Well... I have looked at this mountain every day I am here (6 mo) in CG and have always wanted to hike it... so we leave in less than a week, expecting a great day. I expect no 'encounters' with others as the news/rumor mill has been quiet in CG for the past couple years. BP must be doing a great job...thanks! Will post again once we return.
The trail seems longer than 7 miles RT. One of my mapping apps said it was 9 while another said 7.5 When we finished. Not sure why the difference but we did this hike New Year's Eve day in 2015 and the nearly 3000 feet of elevation gain was a lot--most of it at the end. It takes a long time to drive to the trailhead--Google Maps is not lying! No bikes or dogs allowed. This is wilderness. Best views are on the slopes on the way up. The views on top are not nearly so good.
Firstly, getting out to the trailhead was much rather difficult. Depending on the recent weather you will need a 4x4 and even a vehicle with a lift. Off the interstate it's another hours worth of driving and hoping you're not missing your trail. Once we got to the trailhead, we were pleasantly surprised with the scenery. The hike is surrounded with desert landscaping, similar to a botanic garden. Hike is moderately difficult. Round trip took us six hours, but we're not experienced hikers(cardio is not my forte). I would say give yourself 4-8 hours depending on your speed and breaks. Not particularly recommended in the summer, we hiked it the end of July and started at 8am. If you're going to hike in the summer, I would suggest starting at sunrise, being at the trailhead at sunrise, so you won't get stuck hiking down at prime time with the sun beating down. BRING PLENTY OF WATER. There is not much traffic in this area whatsoever. Luckily we had no troubles with smugglers or even border patrol. Please still continue to be cautious. Probably first and last time hiking Table Top but it was a surprisingly decent time!
BEWARE!! Cautionary signs posted re smuggling & illegal immigration. We got a bad "feeling" so we turned around. My husband spoke with a Border Patrol Officer who stated it was the best thing to not hike in that area. Advise others to stay in the State parks for adventure. Unless you can legally carry a weapon for protection. It's just worth the risk we thought.