“This is the classic trail to ascend the backside of Golden's signature rock formation, Castle Rock.
— Johnny Muir-Addleman
This well-maintained trail takes you from downtown Golden to its most prominent geological feature, Castle Rock, which allows for 360-degree views of the Front Range and the Great Plains. Not as steep or technical as the Sleeping Elk Trail
, this is manageable by most if taken at a moderate pace.
This can be difficult and crowded at times, but is a common way to access the miles of flat trails on top of the mesa.
From the neighborhood just east of downtown Golden, locate the trailhead and move through some switchbacks for a quick start to your climb.
After some straightforward but somewhat steep running, you'll join the South Table Top Mesa Trail
and head west from there along the top of the cliff. At the base of Castle Rock, start a series of concrete steps up the final stretch where a large flat area and expansive views await.
Since its founding in 1859, Castle Rock has always looked out over the city of Golden and is visible on its town logo. In 1873, a little brewery was also founded in its shadow by Adolph Coors.