Friday, August 6, 2010

Betasso Preserve - Cruising

Easy run up to Betasso Preserve from Boulder Canyon and once around the loop. Explored a few social trails along the way.

Time:  1:20
Distance: 8 miles
Effort: Easy
Body: Good
Weather: Sunny & Warm

Jumped on the Boulder Canyon connector trail just before the tunnel around 2 p.m. and headed up to Betasso. I hadn't run up this former social trail since they did a bunch of reconstruction on the water pipe that runs beneath part of the trail. The trail immediately climbs steeply from the canyon bottom headed up to a bit of a bench before entering a series of switchbacks leading up to the paved road that accesses the Betasso Water Treatment Plant.

The early part of the connector trail was strewn with way more loose baseball and softball-sized rocks than I remember, making it virtually unrideable for the mountain bikers that regularly use this trail to access Betasso, one of the few city/county-owned properties that permit mountain biking. Once past the loose stuff, the trail is in decent shape, but is showing a lot of wear from what must be pretty heavy use, combined with some pretty challenging topography through which to construct a sustainable trail.

Anyway, the 1.25 mile climb went quickly (save for the 100 meters of trail where the stench from the water treatment plant was virtually unbearable). From there, it's a fun, easy and rolling three-mile loop around the park. The trail here is probably the smoothest mountain trail in Boulder County. Would be a good loop to do tempo runs.

I remember reading somewhere that a trail connecting Betasso and a recently acquired adjacent property to Four-Mile Canyon is in the works, or at least being planned. Didn't see the trail, so it must still be on the planning boards (or I just plain missed it, which is completely possible).  Still, I explored a few social trails and old road beds to see where they led (nowhere particularly interesting, but I did get a bit more vert and some additional mileage).

After closing out the loop, I returned back down the Boulder Canyon connector trail to the truck.

A bit hot out, but -- as always -- great to be out on the trails.


  1. mmm ... I think I heard that too. I've not been on that trail in a bit (partly because I don't like the little bit of road there), but methinks it might be time to go revisit that.

  2. I'm thinking the loop would be a good fitness test. How fast can you run it? (Counterclockwise is against bike traffic...clockwise is w/ bike traffic.) Would be interesting for some folks to put down markers on this one. Everything else in the Boulder area is big climbs...i.e. Green and Sanitas. This would be as much about turnover and speed as stamina.

  3. Not sure how quick I can do the loop. One way to find out. :)