“Starting from a less-crowded lot, this offers rougher terrain and easy climbing access. Great views of downtown Golden.”
— Cam Morton
This is a short loop with some steep sections to get a workout in, but some flat sections up top to enjoy the views. The ascent goes by numerous top rope climbing and bouldering opportunities. The trail connects to other trails within the North Table Mountain trail network for easy access to longer loops if desired. The trailhead/parking lot is minutes from downtown Golden. The top of the mesa offers great views of Golden as well as Denver in the background.
Need to Know
Free parking and an overflow lot is connected as well. Be mindful of rattlesnakes in the warmer months.
From the parking lot, head northeast up the trail. It begins pretty steep but levels out once the climbing area is reached. From there, you steadily circumnavigate the mesa until it levels off completely at the top.
Once you meet the North Table Mountain Trail on top of the mesa, you want to take a right at the North Table Loop sign (to follow the Golden Cliffs Trail
). It will eventually take you back around to the trail you came up. Alternatively you could remain left and do the North Table Loop which adds several miles of relatively flat terrain.
Around this side loop you should have nice distant views of the the downtown Denver high rise buildings. Be mindful of the agave and prickly pear cacti along the trail. Eventually, you'll meet a rocky staircase on the Golden Cliffs Trail
which takes you down to the climbing access trail you used to get up the mesa. Take in the up-close view of Golden (and the massive Coors Brewery directly in sight) before descending back to your car along the same trail you came up.
Flora & Fauna
Agave, prickly pear cacti.