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North Table Mountain - South Loop

Consensus:    (details)
 3.4 from 10 votes
  Intermediate from 1 vote
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Rank: #16 in Denver
#93 in Colorado
#648 Overall
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“North Table Mountain's best loop - the linkup provides the mesa's best singletrack”
Chuck McQuade on Apr 4, 2013
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9.9 Miles 80% Singletrack 1,200’ Ascent -1,202’ Descent 5,681’ Low 6,544’ High
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Restrictions
Critical Bird Nesting Closure March 1 - July 31 (Rim Rock Trail Segment)
Overview
1:28 average ride time for 10.8 miles. Details

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.
Need To Know
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.
Description
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 Trail.

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.
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Forecasting the weather...
Recent Conditions
Dec 9
Frozen and packed. Good until it warms up.
Jul 12
Moist but not muddy. Good traction and no dust!
Jun 3
dry and windy
Add a Condition Report | View All »
COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of North Table Mountain - South Loop
 3.0 from 3 votes
Along side the basalt cliffs, between downhill sections on the south end... (Golden, CO)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Top of Cottonwood Canyon. (Golden, CO)
 3.0 from 3 votes
The final climb up to the top of Table Mountain (Golden, CO)
 2.7 from 3 votes
Cottonwood Canyon Trail Junction (Golden, CO)
 2.7 from 3 votes
Drainage to Mesa Top (Golden, CO)
 2.7 from 3 votes
Lithic trail down to Golden Bike Park and neighborhood access. (Applewood, CO)
 2.7 from 3 votes
Views back to the Front Range foothills from Rim Rock (Golden, CO)
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