Sunday, January 23, 2011

Rampart Range Road - Up-n-Down

Was in the Springs to drop off my nephew at Colorado College after a long weekend visit up this way. Got in a late afternoon cruise up Rampart Range Road from the Garden of the Gods state park.

Time: 1:31
Distance: 11 miles
Effort: Easy
Body: Average
Weather: Clear and cool

After dropping WA off at Colorado College in Colorado Springs on Sunday, I headed west from campus and made my way to the Garden of the Gods state park and parked at the first parking lot I found, which was near the terminus of the 60-mile Rampart Range Road.

Since it already was 4 p.m., I knew my daylight time was, at best, fleeting, so I quickly suited up and set off running up the dirt Forest Service Road.

The plan was to do an out-and-back to get in some decent climbing and a solid tempo effort descent.

The road, which switchbacks moderately up through the foothills, was almost completely snow-free. I ran up about 5 miles to just past a radio tower. Here I saw a couple of orange marking tape pieces tied to some shrubs on the left side of the road. The tape marked the entrance to a sweet-looking bit of singletrack that snaked down, I believe, Williams Canyon.  I think this was part of the Ponderous Posterior 50K course from the previous weekend.

I jogged down the trail about a quarter mile, wishing I had more daylight left to explore. It's funny the feeling I got as I started down the trail. Uplifted. Excited. There's just something about new trails...

But, darkness was threatening, so I ran back up to the road and headed back down. I set the legs on autopilot and ran the 5.5 miles down at a low-to-mid 6s pace. Felt good to run fast, particularly with the aid of gravity. Had to turn on the headlamp for the last half-mile or so.

I'm really eager to explore the trails down that way. Other than the Barr Trail, I haven't had the chance to experienced the Springs-area trail offerings.


  1. I was down that way this weekend with the Family. I seem to recall the climb to the radio tower seemed to go on forever. Agree, that the trails down that way are sweet. Running this weekend?

  2. Yeah - I bet that canyon is pretty sweet in the summer (beat the heat).

  3. Todd - thinking about heading to Aspen to take in a bit of the X-Games. No firm plans yet, though. If we're around here, I'm definitely running. Will let you know.