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Lower Liberty Cap Trail

Difficult
 4.5 (14) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Steep climbing along a Precambrian mesa with a historic scramble to the top of an ancient dune.


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Map Key

3.3

Miles

5.4

KM

71%

Runnable

5,879' 1,792 m

High

4,779' 1,457 m

Low

1,103' 336 m

Up

1,103' 336 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

41%

Max Grade (22°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildlife

Overview

Head out on this out-and-back run for a condensed Colorado National Monument experience featuring arid prairie, mesa switchbacks, and big-sky views of the surrounding valleys and canyons.

Runner Notes

The trail gets very little sunlight in the winter so traction devices are advised if running during the snowy months.

Description

From the Wildwood Trailhead, run towards the towering red cliffs along smooth, sandy singletrack. When you reach the Corkscrew Trail junction, stay right and climb through the boulder-strewn wash and follow the trail up the backside of the Precambrian mesa.

At the top of the first climb, you'll reach the Ute Canyon Trail junction. Go right up the beautiful red dirt trail until the grade steepens and you pick your way through the seemingly impossible cliff above.

When you top out on the first cliff, you can either continue on the Upper Liberty Cap Trail to reach Rim Rock Drive trailhead or go left to the summit of Liberty Cap (an ancient sand dune).

To get to the top, traverse to the left side of the obvious summit, across a small groove and around the left side where you'll find carved steps and some metal poles that have been anchored in the rock. Scramble up top and enjoy the view across the valley and into Ute Canyon below.

Contacts

Shared By:

Andrew Walters

Trail Ratings

  4.5 from 14 votes

#875

Overall
  4.5 from 14 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
36%
3 Star
7%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#172

in Colorado

#875

Overall
225 Views Last Month
6,378 Since Jul 13, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
8%
0%
54%
38%

Photos

Panorama of Liberty Cap during a winter sunrise. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Jul 19, 2016 near Redlands, CO
Wildwood Trailhead
Feb 19, 2019 near Redlands, CO
Looking north from the Bench Trail. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Jul 14, 2016 near Redlands, CO
Sunset over the Bookcliff Range.  Time to fly in the fading light!
Jul 17, 2015 near Redlands, CO
Steep narrow trails near the Cap.
Sep 17, 2017 near Redlands, CO
Sunrise over Grand Junction from the Lower Liberty Cap Trail. with permission from Hobbes7714 Photo Credit: Andrew Wahr  Link: https://twitter.com/WahrAndrew
Jul 14, 2016 near Redlands, CO

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Check-Ins

May 26, 2020
Cynthia B.
May 5, 2019
Evan Rich
Climbed Liberty Cap 3 times. 9.8mi — 3h 06m
Nov 15, 2017
Bogie Dee
Sep 17, 2017
Amanda Maughan