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Sleeping Elk Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.7 (11)

A steep trail to access Golden's distinctive Castle Rock from just east of downtown.


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Map Key

0.7

Miles

1.1

KM

Point to Point

6,249' 1,905 m

High

5,828' 1,776 m

Low

423' 129 m

Up

2' 1 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Description

From Golden's eastern neighborhood, park on the street and walk up switchbacks and an unrelenting grade for a speedy ascent of Golden's signature rock formation, the Castle Rock (not to be confused with the town) and its expansive views.

The trailhead starts at 18th and Belvedere. Most of the trail is hard packed earth with a some rocks embedded in the trail. There is one small (10ft?) but steep and rocky section that you may need to use both hands and feet to scramble up it.

Pay attention to winds before heading up, this can be an extremely windy trail especially in the aforementioned steep and rocky section. It can act like a wind tunnel.

Most of this trail is exposed to the southeast without a lot of tall foliage. It does not provide much relief in the summer. It does dry out pretty quickly after a snow or rain.

There are several social trails that cross the main trail and there is no signage. Pay attention to where you want to go stay on the trails that look well maintained.

Contacts

Shared By:

JM Addleman with improvements by Nancy Snyder

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 11 votes

#10270

Overall
  3.7 from 11 votes
5 Star
9%
4 Star
55%
3 Star
36%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#906

in Colorado

#10,270

Overall
29 Views Last Month
3,217 Since May 30, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

8%
0%
42%
17%
33%
0%

Photos

Golden's South Table Mountain and Castle Rock from the head of the Sleeping Elk Trail
May 21, 2015 near Golden, CO
Peak of South Table Mountain Park Overlooking the city of Golden, CO
Oct 7, 2016 near Golden, CO

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Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 42 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Dec 31, 2020
Olivia Zindel
We saw it from our hotel in Golden and decided to hike it. I like being able to look at it and think "Yeah we just hiked that!" — 2h 00m
Apr 26, 2020
Andrew Truske
1.4mi — 2h 30m
Apr 3, 2020
Matt Kohn
Mar 15, 2020
Matt Culpepper
Loop with Golden Summit Trail 0.8mi
Jan 8, 2020
Nancy Snyder
Most of the trail is dry. There were two very small patches of ice that you can easily walk around. There was a small damp area, but no real mud.
Sep 29, 2019
Mick Kinney
Apr 1, 2019
Ryan Berger
Sep 26, 2018
Joe W
hiked down from Golden Summit 0.7mi