North Table - Tilting Mesa - Mesa Top Loop, North Table Mountain Park Trailhead - Golden, Boulder - Denver - Golden - Fort Collins - Lyons, Colorado
North Table - Tilting Mesa - Mesa Top Loop - 3.2 miles
North Table Mountain Park Trailhead - Golden
|Round-Trip Length:||3.2 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||6,030' - 6,030' (6,508' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+478' net elevation gain (+662' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
North Table - Tilting Mesa - Mesa Top Loop - 3.2 Miles Round-Trip
North Table Mountain Park is located on the east side of Highway 93 in Golden, Colorado. The Park encompasses 2,000 acres of a large mesa complex that rises 500' from the open plains to a sprawling mixed grass prairie on top.
The mesa's core was formed by lava flows that emanated from the Ralston Dike two miles away. Sedimentary deposits that once covered this hardened lava have eroded, resulting in the steep-sided formation we see today.
Table Mountain's grasslands support a variety of wildlife including deer, coyote, rabbit, prairie dog, and rattlesnake, while golden eagles, hawks, and falcons nest in vertical cliffs along the mesa's rim. Spring-fed ponds draw waterfowl, and serve as headwaters for riparian corridors that underpin the mountain's ecosystem.
A network of multi-use trails circle Table Mountain and connect through its elevated grasslands. The North Table Trail, Tilting Mesa Trail, and Mesa Top Trail form a short loop from base to top, exposing visitors to the area's distinct ecological and geological features.
The following description begins on the south side of the parking lot and travels counter-clockwise on the North Table Loop Trail:
The North Table Loop Trail climbs steeply on wide rough pour to the mesa top and Tilting Mesa Trail split (.6 miles : 6,478'). Examine folds in the upper cliff walls and look for raptors before veering left on the Tilting Mesa Trail, which ventures east along the mesa top.
The Tilting Mesa levels through rolling short grass prairie dotted with cacti, yucca, cattail, yarrow, and a variety of wildflowers. It wraps north around a small pond (1.1 miles : 6,445'), one of several on Table Mountain that attract waterfowl and song birds. Bypass a spur for the Rim Rock Trail (1.55 miles) before seamlessly merging onto the Mesa Top Trail (1.7 miles : 6,485').
The Mesa Top Trail skirts the edge of a much larger pond and edges toward another near a second Rim Rock Trail access spur (1.7 miles : 6,485'). Here it crests and drops back a second connection with the North Table Loop Trail (2.3 miles : 6,085'). The North Table Loop Trail curls southwest on a moderately steep grade down to the mesa's base, where it levels through open space back to the trailhead (3.2 miles : 6,030').
- N39 46.921 W105 13.779 — 0.0 miles: North Table Mountain Park Trailhead
- N39 46.578 W105 13.341 — .6 miles : North Table Trail - Tilting Mesa Trail split
- N39 46.690 W105 12.831 — 1.1 miles : Skirt edge of small pond
- N39 47.030 W105 12.812 — 1.5 miles : Rim Rock Trail access spur
- N39 47.134 W105 12.914 — 1.7 miles : Seamless merge with Mesa Top Trail
- N39 47.340 W105 13.220 — 2.3 miles : Bear left on North Table Loop Trail
- N39 46.921 W105 13.779 — 3.2 miles : North Table Mountain Park Trailhead
- Many social trails have formed throughout North Table Mountain Park that can be indistinguishable from designated trails.
- Table Mountain is an ideal place to see a variety of birds throughout the year. Raptors and migratory shore birds are more common during winter, while songbirds and waterfowl are abundant during the spring and summer.
- Rattlesnakes inhabit this area. Remain on designated trails at all times, and never place your hands or feet where you cannot see them.
- Respect sensitive habitat areas and honor seasonal closures to trails.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Camping is not permitted at North Table Mountain Park.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs, Bikes, and Horses are permitted on all North Table Mountain Park Trails. Dogs must remain on leash.
- The Rim Rock Trail is closed March 15 - July 31 to protect nesting birds, waterfowl, and sensitive vegetation.
- Camping and open fires are not permitted at North Table Mountain Park.
- North Table Mountain Park is open from one hour before sunrise to one hour before sunset.
Directions to Trailhead
North Table Mountain Park is located on the east side of Highway 93 in Golden, Colorado. The parking area is located on the north side of town, just north of Pine Ridge Road.
North Table Mountain Park - Jefferson County Open Space
700 Jefferson County Parkway
Golden, CO 80401
Monday - Friday, 7:30 am - 5:30 pm