November 2, 2017
Trail(s): North Table Loop, Tablerock Trail, Mesa Top Trail, Tilting Mesa Trail
Location: North Table Mountain
Distance: 5.3 miles roundtrip
Today I drove to Golden to hike at North Table Mountain Park, part of Jeffco Open Space. Cottonwood Canyon Trail on the Southeast side of the park was closed due to rattlesnake activity, so I started at the West Trailhead and stuck to the west and north sections of the park.
I began on an easy section of North Table Loop and headed north through dormant grasses as I passed housing developments and an industrial park to the left that didn’t provide a terribly exciting view in my opinion. I basically followed the outer edge of the park on this trail and Tablerock Trail for 2.5 miles until I reached the east side of the park where I turned into its center on Mesa Top Trail.
Mesa Top Trail is aptly named as I gained 400 feet in half a mile as I climbed to the top of the mesa. To my surprise, I came across a small water fall at the top and then carried on along the flat dirt surface to small pond, a paradise for the ducks which floated across the tranquil water beneath the now sunny sky.
I began the hike beneath overcast skies and in cooler than expected temperatures, so I welcomed the sun as I crossed the grasslands on Tilting Mesa Trail before I began my descent down a steep section of North Table Loop that mostly followed a gravel or asphalt road (also somewhat unappealing).
While I enjoyed the middle section of the park, the outer section was not deep enough into nature for me. Regardless, it was good to get out, explore, and get a five-mile hike under my belt (more fun than going to the gym). ETB
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