Upper Liberty Cap Trail
ElevationAscent: 751' 229 m
Descent: -126' -38 m
High: 6,550' 1,996 m
Low: 5,884' 1,793 m
GradeAvg Grade: 3% (2°)
Max Grade: 26% (15°)
Current trail conditions
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“A historic road turned singletrack through pinyon and juniper along the canyon rims of the Monument.”— Andrew Walters
From the bench just before the summit of the Lower Liberty Cap Trail follow cairns right as you contour around the right side of the cliff until you come to a weakness. Switchback up the steep climb where you'll top out and continue following the trail as you pass by some old hitching posts. The trail will continue weaving through pinyon and juniper trees with occasional views down to the canyons on either side.
About 3.5 miles from the upper parking lot there is an unmarked junction heading off to the east. The Upper Liberty Cap trail is obvious to follow, but if you want to take a side trip to check out Otto's Bathtub take the unofficial trail along the canyon rim and explore. The Upper Liberty Cap trail continues to gradually climb up the mesa with a few steeper sections on bentonite (muddy if wet) and then meets up with the road where the obvious white cliff band is located.
The trail is very gentle and smooth and can be a great option for an out-and-back run of any length. You can also continue on running by taking the Black Ridge Trail on the other side of the road from the upper parking lot. The Black Ridge Trail goes all the way to the Visitor Center.
Local Club: Mesa Monument Striders
Land Manager: National Park Service - Colorado National Monument