Jen Rutter has lived in Golden since 2013. Originally from Pittsburgh, Jen and her husband visited Golden during their honeymoon and fell in love with the town, the hills, and the creek flowing through the middle. The proximity to both Denver and the mountains was highly desirable, as they love to hike, ski, and bike.
“My favorite thing about Golden is the ample open space,” says Jen. “I can run out my door and be on the top of North or South Table in a few minutes.”
Jen’s Instagram feed is full of gorgeous photos of the great outdoors in Golden, so we asked her to share her top 5 favorite spots around town. Read all about them below.
Working from home since March, I have been able to spend more time than ever before exploring the open space around Golden and enjoying the change of seasons one day at a time. I run every morning, and these are my top 5 favorite places I have found so far:
North Table Golden Cliffs: The trail from the south parking lot climbs to the Golden Cliffs, winding up through wild plum bushes, bluebells, and Indian paintbrush. You can continue on the path that skirts the bottom of the cliffs to the west or keep climbing the trail to the top of North Table Mesa and enjoy the expansive vistas to the east.
South Table: The trail from 19th Street zigzags up to the castle rock protruding out over the city. You can choose from a number of trails that traverse the top of South Table Mesa. Beware the cacti and rattlesnakes!
Nightbird Gulch Trail: Less obvious than the mesas, this little-known trail ascends out of the Canyon Point neighborhood on the northwest side of town up to Mt. Galbraith. White sand lilies are abundant in the early spring and give way to Indian paintbrush in the summer.
Clear Creek Trail: This is a classic walk or run along the river that bisects Golden and is a good choice for hot days. Before the tubers take over the paths, you can stop down at the water and let the sound of the rushing river relax you.
Bike path from North Golden to Fossil Trace Golf Course: For a longer adventure, the paved bike path on the west side of the city goes from North Golden, near Cannonball Creek Brewery, all the way to the Jefferson County Court house to the south. I make this run a 10k by looping by the golf course and back down Ford Street. I especially enjoy the history along this path, including the old Church Ditch tunnel and the former clay mines.