|Elevation gain||604 ft|
|My Time||1 hr 28 min|
North Table Mountain
North Table Mountain is one of two large mesa’s that tower over Golden, Colorado. Together they look like giant entry gates into the city split down the middle by highway 56. I did South Table Mountain a few weeks before this if you are interested.
North Table Loop
There is really no way to get around having to climb to the top of Table Mountain to complete this hike so I decided to do it right off the bat. If you take the loop counter-clockwise it will take you almost immediately up the hill.
The first hill is by far the most challenging part of the entire hike. While I saw people running past me I was stuck with a very slow and deliberate walk up the incline. The incline it’s self is a consistent 18-23% grade and you will have an elevation gain of 400 feet in a half mile. The whole time with the mountain looking down at you almost challenging you to make the trek.
When you do make it up to the top of the trail it does get much easier. Immediately at the top of the trail is another smaller hill to your right that will take you to some climbing areas that I never found. This has a rock staircase to get to the top and it does provide the best views of the area so I would recommend at least part of the way if you can.
There is also one more interesting feature at the top of this smaller hill. It looks like there might have been some mining done or just a giant hole but there is this large area with a flat rock wall on the outer side and big pit in the middle. I found it fascinating for some reason.
After this small trip up to the hill it is back to the main mesa. There are a couple ways around the mesa, with a long loop that takes you to the east side or a smaller loop, Tilting Mesa, that takes you through the center of the mesa and back down the hill.
Tilting Mesa Loop
I decided to take the shorter loop as I was a bit worn out from the trek up the hill. The top of the mesa is a very nice easy walk that is mostly flat. It is a nice change from the steep hill to get here. The mesa is flat and pretty desolate with some grasses and a communication tower. That is about it.
There are some decent views of the surrounding mountains from the top of the mesa which is nice. What is not nice is that you are completely exposed to the elements. It was sunny and windy on the day I went so I was between melting and freezing the entire time. The walk around the mesa will go just over a mile before you start your descent.
The descent on the north side is pretty long and winding and may be an easier way to get to the top of the mesa if you are worried about the elevation gain of that first hill. The north side hill is over a mile to get you down the parking lot level so it makes it easier.
I did get to see this lone prairie dog on the top of the mesa. I zoomed in as far as I could with my phone so didn’t get a great picture but enjoy.
Elevation and Distance
If you don’t have the AllTrails app you might want to check it out, I really love mine. It records your progress and is a great way to search for hikes that are nearby and gives you difficulty measurements. According to AllTrails today’s hike was around 3.64 miles and had a total elevation gain of about 604 feet including undulations. That put the high point at around 6,527 feet. I was also moving for a total of 1 hour and 28 minutes.
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This hike was really hard at the start while climbing the hill to the top of the mountain but then became a wonderful easy hike around the top of a flat mesa. I had some issues with my Fitbit recording so I don’t have a step count for this hike.
The trails on North Table Mountain are very well defined. The trip up to the top of the mountain is on a wide service road that is about 10 feet wide and has well graded. On top of the mesa the trails are wide enough to go two wide and are well defined.
North Table Mountain Park is part of the Jefferson County Open Space system. I parked and hiked from the West trailhead location. There is parking for about 30 cars and restrooms at the trailhead. They actually have flushing toilets and running water! The west trailhead is located at 4788 CO-93, Golden, CO 80403.
Wrap up of North Table Mountain
North Table Mountain was a nice hike on a mild winter day. The first hill is a bit of a challenge and a good workout but the top of the mountain is a nice leisurely walk through some flat grassland. The hike is extremely exposed so keep that in mind before you visit. Overall I am going to rank this as moderate as the first hill can be a challenge but a nice otherwise. Watch out for bikers as they are a plenty at this park.
I have added this hike and all of my hikes to my interactive map page that you can find here. If you have a suggestion or comment you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on any of the below social media platforms. Happy Hiking!