“Steep climbing along a Precambrian mesa with a historic scramble to the top of an ancient dune.
— Andrew Walters
Views · Wildlife
Head out on this out-and-back hike for a condensed Colorado National Monument experience featuring arid prairie, mesa switchbacks, and big-sky views of the surrounding valleys and canyons.
From the Wildwood Trailhead, hike towards the towering red cliffs along smooth, sandy singletrack. When you reach the Corkscrew Trail
junction, stay right and climb through the boulder-strewn wash and follow the trail up the backside of the Precambrian mesa.
At the top of the first climb, you'll reach the Ute Canyon Trail
junction. Go right up the beautiful red dirt trail until the grade steepens and you pick your way through the seemingly impossible cliff above.
When you top out on the first cliff, you can either continue on the Upper Liberty Cap Trail
to reach Rim Rock Drive trailhead or go left to the summit of Liberty Cap
(an ancient sand dune).
To get to the top, traverse to the left side of the obvious summit, across a small groove and around the left side where you'll find carved steps and some metal poles that have been anchored in the rock. Scramble up top and enjoy the view across the valley and into Ute Canyon below.