Thursday, November 1, 2012
Golden Cliffs Preserve, North Table Mountain Park
Golden Cliffs Preserve
North Table Mountain Park
Date Hiked: Nov. 1, 2012
Distance: 2 mi (RT)
Elevation Gain: 500ft
Elevation Min/Max: 5,913 - 6, 466ft
Managing Agency: Jefferson County Open Space
North Table Mountain Park Website & Map (Jeffco)
Golden Cliffs Preserve (Access Fund)
Golden Cliffs Preserve Trail Map (Google Maps)
Directions: From Denver take I-70 west to Hwy 58 west, exit at Boyd Street. Follow Boyd Street to the right towards the mesa. Boyd with make another sharp right turn and become Plateau Parkway. Turn left onto Peery Parkway and follow Peery as it veers right and leads to the end of the road and the trailhead. There is a large parking area.
Golden Cliffs Preserve is an access point to North Table Mountain Park located north of Hwy 58 and the Coors Brewery. The site of the preserve was purchased by Access Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring access for rock climbing, and this location is wonderful for rock climbing. Until recently this park was separate from North Table Mountain Park, but Access Fund transferred ownership to Jefferson County with stipulations that climbing access be maintained.
From the trailhead and large parking area, the trail switchbacks up North Table Mountain, steeply in some spots. The rocky trail leads up to the base of the cliffs and then traverses the side of the mountain staying under the cliffs the whole time. Since the trail runs along the base of the cliffs, you get an up close and personal experience with the unique geology of this iconic feature. There are some areas where you can easily climb up past the cliffs to reach the top of the mesa. The views are wonderful looking down on Golden and the Coors Brewery and out towards S. Table Mountain and Green Mountain.
After about 1 mile of following the base of the cliffs, the trail will lead you up and break through to the top of the mesa. From here you can either turn back the way you came, or make a loop out of the hike by turning right on the North Table Loop or the Golden Cliffs Trail and climbing down through the cliffs to meet up with the Preserve trail.