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 Runners listserv? 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.


  1. My wife works this weekend so I have my kids. Another time though!