Hiking the Horseshoe and Mule Deer trails in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Copyright © Brian Dearth. Image used under Creative Commons 2.0 License.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park is located northwest of Golden, Colorado. The 11,998-acre Front Range park was established in 1960 has 36 miles of hiking trails.  Wetland and riparian plant communities are found along Ralson, Nott and Deer creeks and small ponds within the park.  Ponderosa pine, rocky mountain juniper, douglas fir and aspen are found in forested areas.  Commonly seen wildlife includes mule deer, elk, black bear, mountain lion, Abert’s squirrel and pine squirrel.  Common birds include turkey vulture, steller’s jay, clark’s nutcracker, mountain bluebird and mountain chickadee.  (Source: Wikipedia, Image: Brian Dearth)

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