Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail
Stunning overlooks, lush meadows, and gurgling streams, the Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail is a great nature walk near the city. Get in your daily movement while hiking up a unique geological feature that reveals epic panoramic views. Revel in the scenery of the Front Range foothills and sights of the cityscape from atop the flattop summit.
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Route Description for Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail
The Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail is a crowd favorite, and there is no doubt as to why. The versatility of the trail, the stunning vistas, and the convenience of its location attracts outdoor enthusiasts of all sorts. Though this trail can be hiked or biked, it is worth noting that there are often more bikers, so keep an ear out for them as they pass by. This hike is also entirely exposed, so be prepared for incredibly warm conditions in the hot summer afternoons—if you can, head out in the early morning. Additionally, rattlesnakes are abundant in this area, so keep an eye and ear out for them as you hike.
Embark on your adventure along the Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Hike from the trailhead. From here, track north along the Golden Open Space Trail before merging onto the Fairmont Canal Trail. This path will guide you over Church Ditch and Easley Road. Hike near the canal then cross the waters, turning onto the Lithic Trail. Navigate switchbacks up to the next intersection. From here, turn right onto the North Table Loop Trail. Enjoy sights of the towering cliffs and at the next junction, turn left onto the Mesa Top Trail.
Trek along this route, reveling in the sights of the rolling hills and snow-capped Front Range peaks that distantly line the horizon. At the intersection with Cottonwood Canyon Trail, turn left. This path will guide you down the Cottonwood Canyon and along the babbling creek. Revel in the grandeur of the encompassing towering walls. At the fork in the road, merge back onto the North Table Loop Trail. Hike this route all the way back to the junction with the Lithic Trail. From here, simply retrace your steps from the Lithic Trail all the way back to the trailhead.
Getting to the Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail Trailhead
The Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail departs from the Golden Open Space Trailhead off Salvia Street.
Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail Elevation Graph
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Mesa Top and Cottonwood Canyon Trail Reviews
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