After running 150 miles of the high-alpine Colorado Trail while filming his recent documentary film, Running the Edge, ultrarunner, filmmaker, and photographer Matt Trappe told us his favorite Colorado trail runs. Check out these high-altitude trails.
by Matt Trappe
San Juan Mountains, Near Stony Pass
Diana Finkel speeds across the San Juan Mountains near Stony Pass. Finkel has won the women's race at the Hardrock 100 Endurance Run four times in these mountains. Despite a gnarly 100 miles and 33,000 feet of ascent, she nearly won the race outright in 2010, falling to second in the final miles.
Red Rocks Park
The sun breeches the horizon and the dirt and rocks glow orange on a morning run in Red Rocks Park, Morrison, CO.
The dizzying height of 12,500 foot Oscar's Pass near Ophir, CO is old hat for UltraRunner Karl Meltzer. Forty-six year-old Meltzer has won 35 100-mile trail races, more than any other runner.
Anton Krupicka scrambles across the summit of 14,205-foot Mt. Belford during an attempt at Nolan's 14, which links up 14 of the 14ers in Colorado's Sawatch Range. The Nolan's 14 route must be finished in a mind-boggling 60 hours to be considered a finish - something only eight people have done.
Jason Koop ascends 12,500-foot Hope Pass via the Sheep Gulch Trail in Colorado's Sawatch range. This trail will get your heart pumping as it climbs 2,600 feet in just 2.5 miles.
A run up Green Mountain near Lakewood, CO gives a fantastic view of the Denver skyline.
A run up 14,278-foot Grays Peak via the Continental Divide Trail is not for the faint of heart. For the true masochist, traverse the 1-mile saddle from the summit over to 14,267' Torreys Peak to add a second 14er to your run.
Bear Creek Trail
Don't get too close to the edge on the Bear Creek Trail near Ouray, CO. The old mining trail was blasted out of a cliffside and drops sharply to the river below. A run up this trail leads to spectacular views at Engineer Pass.