This week's Adventure of the Week - North Table Mountain
5/11/13 – Jefferson County Open Space has put a TON of effort into the trails at North Table Mountain in the last couple of years. From below, North Table Mountain doesn’t look all that impressive – indeed, from the trailhead you can’t see the full extent of the large mesa that hovers over Golden and Denver. Right now, North Table Mountain is greening up and there are even small creeks flowing! Get out there soon before the heat of the summer kicks in. Pretty soon there will likely even be wildflowers up top.
The complete North Table Loop was completed just this last December/January. The project has been in the works for a couple of years. Other recent improvements have been an extension of the Rim Rock Trail from the high point south to meet the Mesa Top Trail, the creation of the Cottonwood Canyon Trail (awesome!), re-routing of the Mesa Top Trail to eliminate double-track, and several other new spur trails that lead down to neighborhoods and small trailheads on the south and east sides. Currently, construction is under way on the Lichen Peak Trail, which will be only open to hikers (no bikes).
I love to hike, trail run, and mountain bike at North Table Mountain. From the North Table Mountain Trailhead (see directions below), I like to get the climbing done with right off the bat so I climb the steep double-track trail just east of the trailhead to the top of the mesa. From here, the North Table Loop in the counterclockwise direction is stellar. You’ll do some descending down canyons, traversing across green, rocky slopes (although the trail is not rocky), and some moderate climbs back to the top. The Cottonwood Canyon Trail is awesome, too. If you are looking for a short, moderate hike, I’d recommend starting on the southeast/east sides along Easley Road. However, since these trails are so new I have not yet explored these trailheads and do not know if they are official trailheads (make sure to read all signs).
How to get there: The main trailhead in the area located just off of HWY 93 in Golden. Take HWY 93 for 1.1 mi north of HWY 93/Washington Ave. or take HWY 93 south for 1.4 mi from the HWY 93/W. 58th Ave. intersection.
I’d say just get out there and explore the trails! Note that the Rim Rock Trail is currently closed due to wildlife closures but there are plenty of other trails to explore.
For more Colorado trails, check out the Colorado Adventure Guide (www.jaggedmountainpublishing.com). Have fun! – Charlie