The North Table Mountain Loop provides an excellent linkup of the area's best singletrack with very little repeat sections and only a short section of doubletrack.
North Table Mountain (NTM) is a great place for the cooler months. The summer can be a little tough, and an early or very late start is necessary. However, in the winter months NTM is a great time - most sections are usually clear of snow except for the northern half of the North Table Loop
trail. After a recent snow or a heavy rain the mesa top trails can take a while to dry.
The neighborhood access trail is a gem of a start to the North Table Mountain Loop. Parking can be somewhat of a challenge at the trailhead, however, starting in downtown Golden only adds a few flat miles and provides food and beer options upon return to your car:)
The easy to follow trail takes you along a few switchbacks and steeply climbs to the North Table Loop
trail junction. At the junction, go north along the North Table Loop
trail for a short gradual climb before turning onto the Cottonwood
Canyon Trail, which provides the final climb out of the drainage before being rewarded with your first look at the vast mesa-top views. The trail continues winding atop the mostly flat mesa before the Mesa Top
Trail junction. At the junction, go west along the Mesa Top
trail briefly before heading north on the Rim Rock
When not closed, the Rim Rock
Trail provides a perfect extension to the North Table Mountain Loop. A rather flat approach leads to the northern rim of the mesa before looping back to the Mesa Top
Trail via a fast and non-technical downhill section. After crossing a bridge, you come to the Mesa Top
Trail junction and head back west. Turn onto the Tilting Mesa Trail
, which is the only doubletrack you encounter on the North Table Mountain Loop. Its main purpose is to take you to the southern portion of the North Table Loop
Trail and the area's longest section of downhill. The views along the trail are very unique and usually offer many chances to see herds of mule deer.
When the trail intersects with the North Table Loop
Trail, head south. Here is where the best downhill sections begin. You'll head back east, descending down through another of north table mountain's drainages. This is the steepest and fastest downhill section. A short climb along the mesa's basalt cliffs leads to another steep downhill section. Upon the conclusion of the descent you pass the Neighborhood Access Trail
used earlier to start the loop. Another quick repeat section, before turning right to stay on the North Table Loop
trail. Enjoy a third and final downhill with several tight switchbacks before the Lithic Trail
junction and the exit point of the loop.
The Lithic trail is a very short trail acting as an eastern access point to the park's main trails. After several switchbacks you come to an irrigation canal, the trail crosses the canal and then heads south along the canal before exiting onto Easley Road. Parking here is an option or continue south along the road for 0.4 mile turning right onto Ridge Road putting you back at the Neighborhood Access Trail