Liberty Cap

Round Trip Distance: 4 miles (Liberty Cap Formation)
Round Trip: 14 miles (Rimrock Drive)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4783 - 6533 feet
Cellphone: 3-5 bars
Time: 5 hrs. 15 mins.
Trailhead: Wildwood Trailhead
Fee: none
Attractions: Geology, local favorite

I started before sunrise. The temperature was 69 degrees when I started out. The forecast was for temperatures around 100. The first mile of the trail is shared with the Ute Canyon and Corkscrew trails.

Most of the elevation gain for the hike is from the trailhead up to the Liberty Cap formation which is a distance of 2 miles. That is as far as most people hike before turning around.

There is some spectacular geology along the way.

It's like walking in the sky at times.

This is the Liberty Cap formation. After walking around for a few minutes and enjoying the views of the valley below and the surrounding geology I headed on up the trail towards Rimrock Drive.

There was a little bit more climbing to do before I reached the east end of Monument Mesa.

The hike from here was along an old jeep trail which ascended gradually up to the Liberty Cap trailhead on Rimrock Drive 5 miles away.

Various animal tracks marked the sandy parts of the trail. There was no shortage of lizards or Pinyon Jays. I saw one deer but I didn't notice any Bighorn on this trip.

Some people start here and hike the 10 miles round trip to Liberty Cap and back. Another option is to have someone drop you here at the top and make the comfortable downhill hike to the other end at the Wildwood Trailhead. The trail across Monument Mesa was converted from a jeep trail to a hiking trail. Once upon a time you could drive from Rimrock Drive to within .3 miles of Liberty Cap.

I made it back to Liberty Cap around 1100 and started heading down from there.

When I reached the Ute Canyon trail junction I took a little detour over to the upper Corkscrew trail and went down that way. That is one spectacular descent. I was back at the Wildwood trailhead around 1215. I went through 100 ounces of water and 80 ounces of Gatorade, one bagel and one protein bar. I've hiked this trail before and finished in under 4 hours. A lot of time can be saved by jogging down from Rimrock Drive to Liberty Cap. If you aren't in a hurry it's nice to explore and enjoy the Monument. If you would like to enjoy one of the best trails in the valley you are going to have to 'Take a hike'.