Mueller State Park offers grand vista viewing of several mountain ranges, a site to behold.
Article and photos by Michelle Post
Colorado has 42 state parks, and Mueller State Park in Divide claims the title of the second most visited park in the state. Only 45 minutes west of Colorado Springs, visitors can take Hwy 24 from Colorado Springs through Woodland Park to Divide and take a left on Hwy 67 for 3.5 miles to arrive at Mueller State Park.
Mueller encompasses 5,121 acres. It lies on the western foothills of Pikes Peak, and its history is as colorful as its forest. From the Ute Indians to homesteaders, ranchers, farmers, miners, and even moonshiners, it has been home to as many as 50,000 in the 1900s when gold was discovered. It was designated a state park in 1988 after the land was purchased from the W. E. Mueller family.
The park is breathtaking in every season. Summer offers incredible hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, picnicking and fishing. During the winter months, one can enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and sledding. Mueller also offers tent camping, RV pull throughs, cabin rentals (book early, cabins go fast) and hunting when in-season.
Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall, Mueller State Park provides many opportunities to leave the stress of the week behind as you travel on its serene paths.
Forty-four miles of trails lead visitors to breath-taking rock outcrops and wooded paths meander to beautiful ponds. Dogs are not allowed on the trails, and this is due to the park’s year-round residents, including mule deer, elk, black bears, mountain lions, birds of prey and other small game. However, Mueller is now running a trial period for dogs on designated trails and will review the data to decide if this will become a permanent possibility.
Mueller offers both amateur and professional photographers stunning vistas of 10 mountain ranges, beautiful color palettes year-round and a popular wildlife viewing area. There is still one more thing you must experience on your visit to Mueller State Park, and that is the Hungry Bear Restaurant (www.hungrybearcolorado.com) in Woodland Park. The restaurant fills you not only with awesome food, but it also entertains you with walls and shelves of bear photos, bear sayings, stuffed bears and more. The staff is awesome, and the coffee is great. Make Mueller State Park your next day trippin’ destination.
To learn more about Mueller State Park or other parks in Colorado, visit www.cpw.state.co.us.