Mueller State ParkOutlook Ridge, Raven Ridge Overlook, Geer Pond, Lost Pond, and Revenuers Ridge Trails Loop
It was the weekend after our first snow here in Colorado Springs and we were itching to get out and play. After a little bit of researching, we decided to head up into the mountains to Mueller State Park for our first snowy hike. I picked out an easy but scenic loop hike from my book, Best Hikes Near Colorado Springs, while Andy packed us a lunch and some snacks. We got dressed, loaded up the car with nearly every piece of winter gear we own, and off we went.
We didn’t see very much snow on the ground until we turned south from Highway 24 to Highway 67. As we entered Mueller, we knew we came to the right place! Inches upon inches of beautiful, white snow blanketed the ground, waiting for us to charge right in. We carefully drove along the slippery road up to our trailhead at Outlook Ridge.
Andy parked the car and I hopped out and gathered Luke’s trail suit, boots, gloves, and hat out of the bins in the trunk. After a bit of wrestling, Luke was fully dressed and charging into the massive piles of snow around the parking lot. Andy and I leisurely ate as we got dressed and watched our boy happily play in the snow. Sweaters and coats carefully layered and fully zipped, hats, scarves, and gloves on, and gaiters and YakTrax in place, we were ready to go.
We wandered through the trees along Outlook Ridge Trail, stopping to admire the views that occasionally popped through the brief clearings and watching deer scamper down the hill at the sound of our voices. Andy carried Luke on his back as I followed closely behind, entirely mesmerized by the glittering snow and the bare aspen trees that surrounded us.
At last, we made it to our first junction. Andy let Luke loose in the snow and we turned to follow the out-and-back Raven Ridge Overlook Trail for about a quarter mile. We broke through the trees and took in the incredible views of the western slopes of Pikes Peak. Luke locked eyes on some big granite boulders ahead on the trail and spent quite a bit of time scrambling up and jumping off into the pillowy snow below.
We made it back to Outlook Ridge Trail and continued west. The packed snow along the trail gradually became softer and deeper and our pace slowed even more. We decided to skip the second and third out-and-back overlook trails in hopes of making good time around the the remainder of our loop. At the junction of Overlook Ridge and Geer Pond, we stopped for a snack and to let Luke jump off the bench and run around a bit. While we were eating and playing, a park volunteer hiked up behind us and stopped to chat. Volunteer Rose showed Luke how to make a snow angel, told us a bit about the upcoming hikes she would be leading, and then waved goodbye and continued on her way.
We opted to skip the Trail #7 Bypass to tackle the snowy hills on Geer Pond Trail. After trudging up the first steep slope, we came to one section that was completely untouched. It went straight downhill and was covered by a blanket of deep, fresh snow. “Run down the hill, Luke!” we excitedly encouraged. Luke didn’t need to be told twice. He made it halfway down the hill before Andy and I ran down after him, kicking powdery white snow up behind us and squealing like three year olds the entire way down.
Geer Pond eventually joined up with Lost Pond Trail. We felt the temperature drop a bit and decided to pick up the pace a little more to make sure we made it back to our car with plenty of light left. Luke went back up into the carrier on Andy’s back and fell asleep almost immediately. We quietly passed Lost Pond, beautifully frozen under the snow, and continued up the hill towards the junction with our last trail, Revenuers Ridge.
The temperatures continued to drop and we were quickly losing daylight. After a bit of discussion, we decided to cut over to the road for the last quarter mile of the hike. We trudged uphill through the picnic ground at the Lost Pond Trailhead and made it to Waipiti Road. With no more deep snow to trudge through, we flew down the last stretch of our loop to our original trailhead, Outlook Ridge. We met up with Rose once again at the parking lot and chatted away as we pulled out a few more snacks and changed our outer layers and boots. After we’d finished getting changed, we said our goodbyes and headed back home.