Every time I talk to someone from back home, I spend my time gushing about Boulder. Specifically, I blather on about how awesome the access to good trails are here. I moved from Denver to Boulder to be closer to the foothills, closer to good trail running and hiking; it was most definitely a good decision. I’ve been getting to the trails once or twice a week if I’m in town, but clearly I’ve been withholding.
Thus, this is the beginning of trail updates.
When choosing trails, I struggle. How crowded is it? How muddy is it? Is trail close to lots of noisy roads? How crowded is the parking? If you also stress over these things, then hopefully you’ll like my trail updates!
Place: Chautauqua Park in Boulder
Date/Time: Nov 25th, 2018 2:30PM Sunday
Weather: Sunny but cold. 44°
Parking: Surprisingly good, for Chautauqua. I drove up 12th street and parked by the auditorium
Route: McClintock Upper -> Mesa ->Kohler Mesa -> Enchanted Mesa
I started at the arrow. For reference, McClintock Upper is in red, and I ran up that, then left on Mesa, the down to the left on Kohler.
Going out on McClintock Upper was significantly narrower than the rest of the trails today. It was a little steeper, but it’s biggest challenge was that it was at least 50% covered in slick ice. I didn’t see anyone else on that small segment of the run. When I hit Mesa, I took a left and continued on. Mesa widens out and 5 people could walk abreast. (However, that would be terrible trail etiquette.) I considered running up Woods Quarry trail but it looked narrow and icy like McClintock so I took it easy and cut over to Kohler Mesa trail. As soon as I hit Kohler, it was a nice, gradual down hill. The trail had a lot of baseball and softball size rocks on it which made for some technical and challenging running.
I love the trails that demand my focus, forcing me to plan three steps ahead. Finally, I veered of Kohler Mesa trail to finish up on Enchanted Mesa trail. Enchanted Mesa trail is also very wide and well-groomed with some small gravel. Most of Enchanted Mesa was downhill and clear. However, there was about 50 yards of slick ice towards the very end of that stretch. I only saw about 20 people out today, which is nothing for that area. I’m assuming it was the cold that kept people away but it made for a great run for me.