A treatise on one person's continuous quest to see what's over the next hill.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Weekend Run Plans - Anyone?
Anyone interested in doing the Backside Loop described below, courtesy of a Buzz Burrell post on the Boulder Trail Runnerslistserv? I likely will do this run Saturday, starting around 6 - 6:30 a.m. at Chautauqua.
This little cut-off into Eldorado Springs enables numerous of other great loops to exist. You are referring below to the "Backside Loop". It's almost always done CCW, so I'll describe it thus:
* Start Chautauqua * Go across Meadow, then up Gregory Canyon * At the top, turn left, then right, and go up Long Canyon (I just came down it a couple hours ago; Long Cyn is very nice and the water is great to drink right now) * Where Long Canyon meets the paved road, turn directly left uphill (this is the original roadbed up here, and tho almost reclaimed by nature, is readily followed up to the last switchback on the main road) * Go up only 300 M or so to the crest. * If you were to turn left onto the 2nd gravel road, then turn S off that at the exact correct spot, you would run downhill on a sweet and barely discernible road grade that spits you out on Pika Rd right as it starts uphill to the Walker Ranch parking. However, this route is partially on pvt property so I can't recommend it or say any more. * Instead, run the pavement all the way down to Walker Ranch. If you want more miles, you can make a nice loop in an out of the Walker West section: after making the sharp left turn on the downhill switchbacks, in just 30M there is an obvious old track heading straight west (right). This will amazingly take you into Walker Ranch West with no trespassing. Meander around in there and eventually find the Walker Cut-off; a very nice new single track that bounces you right back onto the road at the Walker East entrance. Cool. * Now run downhill on the ex-road, almost to South Boulder Creek. * Turn left, up the Eldorado Canyon Trail. This puppy is only 3 miles long, but it really works you at this point in the run. (The road you just left actually continues all the way - all downhill - into Eldorado Cyn State park, but it's gated off. Don't you wish we were more active in trail access issues 25 years ago so we could just run downhill at this point? :-) * Anyway, the Eldorado Cyn Tr spits you out in the State Park. Run down the road and out of the Park. * Just past the Entrance Station, turn left across the big bridge, then turn right behind the big decaying swimming pool building. There are 3 driveways in front of you. Take the middle. It will flatten out, then after a few trailers, will turn 90d left (as a small house for sale). Go straight up, straight into a pvt driveway, and 50' up this will be an obvious but unmarked trail heading steeply up right. That's the Old Mesa Trail, aka the Eldo Cutoff. * It will take you to Shadow Cyn, where the Shadow Cyn cutoff will easily take you to the Mesa Trail proper, and back home.