Golden Cliffs Loop

Climb to the panoramic top of North Table Mountain near Golden.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
2.8 km
Ascent
189 m
Descent
189 m
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
11˚
VIEW ON MAP
Golden Cliffs Loop Map

Description

North Table Mountain is one of two prominent mesas between Denver and Golden (its counterpart is South Table Mountain). They are the eroded remnants of large lava flows, evidenced by vertical basalt cliffs making the sides of the mesa. On top is an island of nature in the city, where wildflowers pop in early summer, and mule deer graze open grasslands. Trails crisscross a broad, mostly flat summit and grant views over the metro area, plus mountains and plains beyond.

Many of the trails get crowded with mountain bikers, but the Golden Cliffs Loop is a hiker-only route that samples some of the best scenery on North Table Mountain. The Golden Cliffs are a stark crag in the basalt rim, and they’re popular for rock climbing. You will probably see climbers on the walls, especially on chilly days when the sun warms the south-facing rock.

On the hike, an initially steep and rocky climb will get your heart beating and your legs warm, but the mellow section on top will let you relax and take in the panorama. One side of the loop is atop the mesa, above the cliffs, and the other side traverses beneath them. You can complete the loop in either direction. Note that this trail gets very hot in warm months and shade is scarce. Come prepared with water and sun protection.

Sources: https://www.visitgolden.com/listing/golden-cliffs-at-north-table-mountain-trail/4032/ https://www.jeffco.us/DocumentCenter/View/9380/North-Table-Mountain-Park-Map

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area