Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wednesday, September 30 - Eldorado Canyon State Park

Run: Wednesday, September 30th - Eldorado Canyon
Time: 1:23
Distance: 7.14 miles
Effort: Moderate
Body: Average
Weather: Cool - windy

A cold front was moving in and the winds were really kicking up when I left work this evening. In hopes of finding a little shelter from the gusts and seeking some new trails, I opted for a run in Eldorado Canyon State Park, just south of Boulder.

A sign at the unstaffed park entrance indicated walk-in fees were $3. And here I was with no money. I parked outside the park and ran past the entrance, just as a park ranger appeared to do a little maintenance at the entrance booth. I stopped and explained I was running in, but had no money. He looked at me a little skeptically, but waved me in after extracting a promise from
me to make a double payment next time.

I've never been to Eldorado Canyon before. This park is a climbers' mecca, with sheer canyon walls, boulders and over 500 climbing routes. South Boulder Creek cascades down the canyon floor.

I ran up the dirt road through the canyon to the Eldorado Canyon Trail, which climbs about 3.5 miles and 1,000 feet up and out of the canyon, into City of Boulder Open Space and then connects to Boulder County's Walk Ranch Open Space. I climbed for about three miles to a ridge overlooking Walker Ranch. I turned around here and retraced my steps back down the trail and the road and returned to my car.

I'd really like to return here and continue this run up into Walker Ranch, perhaps making a big loop from Eldorado to Walker and return via Bear Peak and Shadow Canyon to the South Mesa trailhead. Wonder how long that would be....?

1 comment:

  1. Jim - I am not ever opposed to paying my dues to the brown sign but there are several paths into Eldo from Boulder OSMP that by pass the ranger entry.

    Seems like you get up here quite a bit. Contact me via georgezack at gmail dot com. We should get together for some mileage.