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Golden Summit Trail

Intermediate
 4.0 (30) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This is the classic trail to ascend the backside of Golden's signature rock formation, Castle Rock.


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Map Key

2.5

Miles

4.0

KM

86%

Runnable

6,275' 1,913 m

High

5,835' 1,778 m

Low

459' 140 m

Up

458' 139 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views

Overview

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.

Runner Notes

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.

Description

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.

History & Background

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

JM Addleman with improvements by Lily Douglas

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 30 votes

#543

Overall
  4.0 from 30 votes
5 Star
27%
4 Star
47%
3 Star
27%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#114

in Colorado

#543

Overall
188 Views Last Month
14,996 Since May 30, 2015
Intermediate

6%
3%
81%
6%
3%
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Photos

Golden's South Table Mountain and Castle Rock from the head of the Sleeping Elk Trail
May 21, 2015 near Golden, CO
Peak of South Table Mountain Park Overlooking the city of Golden, CO
Oct 7, 2016 near Golden, CO
Steps up to the top of the mesa.
Aug 25, 2017 near Golden, CO
The Front Range north of Golden's Castle Rock from its summit. In view are the Coors Brewery and North Table Mountain.
May 30, 2015 near Golden, CO

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Check-Ins

Jun 19, 2022
Andy F
Nov 15, 2021
Art Higgins
Mar 12, 2021
Atsuko Ohtake
Jul 17, 2020
Matt H
Jan 26, 2020
Scott Kozney
Jan 25, 2020
Geimi Chism
2.3mi
Nov 4, 2018
Matthew Macfarlane
Trail conditions great. Beautiful views. Easy hike
Sep 19, 2018
Mills Pablo
Trails break off quite a bit once you summit 3mi — 1h 00m