The trail was a mix of snowy, icy and muddy. It was pretty easy except for one part when it got a little technical, steep and icy. On my way down I contemplated if I would be able to get down without slipping completely off the mountain, or if I would have to spend the night there (in which case I would freeze). A little overreacting, but I conquered my fear and slowly but surely (and on my butt) got down.
Every so often on the switchbacks up I had to stop and just take in the view. It had warmed up to around 26 degrees, the sun was just resting on the mountains, and you could see the whole town of Golden.
The view from the very top, on Castle Rock, was unbelievably spectacular. I took some time up there by myself to take it all in. But then it started to get chilly and I knew the sun would set soon enough.
After making my way down I drove into downtown Golden to explore. Not before long it got super cold and I grew an appetite. Channeling my inner Wild/Cheryl Strayed, I sat down alone at the Old Capital Grill bar for a bowl of chili with some Texas toast and a Boulder Brewing Mojo IPA.
It was a very satisfying afternoon and Colorado is pretty amazing, even despite how cold it was.
South Table Mountain
Entrance: 19th St & Belvedere St, Golden, CO 80401
Route: A sign says “Golden Trail Rules,” but there’s no sign with the trail’s name. From here, you start up a series of switchbacks to the top. At the top of the mesa, head north towards Castle Rock. Keep heading north and the trail will lead to cement steps climbing to the top of Castle Rock.
Miles: ~2 mi