Burro Trail to Windy Peak, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado

Burro Trail to Windy Peak - 6.35 miles

Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Aspen stands along the Burro Trail

Aspen stands along the Burro Trail

Round-Trip Length: 6.35 miles (includes side trip to Windy Peak)
Start-End Elevation: 7,830' - 9,132' (9,132' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +1,302' net elevation gain (+1,825' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Moderate
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Burro Trail to Windy Peak - 6.35 Miles Round-Trip

Golden Gate Canyon State Park supports over 35 miles of multi-use trails across 12,000 acres ranging from 7,600' to 10,400'. The Burro Trail circles the southeast flank of Windy Peak in the northeast corner of the Park. Visitors will enjoy good views across numerous valleys, meadows and distant mountain ranges, varied terrain and good wildlife viewing throughout.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The Burro Trail - a lollipop loop - makes several connections with other trails, including a short spur to Windy Peak. Though well marked, take advantage of free maps from the Visitor Center to guide you through these intersections and remain on course.

The following description begins from the third and easternmost parking lot for the Bridge Creek Trailhead, located 2.45 miles east of the Visitor Center:

From the 3rd parking lot and trailhead, cross Bridge Creek and begin a winding NW climb through well-spaced ponderosa, fir and aspen. You'll reach the first Mountain Lion Trail connection in .7 miles and bear left to a 2nd just steps away (.77 miles : 8,127'). Veer right to stay on the Burro Trail.

The trail soon crests and drops steeply through dense lodgepole to Nott Creek, where it levels and crosses an aspen-studded corridor to the beginning of the Burro Trail Loop (1.1 miles : 7,932'). The following description travels clockwise:

The Burro Trail heads NW and climbs steeply across sparsely treed slopes. It levels briefly at 1.65 miles (8,320') before resuming a strenuous pace through intervals of mixed forest and open hillsides.

The trail enters a thick lodgepole forest (2.15 miles : 8,618') and eases on moderate undulations to the Windy Peak access spur (2.45 miles : 8,667'). Bear left for a moderately steep, rocky climb to the summit. You'll pass another connection for the Mountain Lion Trail (2.7 miles : 8,863'), past which no bikes or horses are permitted.

A final twisting push leads to the talus-strewn summit of Windy Peak (3.03 miles : 9,132') with panoramas across several valleys and distant peaks. Retrace your steps back to the main Burro Trail and continue the loop (3.7 miles : 8,667').

The trail bends southeast and drops across rolling hillsides ideal for seeing wildlife. The trail reaches the valley bottom and Deer Creek campground spur (4.65 miles : 8,055'), bends southwest and levels through an expansive meadow. Follow signs carefully across short sections of service roads.

Veer right off the service (4.8 miles : 7,985') and continue on a rolling course to complete the Burro Loop (5.25 miles : 7,932'). Cross Nott Creek, climb one final steep ridge and retrace your steps back to the Bridge Creek Trailhead (6.35 miles : 7,830').

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N39 50.780 W105 22.673 — Bridge Creek Trailhead
  • N39 50.975 W105 22.498 — .7 miles : Mountain Lion Trail junction #1
  • N39 51.006 W105 22.541 — .77 miles : Mountain Lion Trail junction #2
  • N39 51.161 W105 22.227 — 1.1 miles : Begin Burro Trail Loop
  • N39 51.248 W105 22.545 — 1.65 miles : Brief reprieve with good views
  • N39 51.411 W105 22.451 — 2.15 miles : Enter lodgepole forest
  • N39 51.700 W105 22.371 — 2.45 miles : Burro Trail - Windy Peak summit spur
  • N39 51.703 W105 22.804 — 3.03 miles : Windy Peak summit
  • N39 51.700 W105 22.371 — 3.7 miles : Back on Burro Trail Loop
  • N39 51.366 W105 21.741 — 4.65 miles : Deer Creek Campground spur
  • N39 51.263 W105 21.835 — 4.8 miles : Veer of service road, resume trail
  • N39 51.161 W105 22.227 — 5.25 miles : Complete Burro Trail Loop
  • N39 50.780 W105 22.673 — 6.35 miles : Bridge Creek Trailhead

Worth Noting

  • Consider the Mountain Lion Loop Trail for a longer alternative with similar ecological and terrestrial characteristics.

  • Having a map is always a good idea in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. There are many interconnecting trails that, though well marked, can easily cause confusion. Minor distance discrepancies among trail signs and map sources are not uncommon in GGCSP.

Camping and Backpacking Information

    Reverend's Ridge Campground
  • Reverend's Ridge Campground has 97 sites and accommodates trailers, pickup campers, and tents. Facilities include flush toilets, shower and laundry facilities and a dump station. Some facilities are closed during cold weather months. 59 sites have electrical hookups. Each pedestal has 20, 30, and 50 amp capability. Non-electrical sites are $16 per night, $18 per night May 1st- Sept 30th. Electrical sites are $20 per night, $22 per night May 1st- Sept. 30th. A $7 park pass is required for each vehicle. Each site is limited to a maximum of 6 people.

  • The Reverend's Ridge office is located off of Gap Road. The office is open seven days a week from Memorial Day weekend- September 30. 303.642.3856.

  • Aspen Meadows Campground
  • Aspen Meadows Campground has 35 sites for tents only. Facilities include a water pump, vault toilets, and designated campsites with table, fire rings, and tent pads. All sites are $16 per night, $18 per night May 1st- Sept. 30th, plus a $7 park pass for each vehicle. 6 person max at each site. Sites #15 and #16 accommodate horses (call for specific information). This campground closes in mid-October and typically opens mid-May, depending on weather.

  • Backcountry Camping - Shelters
  • There are 4 backcountry shelters at Golden Gate Canyon State Park. These three-sided structures are built in the Appalachian trail-hut style with roofs and wood floors. Each can sleep up to 6 people without a tent. Shelters are $10 per night, $12 per night May 1st- Sept. 30th, plus the $7 vehicle park pass.

  • Backcountry Camping - Tent Sites
  • There are 20 backcountry tent sites open year-round . Backcountry Camping Permits must be obtained at the Visitors Center. Fires are not permitted in the backcountry. 6 person max at each site. Tent sites are $10 per night, $12 per night May 1st- Sept. 30th, plus the $7 vehicle park pass.

Rules and Regulations

  • There is a $7 entry fee to Golden Gate Canyon State Park. You may pay at the Visitor Center or, if closed, use the self-pay station located beside it on Golden Gate Canyon Road. Display payment verification as instructed.

Directions to Trailhead

The Burro Trail is accessed from the Bridge Creek trailhead in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Three parking lots service this trailhead; the third, easternmost parking lot is located at the trailhead itself.

From Golden:
Take Highway 93 north from Golden one mile to Golden Gate Canyon Road. Turn left and continue 13 miles to the Vistor Center. Turn right on Crawford Gulch Road for 2.45 miles to the trailhead and parking lot. If full, park at one of the first two lots and walk back up the road.

Contact Information

Golden Gate Canyon State Park
3873 Highway 46
Golden, CO 80403

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"Burro Trail was well marked and maintained. There were challenging parts, but it was definitely a moderate hike. We didn't hike Windy Peak, so the hike was a little shorter and more mellow. While we were hiking there was a small snow storm (5-10 min), put it passed quickly. I recommend bringing lots of layers as there are a lot of temp. changes, as well as water and snacks. "
Grace  -  Denver CO  -  Date Posted: April 12, 2015
"We hiked Burro Trail on Friday. We went clockwise, up the steep part first. It was a very hot day and we never saw one animal. It was a nice hike; the terrain changed a lot over the course of the trail."
Margo Luhrs  -   -  Date Posted: September 9, 2013
"Beautiful HIke, Great Views. saw a large Bull Snake and a Deer"
Marilyn Barrett  -  Centennial Co  -  Date Posted: June 8, 2012
"Really pleasant hike with great views from the top of Windy Peak. There's a couple steep sections, but they're not too bad for experienced hikers (I went clockwise). Going counter clockwise around the loop would probably be a little easier since the uphill grade would be shallower. Also, make sure you stop and grab a day permit at the main visitor center. I was expecting a self-pay box at the trailhead and ended up having to drive back to the visitor center to get a permit."
 -   -  Date Posted: May 10, 2012


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