'First Day Hikes', peaceful silence await visitors to Mueller State Park in January

Outdoors - Colorado Parks Wildlife Mountains Baca National Wildlife Refuge - USFWS
Published Wednesday, December 29, 2021
by Linda Groat, Colorado Parks and Wildlife Program Coordinator

Naturalist-led hikes amid the peaceful silence of snowy woods makes January a great time to explore Mueller State Park.

Watch for signs of wildlife and learn their different tracks, see the hardiest of birds searching for food in the trees, feel the brisk air on your face as you hike, sled, snowshoe, or cross-country ski at Mueller.

Start the month, and the new year, by joining a traditional Colorado Parks and Wildlife "First Day Hike" on New Year's Day. Two hikes will be offered at Mueller.

Don't forget to dress for the weather. Hiking at Mueller in winter can bring a wide range of temperatures and snow depths at 9,600 feet altitude. 

Unsure if there is not enough snow to sled on? Check the website or call ahead for snow conditions 719-687-2366. 

The campground is still open or stay in one of the luxurious cabins.

Here is a full list of Mueller State Park events in January:

Saturday, January 1

  • Happy New Year. First Day Hikes
  • CPW hosts traditional "First Day Hikes on New Year's Day.
  • Bring water, snacks, and dress for snow.
  • Hike: Elk Meadow to Murphy's Cut
  • 9 a.m. Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
  • Enjoy a favorite trail through forest and meadow on gentle hills to the site where the historic Midland Railroad went through the park. Led by Volunteer Naturalist Cindi, take a 4-mile hike, which can be reduced to 2 miles if the weather turns bad. Dress in layers and bring water and snacks.
  • Hike: Preacher's Hollow
  • 11 a.m. Meet at the Preacher's Hollow Trailhead
  • Explore nature in winter on a 2-mile hike through the woods with Volunteer Naturalist Hannah.

Sunday, January 2

  • Forest Bathing Walk
  • Noon-2:30 p.m.  Meet at Outlook Ridge Trailhead
  • Let the natural world welcome you into the New Year and unwind into the wonder and healing nature offers through the wellness practice of Forest Bathing/Shinrin-Yoku. Join Forest Therapy Guide Jane of Above the Clouds Forest Bathing for this relaxing 1-mile wander on a secluded ridge with mindful prompts to explore a small area in a personal way. We'll close with forest tea. Bring a sit pad/stool if you have one, water, snacks and dress for the weather (waterproof pants suggested). Ages 13 and up. Maximum 12. Pre-registration requested through the Visitors Center 719-687-2366.

Friday, January 7

  • Hike: Outlook Ridge Loop
  • 9 a.m. Meet at Outlook Ridge trailhead
  • Explore the trails through Outlook Ridge to Geer Pond, up to trail 13 and then back on Revenuer's Ridge. 4-miles with Volunteer Cindi. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended

Saturday, January 8

  • Hike: School Pond and Stoner Mill
  • 9:15 a.m. Meet at Preacher's Hollow Trailhead
  • Enjoy the quiet winter woods on this 3.5-mile hike with Volunteer Nancy. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended.
  • Hug-a-Tree
  • 2 p.m. Meet at the Visitor Center
  • Basic survival in the woods for kids. Fast-moving and go home with some survival items.  Ages 5 and up. Led by Volunteer Rusty.

Friday, January 14

  • Hike: Cahill Cabin and Cahill Pond
  • 9 a.m. Meet at Camper Services Parking lot
  • This hike is a loop to the historic Cahill Cabin and Cahill Pond under a beautiful view of Pikes Peak. 4-miles led by Volunteer Cindi. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended.

Saturday, January 15

  • Hike: Elk Meadow
  • 9 a.m.  Meet at Elk Meadow trailhead
  • Beautiful views of Pikes Peak on this 2-mile hike.  Led by Volunteer Rose. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended.
  • Hike: Livery Trail and Revenuer's Ridge
  • 9:15 a.m. Meet at Outlook Ridge Trailhead
  • Hike the new equestrian trail down to School Pond trailhead then Revenuer's Ridge back to the trailhead.  Approx. 2-3 miles. Led by Volunteer Nancy. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended
  • Hike: Grouse Mountain
  • Noon meet at Camper Services parking area
  • Hike through the closed and quiet campground, then up to the highest point in the park. Great view. Led by Volunteer Hannah, 2-miles.

Friday, January 21

  • Hike: Elk Meadow to Murphy's Cut
  • 9 a.m. Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
  • Enjoy a favorite trail through forest and meadow on gentle hills to the site where the historic Midland Railroad went through the park. Led by Volunteer Naturalist Cindi, expect a 4-mile hike. Dress in layers and bring water and snacks.

Saturday, January 22

  • Hike: Rock Pond
  • 9 a.m. Meet at the Visitor Center
  • Join Volunteer Rose on a trip down through the montane forest to a lush canyon and scenic pond. A favorite trail at Mueller. This is a moderate to steep 5-mile hike, 700-feet elevation change. Bring water and a snack. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended.
  • Hike: Cahill Cabin and Cahill Pond
  • 9:15 a.m. Meet at Camper Services Parking lot
  • This hike is a loop to the historic Cahill Cabin and Cahill Pond under a beautiful view of Pikes Peak. Return on Buffalo Rock trail on a 4-mile hike led by Volunteer Nancy. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended.
  • Hike: Elk Meadow
  • Noon Meet at Elk Meadow Trailhead
  • Enjoy a favorite trail through forest and meadow on gentle hills. Led by Volunteer Hannah. 2-mile hike. Dress in layers and bring water and snacks.
  • Animal Antifreeze
  • 2 p.m. Meet on the Visitor Center patio
  • Discover how animals survive all winter outside. Led by Volunteer Naturalist Rusty.

Friday, January 28

  • Hike: Outlook Ridge Loop
  • 9 a.m. Meet at Outlook Ridge trailhead
  • Explore the trails through Outlook Ridge to Geer Pond, up to trail 13 and then back on Revenuer's Ridge on a 4-mile hike with Volunteer Cindi. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended.

Saturday, January 29

  • Hike: School Pond and Stoner Mill
  • 9:15 a.m. Meet at Preacher's Hollow Trailhead
  • Enjoy the quiet winter woods on this 3.5-mile hike with Volunteer Nancy. Spikes or snowshoes are recommended.

Mueller events are free for any guest with a $9 day pass or $80 annual vehicle park pass.

For more information, call the park at 719-687-2366.

Mueller State Park is located 45 minutes from Colorado Springs along Colorado Highway 67, just 31/2 miles south of the intersection of U.S. Highway 24 at Divide on the west side of Pikes Peak.

KiowaCountyPress.net may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase products or services through links in an article. Prices, when displayed, are accurate at the time of publication but may change over time. Commissions do not influence editorial independence.

The Kiowa County Press is an independent newspaper published in Eads, Kiowa County, Colorado, and to the world at KiowaCountyPress.net.