View from the trail, courtesy of my digital camera.

If you would like to see some beautiful scenery, and would rather not drive an hour into the mountains to do it, take a little trip towards the mesas of Golden. I recently moved into a new house with four of my friends (yeah, that’s a lot of testosterone) just to the west of South Table Mountain in Golden. Since there is a trail head literally one block east of our house that zigzags its way up towards the mesa, we took a little sunset hike up the western face to soak our lungs with the refreshing evening air. Once again, exploration lead to a breathtaking view, but this time it was not of our city, but of the face of the Rockies.

The looming dips and curves of our great range leave a jagged skyline spanning the horizon behind you as you head up the face. Turning around to breathe the fresh air and examine the town below, you realize the valley below holds one of the oldest settlements known to grace the entrance to the unknown. Trees and streets seep from the ground and the surrounding geography exhibits endless crevices and corners where water flows from the runoff. Clear Creek rages as its eastbound flow gradually peaks and falls with the changing of the seasons. Clouds roll heavily towards our Denver homes and as the sun glances off their water droplets, some of the most intricate patterns form with the colors of the sunset, the sun splashing its rays into the twilight sky.

Sunset on the Rockies

Reaching the top only leaves you wanting to wander across the vast rock mass you have come to stand upon, as the semi-flat top spans across the foothills. Wildflowers can often grace these lush places as spring turns to summer, evidence that the rain splattered on the surface of the earth, painting a canvas of green if only for a month or so. You’ll want to take it all in, realizing that this is it, the place where plains become hills, hills become mountains, and mountains become famous. The gateway to the west sprawls its naked peaks out before your sheltered city eyes, and the guise of the land is raw and powerful. We reside in a place where truth is found in the hidden wonders of our nature, and to invest yourself in such a simple hike is well worth the minuscule amount of time it takes to do it. We were out the door, up the mountain, and on our way back in the time it takes to see a movie, yet the experience of seeing a Rocky Mountain sunset, live and in full color, from such an epic front row seat, beats the hell out of any show I have ever seen. Embrace your surroundings-you will not regret it.

The trail I took can be found at the east end of 24th Street in Golden, Colorado, just off of 24th and Ford.