North Table Mountain

North Table is the go-to spot for many Golden trail runners. It’s easily accessible with plenty of access points and has a middling amount of vert that is nice for¬†hitting on a daily basis. It’s a favored midweek spot for locals when you want to get in something quick from the front door. Of all Golden’s trails, it’s easily where I get the most of my miles in.

Basic info on North Table Mountain including a map is here

Summer runs can get hella hot with no shade and the sun blasting from every direction but get out early enough in the morning and there’s a slight chill in the air that makes it just right. North Table is best served up on cool autumn days when it can get shrouded in the clouds with light sleet, giving it an ephemeral feel of being far from it all as if you could actually get lost out there. Of all Golden’s runs, this one’s personality changes the most according to the day’s and season’s weather. Dry, brown and roasting in the summer yet green and lush in the spring. I’ve even gone alpine touring skiing on it when a foot has dropped.

As for routes, this is a place that if you’ve got at least 8 miles of running to spend, you can just go in any direction and call it as you go. All the trails are fun in their own way. My favorite spot is the southwest corner of North Table Loop where the trail rolls along the south side of the mesa and then kicks up to bring you to the top.

Definitely be wary of rattlesnakes on the North Table, I’ve seen plenty of them. Especially keep an eye out on hot days in the late morning and evening when it’s between 70 and 80 degrees. Also, don’t be the headphones wearing guy¬†oblivious to the rattle shaking away a foot from your ankle. I know you gotta listen to your Ace Of Base but you want to hear those snake’s rattles. From my experience, once it’s below 65 degrees you don’t have to worry em. I’ve also seen coyotes, deer, and New Yorkers.