First up was a loop around North Table Mountain. JeffCo Open Space all summer has been building new trails in this open space gem. The trails are all well-graded and solidly constructed, which lends them to speedy runs.
I opted to run from the west trailhead, up the steep access road. After a quarter mile up or so, I peeled off onto a well-trodden social trail I'd been eyeing for some time. The trail contours on a bench around the west and south sides of the mountain before ascending up through a break in the rocks that line the south side.
Up top, I continued east and descended down through a climbing area to the Access Fund's lot at the bottom near Highway 58. I was hoping for a decent social trail to take me over to a new section of the North Table Mountain loop. Alas, there was no trail, so I bushwhacked over.
From there, it was a speedy run on the North Table Mountain Loop Trail, up Cottonwood Canyon to the Mesa Top Trail, then back down to the North Table Mountain Loop Trail and back to the car.
|Looking southwest from social trail on west side of North Table Mountain|
I started my day in the near dark at the Deer Creek Trailhead, heading up the Tanglewood Trail, which ascends four miles or so to a beautiful, grassy saddle that is the Park/Clear Creek County line.
|The saddle on the Tanglewood Trail in the Mt. Evans Wilderness.|
|Mt. Rosalie summit marker.|
|Looking west from the summit of Mt. Rosalie|
|Looking down the east flank of Mt. Rosalie toward saddle.|
|Descending back down the Tanglewood Trail on newly constructed singletrack.|
|Bristlecone pine snag and younger tree.|
|Still some color left down low, near the trailhead.|
10.7 (or so) miles. (I neglected to turn off my watch during most of the drive home.)