Mule Deer MeadowDate: 6/8/2014
Miles: 1 mile round trip
TrailHead GPS Coordinates: 38° 13.025’N , 107° 43.808’W
Maps: Ridgway Trail Map, RidgwayDutchCharlieMap, RidgwayPaCoChuPukMap
Park Website: Ridgway State Park
View Mule Deer Meadow in a larger map
The Mule Deer Meadow trail is located within the Ridgway State Park located about 22 miles south of Montrose Colorado. The trail is located within the Dutch Charlie section of the park. I started the trail at the trailhead located in the Loop “C” section of the campground and ended it at the visitors’ center.
To access the park from Grand Junction Colorado you need to travel south on US-50 for approximately 60 miles until you reach Montrose. Once in Montrose US-50 turns into US-550 south. Continue straight through Montrose for another 22 miles or so until you come to Ridgway Reservoir. Take the second entrance which is the Dutch Charlie and Visitors Center entrance.
The trail begins by following along the border of the park as it gently ascends the slight rise and travels fairly straight in a southerly direction. The beginning of the trail offers some great views of Courthouse Mountain and Chimney Rock both of which are part of the Cimmaron Range.
The trail continues along as it enters a few trees and passes the grouping of yurts that are available to rent for the night and eventually comes out at a meadow area and the entrance road to the park. You can either turn around here or cross the road and go check out the visitors center.
We headed over to the visitors center but they were closed by that time so we followed a short trail down to a fabulous overlook that offers fantastic views of the reservoir and the San Juan Mountains.
This is a short and easy trail that is perfect for an evening stroll after dinner or a good way to wake up early in the morning. There’s a possibility to see a variety of wildlife including deer, elk, bobcat, mountain lion, and bear, not to mention all the variety of birds that frequent the area. Just remember if you bring your pooch they require them to be on a leash within the park.