North Table Mountain - South Loop

 19 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

9.9 Miles 15.9 Kilometers


80%

Singletrack

1,200' 366 m

Ascent

-1,202' -366 m

Descent

6,544' 1,995 m

High

5,681' 1,732 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

21%

Max Grade (12°)

All Clear

4 days agoUpdate

North Table Mountain's best loop - the linkup provides the mesa's best singletrack

Chuck McQuade

Overview

Critical Bird Nesting Closure March 1 - July 31 (Rim Rock Trail Segment)
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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3.3 from 19 votes


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Check-Ins

Dec 3, 2016
James Connelly
Sep 17, 2016
Chas Semon
Sep 5, 2016
Paul Arterburn
5mi — 2h 15m
Sep 2, 2016
Stephan Barnard
4h 30m
Aug 17, 2016
Jay Holmes
9.4mi — 1h 18m
Apr 7, 2016
Mike Peters
7.8mi
Mar 8, 2016
Jack Desmond
Nov 15, 2015
Daniel Horn
11mi

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Trail Ratings

  3.3 from 19 votes

#1005

Overall
  3.3 from 19 votes
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5 Star
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Rankings

#142

in Colorado

#1,005

Overall
221 Views Last Month
15,498 Since Apr 4, 2013
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Conditions


All Clear 4 days ago

Forecasting the weather...

I agree with the suggested route (although I still change it up every time I go), but want to really encourage people to park at the Golden bike park or Tony Grampas in order to not screw up the access in the neighborhood. You can do the exact same ride but you get to finish by playing in the bike park. You really should ride from Golden on the bike path and if you want a little bit more riding you should ride the north table loop all the way back to the trail head on 93 and then take the bike path back to the brewery you started at. The new trails have great flow and while there is some double track on the mesa, it just give you a couple of minutes to enjoy the scenery and talk to your friends before heading back to the single track. May 21, 2013


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