I'm about to go on vacation in Colorado and I was wondering if you guys could give me some ideas on trails and/or places to run. If you could also tell me directions that would be helpful too. After reading running with the Buffs I am looking forward to running in Boulder. Anyone know anything about running Magnolia Road or how to get there or anything about it? Also, that one really hilly trail that they ran I think it was Mt. Flagstaff. If anybody knows anything about Crested Butte that would be really helpful too. I'm looking to do a 20 miler there and if there is a place which is rolling hills but fairly easy (i.e. not rugged mountain terrain) that would be ideal. Thanks alot for any suggestions...
Flagstaff...depends on how long of a run you are doing. If you just want to run the trail, it's near Chataqua Park. From the park/trails entrance you can see the flag staff at the top on the right. Just head towards it and you should hit the trail...
From downtown Boulder, get on Canyon Blvd and head west "up the canyon." This is/becomes 119, and after awhile (10 min's?) you'll see a road on the left labeled Magnolia Rd. Drive 5 miles up this winding, paved road. I believe the "traditional" 17 mile "Mags" run starts @ the green 5 mile marker (on the right) - at least that's where I've always started. Start your run here (or further if you want less than 17 miles) and stay on this road until you get to Hwy 72 / Peak to Peak Highway (roughly 7 miles). At this point, cross this highway, and continue on for another 1.5 miles on the main road (it will dead-end @ a trailhead). Turn around here, run back. The run is hilly, but with a net uphill on the way out. And after running "Mags," you'll instantly be a better runner...(at least a little bit better having just run a hilly 17 miles at altitude).
Other favorite places to run:
South Boulder Creek Trail (Bobolink Trailhead) - a flat out & back just under 3.5 miles each way. (Baseline Rd, 1M east of Foothills Parkway)
Heil Valley Ranch - a nice trail w/ a incline on the way out (2.6M), a rolling loop @ the end (2.6M), and the same way back - a nice descent. The mileage listed (according to the official maps) is a bit shorter than it actually is.
This new trail system is one of the few trails in the area w/ a fair amount of shade. (Head north of Boulder on Hwy 36, turn left on Lefthand Canyon Rd, and right @ Geer Canyon Rd - follow signs to trailhead)
Boulder Reservoir (the Rez) Area - a plethora of options and another good "social" running area. I recommend parking @ Coot Lake (Diagonal Hwy NE to 63rd St, north on 63rd St, watch for trailhead/lake parking on left/west) and running from there. There's dirt rds, canal rds (CERTAIN DEATH - the out & back that Goucher did in the book), trails, and more trails.
If you figure in all the foothills trail options, the Front Range, and all the other trails right around Boulder, you won't be bored. Stop in @ Fleet Feet Sports (west end of Pearl Street 303.939.8000) for more ideas/directions.
Have fun and enjoy Colorado!
BDG - don't let the bus beat you to the line at Chicago.
Teller Farm, or the so called Tank, is a nice run in East Boulder.
Coal Creek Trail is another one that both the BDG and I recommend. You can pick that up in Louisville.
The other bald guy, slower than BDG.
Directions to Old Mag's:
Take Cayon west... about 6 miles from the intersection of canyon and braodway. There are two roads in this area. One is the begining of Magnolia Rd. The other is Sugar Loaf. Take Magnolia Rd and drive up that about err... shoot, maybe 10 miles... in anycase drive till the pavement ends and the dirt begins. That is the area talked about in the book.
My advice... if yr not from elevation use yr BRAIN and DONT RUN THIS HARD. Elevation = 7500 to 8500.
As for Flagstaff... that isnt a "hilly" area. Its one big hill. See, in the rockies they dont have hills. You have a mountain. Yr choice is to go up the mtn or down the mtn. Its quite simple, really. Its in Boulder... find a map and look up Chataqua Park. Flagstaff Mtn begins at the end of Baseline Rd (heading west).
Its beautiful. Enjoy. And bring some advil.
Wonderland Lake-Foothills-Boulder Valley Ranch Loop
Head north on Broadway. Look for the Wonderland Lake Trailhead on the left after you pass North Boulder Shopping Center.
Head west on the trail and run clockwise around the Lake. Continue north on Foothills Trail and cross Lee Hill Road. FoothillsTtrail turns east and passes underneath Highway 36. Take a left at the dirt road and follow until you see Boulder Valley Ranch. You can loop around the small lake and turn back towards Wonderland Lake or head towards the Rez at the northeast end of the lake.
Doudy Draw - Community Ditch - Greenbelt Plateau Trailhead
Drive south out of town on Broadway/highway 93 and look for the trailhead on the west as soon after you pass Highway 128. Run west on Doudy Draw connect to Community Ditch, cross Highway 93 then head South on Greenbelt Plateau. This trail has some beautiful vistas of the Flatirons.
Map of route can be found at http://www.ci.boulder.co.us/openspace/publications/brochures/doudydr.pdf
More information about trails in the city can be found at
BDG Live the life. Long live WMC
Thanks a lot of the info. Yeah I'm from sea level but I'll have been in Colorado Springs for a week before I go to Boulder. Hopefully I'll be pretty much adjusted before I run Mags and a few of the others you guys suggested. Mount Flagstaff sounds pretty hellish.
I don't think anyone every really adjust to altitude. You just cope with it. Most say that you need to be here about six weeks before you can cope with it ... others say more ... (but then there are those elites that come in from sea level the day before the race and win that little race in Boulder that happens on Memorial Day).
Mags gets to be about at least 2000 feet higher than anything in the Springs proper. Since you are climbing that on the way out, I have found it feels crappier and is slower (others who live on that thing more than me have, in my subjective survey, agree).
I got this in an email from my bro who was running in that area on Monday:
I was running on the trails in Boulder and summitted South Boulder Peak today. On the way back to the Mesa trail I was 1/4 mile from where I used to run a couple times a week and I hear a loud noise. I knew it wasn't a squirrel and it was very close - maybe 10 yards away. I stopped running and looked around. Medium sized black bear about 25 yards away staring straight at me. It had moved 15 yards away from where the noise was so I wasn't too nervous but I was a 1/2 hour from any road so I walked backwards for a couple of minutes speaking loudly and carrying a big stick that I quickly picked up. It left me alone and I finished my run. Exciting though.