dakota Terraces campground is very popular with many of the parks overnight visitors.
This post begins at the Visitor Center which is just inside the park across from the fee station.
The trail begins at the east end of the parking area across the entrance road.
Like most of the other trails in the park the Mule Deer Meadow trail is a wide graveled path.
After an easy stroll across the meadow and through a sparse forest of pinyon and juniper trees a short connector to Loop A branches off on the left.
As the trail continues it passes several yurts that are available for renting.
From the yurts the trail continues along a pleasant route to Loop C.
A kiosk beside the trail explains the wetlands that were constructed to treat the wastewater that comes from the park.
The trail comes to an end near a restroom in Loop C of the campground. The next closest trail to this point is the Porcupine Patch trail which is just around Loop C a short distance. The Porcupine Patch trail leads down to the Mears Bay paved path where you can get to the swim beach and marina. Whether you see any deer while hiking the Mule Deer Meadow trail will depend upon the time of the day and whether they happen to be hanging out in the area. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.