Hike South Table Mountain

3.3 Miles Round Trip - 1500 ft gain - Loop Trail

Golden Summit Trail - Search Nearby - Added by Kathleen Morton

You can do this one-hour hike in every season, every temperature and at any time. The best part about this hike is that each time you do it, you'll see something different. Make this hike your own by allowing yourself to be in nature, breathe the mountain air and soak up the Colorado sun.

Want to see a rainbow? Possibly some coyotes or other Colorado wildlife?

This hike is full of twists and turns, mostly involving the trail, but also in surprises along the way.

Drive into downtown Golden (grab some food if you're hungry) and then park at the base of the Golden Summit trail. Starting this hike before 4 pm is ideal (after all, it does start to get dark earlier in the winter), but this hike is also fun at night.

Make sure you're equipped with water (Colorado is known to knock the wind out of you when you're at high elevations). Start your hike up a .6-mile incline to Castle Rock (elevation gain: 1,500 ft.). Some people call Castle Rock, "Table Top," so don't be too confused if someone asks if you're headed that way. This is a well-maintained trail, but it is steep and will eventually boost you from city life atop a mountain with panorama views.

When you arrive at the base of Castle Rock, you'll run into a set up concrete stairs. Some people actually do run these stairs (and if you're looking for an added workout, you can as well). I prefer to take them easy myself and head up to the top. This is the best spot to break for snacks and soak up the view. The elevation of Castle Rock is 6,338 feet and you will probably feel it as you enjoy the beautiful view of Golden, Colorado School of Mines and Denver. If it's one of those Colorado summer days with a stormy sky, you may get lucky and catch a rainbow on the horizon.

Descend the stairs to meet up with South Table Mesa Trail. Head .2 miles until the trail splits. This is where the twists and turns come in. Pick the trail to the right (or the southernmost trail). You'll pass telephone wires, a radio screen and old building materials. I almost always see deer and a few times, I've had coyote spottings.

After walking .5 miles, you'll have another chance to choose your own adventure and fate. If you're looking to continue on the trail loop, head left (or north) for .8 miles until the trail splits again. From this part of the trail, you should be able to look out over Jefferson County and catch a glimpse of Denver again.

Continue on until you reach another trail intersection. Choose the left fork (or west) trail and walk 1.2 miles down Golden Summit trail back down to meet your car. If you skipped the pre-hike snack (good thinking), this is your chance to venture downtown and grab some grub. You've earned it.

Tags

Fitness
Photography
Mountain Biking
Running
Yoga
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Scenic
Wildlife

Details

3.3 Miles
1500 ft elevation gain
Loop Trail

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Central City, Colorado

Denver West / Central City KOA

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Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Beautiful views

Very Fun, easy to do. Muddy in the winter when the snow melts, but beautiful

I visit this spot often, but my favorite time was a night run in the negative temps. It was so cold all the animals were out and moving to stay warm. I saw deer, coyote, owls, and fox. Despite being surrounded by the city, it was so quiet I felt like I was hours from civilization.

Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

"I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town.  The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Arts & culture enthusiasts will be just as fulfilled as the adventure junkie during summer in Aspen.  The events calendar abounds with activities for everyone, from cultural events to athletic pursuits.

Experiencing all Aspen has to offer is as easy as opening the front door. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

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