We've wanted to connect North and South Table Mountain routes for awhile now but previously had trouble getting up on South Table without a big hike-a-bike. After a few exploratory rides, we finally we have a great gravel bike route to share with you!
This ride has a lot of great variety of terrain. It has beginner single track, double track, crushed gravel trails, intermediate/technical rocky mountain bike trails, roads and paved bike paths. Two years ago, coming from road cycling with no prior mountain biking experience, we certainly didn't have the skills to do the rocky trail portions. It really is true, time in the saddle and practicing on trails really pays off!
Living in Denver, it often feels like we have to drive a bit to get to great gravel. This ride is wonderful because it's just a short 20 minute drive to the start. We also loved the proximity to Golden throughout the ride. It never feels like you are too far away from resources and other humans.
Even though the route is not remote, it's still beautiful and there are lots of great views of the foothills, water, and the skyline of Denver.
The trails around Blunn Reservoir are relatively quiet and it still amazes us that it is never crowded on that portion of the route.
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the trails around the North Table Mountain Park West Trailhead were quite busy with dog walkers and hikers (but after about the first 2 miles, traffic thinned out).
32nd Ave is a regularly trafficked road with only a small shoulder. It is often used by road cyclist, but after being on the gravel trails, it will feel busy.
Do this ride if you are looking for a great groad ride from Golden, CO that is not remote but is still packed with fun single track, double track, crushed gravel trails, roads and bike paths. Get views of mountains, water, and the city of Denver off in the distance!
We parked in the North Table Mountain Park West Trailhead Parking Lot, just off 93. There are public bathrooms and access to drinking water at the trailhead.
There were a few other bathrooms spotted along the way, but you are never too far from civilization, food, water, beer and coffee.
If you are looking for a food stop, we recommend Bob's Atomic Burger or The Golden Mill, both of which are on Ford Street in Golden (at approximately mile 15 and again at mile 30).
New Terrain Brewing is just slightly off the route when you exit North Table trails onto Easley Road (at about mile 12 on the route). They have a huge amount of outdoor seating so it is Covid-friendly!
We gave this route three mountains in the difficulty category not because of elevation gain but because a few of the trails on South Table Mountain are a bit rocky and would definitely be challenging for a beginner gravel cyclist who doesn't have mountain biking experience.
Our usual tires, 700x35cm Panaracer Gravelking SK+ Tires (set up tubeless, with Orange Seal sealant and pumped to 30 psi) were perfect for this ride. They gave the us versatility to roll over medium sized rocks and still have a fast roll on roads and paved bike paths.
Laura Karpinski and Rose Barcklow are the creators of Gravel Bike Adventures. Click on the About page to learn more about them.