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Fossil Trail -> Lava Loop



One of the longer hikes on South Table Mountain.

Hiking Moderate

6.7 km
118 m
118 m
1-2 hrs
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
1.9 km
Fossil Trail -> Lava Loop Map

South Table Mountain Park is one of the most easily-accessible open spaces from downtown Golden. The park "combines panoramic mesa-top views, habitat for cliff-nesting raptors and proximity for many visitors to enjoy hikes, runs and rides," according to Jefferson County Open Space.


For a lengthier hike in this beautiful open space area, consider linking the Fossil Trail to the Lava Loop Trail for a 4-mile hike with about 400 feet of elevation gain.

The Fossil Trail winds slowly up onto the flat-topped mesa before meeting the Lava Loop. Lava Loop winds along the mesa before heading out toward the edge of the cliff, providing great views of downtown Denver in the distance.

Note: The Lava Loop portion of this hike is seasonally closed from February 1 through July 31 to protect raptor nesting territory and ground-nesting bird habitat. However, you can choose to hike an out-and-back on the Fossil Trail during that time period instead.

Sources: https://www.jeffco.us/1430/South-Table-Mountain-Park



Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

between August and November


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area