gem icon Liberty Cap

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To access this geologic gem, head out from the Wildwood Trailhead on the Liberty Cap featured run. The route crosses arid grassland before switchbacking steeply up the Precambrian granite mesa on the Lower Liberty Cap Trail. This climb is strenuous and allows visitors to earn the terrific views at the turnaround point.

The trail ends at this neat, geologic rock structure at the tip of the north wall of Ute Canyon, featuring stunning 360° views of the national monument. There are a number of exciting and odd-looking rock structures along the way to keep your attention.

At the end of the trail, look for the sign for Liberty Cap that explains that this domed, cap structure is formed from a 160-million-year-old sand dune that was compressed into rock and has eroded over time.

For a longer but less strenuous route, use the Upper Liberty Cap Trail and trailhead which provides a five-mile leg that can either be returned on or connected with the Lower Liberty Cap Trail for a descent to the Wildwood Trailhead. Whichever route you decide to take, this formation and the views you can find here are well worth the effort for those looking for a quintessential Colorado National Monument experience.

Short Run: Using the Wildwood Trailhead and the Liberty Cap run, this route comes in just shy of 3.5 miles, but with over 1,100 ft of elevation gain. From the Upper Liberty Cap Trailhead, an out-and-back route would be around 10.2 miles with only 877 ft of elevation gain total.

Gem Type: Rock Formation

Shared by:
Zander Göpfert


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4.5 from 2 votes

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Mar 21, 2017
Vince M

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Shared by Zander Göpfert on Jul 19, 2016. All Page Views: 74. Last Month: 17.