Home Uncategorised South Table Mountain is a very special place to trail run

South Table Mountain is a very special place to trail run


Editor’s note: This is a portion of The Know’s new series, Staff Favorites. Each week, we’ll provide our opinions on how Colorado has to offer for dining, shopping, entertainment, outdoor activities and more. (We’ll also let you in on some hidden jewels ). Find our prior Staff Favorites .

I’ve had several favorite Front Range areas to run over time, including a 5-mile time trial I had was used to perform on the steep roads of Red Rocks Park (it includes a jog up the steps of the amphitheatre on the previous mile) in addition to a demanding but rewarding path conducted at Matthews/Winters Park (it provides breathtaking views, particularly at sunset).

But my present favorite spot for conducting will be South Table Mountain on the eastern border of Golden. It has great views and overlooks, with a wonderful selection of paths, and it’s generally far less crowded compared to its counterpart on the opposing side of Clear Creek, North Table Mountain. Both are Jefferson County Open Space Parks.

The geology of South Table and also North Table is intriguing. The rugged top of both mesas was deposited by means of a volcano that erupted close to the present website of Ralston Reservoir 64 million decades ago. Some of those paths on South Table reflect its ancestral roots: Lava Loop, Dome Flow and Basalt Cap.

North Table is a excellent place to run, too, but finding a parking space there, particularly on weekends, may be a nightmare. And now there ’s generally a lot of  visitors on its own paths: runners, hikers and mountain bikers.

And before I go farther, no discussion about these mesas should dismiss the fact that they are rattlesnake habitat. While I’ve never felt unsafe there, take note and observe the trail carefully.

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South Table stretches approximately 3 kilometers around, by the western border that looms over Golden into the eastern border at Applewood. You’ll find multiple climbs to reach top.  I normally park at the Golden Hills access point on the south side of the mesa. From that point, the trail climbs about 170 feet over 0.8 mile, where the mountain levels off. For an extra challenge, try out the western end. That’so approximately a 480-foot climb over roughly 2.5 miles from the trailhead into the signature rock ramparts that preside over Golden, including aptly called Castle Rock. The view from Castle Rock is magnificent.

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But I also love the miss on the eastern border of the mesa, which looks down on Applewood, Wheat Ridge, Arvada and the skyline of downtown Denver at the space. A rock outcrop there is called Carl’s Point in honor of Carl Eiberger, an attorney who given job for decades to prevent South Table from turning into a rock quarry.

Another terrific trail up there is the Lava Loop, which is now below a seasonal closed as it is nesting season for golden eagles that live in deserts on the mesa’s northern border. When that trail is available, the views toward North Table and Clear Creek below are awe-inspiring.

My favorite time to run South Table is at the hour or two before sunset, when the sun is dipping toward Lookout Mountain and shadows are lengthening around the mesa top and also the surrounding landscape. There are fewer people on the paths and you can feel lonely — OK, almost alone — at a very special location.

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