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North Table Mountain

This Saturday a couple of friends and I took our pups on a short hike at North Table Mountain in Golden. After what felt like a solid two weeks of rain, we expected a lot of mud and unpleasant trails. Instead, we found clear trails, beautiful views, and few people.
We chose a short loop for this visit, but I’d love to go back and take a longer path. We neglected to print out a map [PDF] before beginning the adventure, but here’s the path we think we took:

A short loop, probably a little more than 3 miles.

None of us knew what to expect from the trail, but in retrospect I’m very glad we chose the counter-clockwise path. The trail started off with about a half mile of very steep but cleanly graded path.  The upshot of this steep climb was that frequent stops to catch our breath were rewarded with amazing views down into Golden:

View down into Golden from about halfway up the hill.

Also, once we reached the top, the rest of the loop was either mostly level or downhill. Since I like to get the hardest bit done with first, this suited me perfectly!

Once at the top, we enjoyed amazing views of downtown Denver. My little point-and-shoot couldn’t begin to capture the gorgeousness of it.

Downtown Denver...imagine this clearer, brighter, and better. Lovely!

But I did manage a pretty fabulous shot or two of the big Colorado sky and snow-capped mountains.

Colorado is a beautiful state.

Big sky and hikers.

Around this point we were passed by a few Extremely Studly mountain bikers. If you’re not afraid of a couple gnarly hills, this is a great trail to check out. Me, I’m afraid the gnarly hill. Don’t expect to find me chugging up these grades on a bike.

This was a really excellent hike, and I hope I make it back soon. I want to do a much longer loop!

The aftermath. Notice all the mud flowing from poor, pathetic Bea's paws.