|Kristi and Nick on Lichen Peak|
Over the last few years I have been taking Kristi on a short Christmas hike, so it is now becoming a tradition. This year we didn’t really have anything planned, as we sat around in the living room on Christmas morning we didn’t seem to be making much progress on any either. Around noon we decided on a hike and started getting ready to roll out of the house. We decided to hike up Lichen Peak which is part of North Table Mountain to the NE of Golden.
|Nick at the Summit|
From our location in the south Denver metro area we drove C470 north into Golden which turns into HWY93. Follow this past Golden and a mile or so down the road there is a large sign indicating the parking lot for the North Table Mountain Park. As we arrived the snow was trying to start, but nothing really accumulating yet. The area was supposed to get 1-3inches in the afternoon, so we wanted to get to the plateau of the mountain before a total white-out ensued.
From the parking lot the trail we took was more of a road. It started as an asphalt road that was covered here and there with snow in ice. After a few hundred yards it transitioned into a packed dirt/gravel road that was mostly covered by snow/ice. We didn’t need any traction, but by now with all the snow that has fallen that probably isn’t a bad idea. The first half mile or so is at a pretty good grade, it covers a little less than 500ft vertical placing you at the top of the mesa bowl. There is a quarry to the east which is used for rock climbing, for our hike we went to the NW and found the Lichen Peak Trail. From this trail split it is less than a quarter of mile to the small summit.
|The White-Out Approaches|
The Lichen Peak Trail was pretty cool, where there was a lot of difference in rock type all of which reminded me of Craters of the Moon back home in Idaho. Kristi seemed to be enjoying herself. I got the camera out just before starting up the Lichen Peak Trail, so Kristi became our trip photographer. The trail was pretty mellow, after a short incline I was on top of the small summit of Lichen Peak. Kristi was taking pictures like crazy, so I went ahead and opened my summit beer. A few minutes later Kristi made it to the top and we took our summit selfie.
The clouds were taking over by this point and it was becoming a full-fledged white-out. Kristi was up for hiking to another hill to make the outing last a little longer so we headed over to the southern point which I believed in unnamed. The view from this point was none other than Coors Brewery. After a short spell hanging out in the clouds we decided it was cold enough and we could head back to the car. It was a fun day hiking with Kristi, and hopefully I can twist her wrist and convince her to do another hike or two with me before school starts back up. I hope everyone had a great Christmas.
Starting Elevation: 6,013ft
Lichen Peak: 6,567ft
South Summit: 6,500ft
Total Gained Elevation: 600ft
Distance: 2.9 miles
Picture Link: Lichen Peak Photo Album