Trail Running Around Lake City, Colorado

Trail Running Around Lake City, Colorado

Trail Runner Resse Ruland the co-race director for The Telluride Mountain Run explores the various trail running routes in this post, Trail Running Around Lake City, Colorado:

You see, I thought I was being very clever by starting my personal Pro Leisure Tour (PLT) exactly where I ended it last year, in Lake City, Colorado. Start where I’d left off! I planned to go there, scout out a few trails, tag some 14ers, eat some ice cream, and write about it for iRunFar. Once I arrived to the small town, situated snugly between steep hills, I realized my plans would soon be changing.

You see, my training was in its beginning stages. I had not run consistently for nearly a year and I was just coming off of aWager-Gulch-trailhead-looking-down-towards-Carson-town-site-from-the-saddle two-month rest period. It’s true that I had been running here and there in Boulder, but I knew that I needed to curb my enthusiasm by slowly easing back into running so as not to injure myself. Nothing too crazy, long, or difficult. There was one glaring problem with this theory: I had placed myself in the San Juans.

Being there in the mecca of mountains, the cream of the crop, the top of the tier, was entirely too overwhelming for me. I needed to be out in the mountains! So, after considerable consideration, I decided to do what any rational person would do: sign up for one of the toughest 50-mile races, the San Juan Solstice, the night before the race. Why not? I had some time to kill and it’s a great way to investigate the trails and the people who run them.

While the race itself was pretty great, considering how bad it could have been given my state of training, I think I was most impressed with how supportive everyone was of the race. Not just people directly involved, but the entire town of Lake City. The local businesses chipped in awards for runners, cafes opened up early so crews and runners could have coffee at an ungodly hour, volunteers from town staffed the aid stations, and spectators cheered for the disheveled runners as they finished through town. It was refreshing to see an entire community stand behind a grassroots event that showcases some of Colorado’s most beautiful landscape.

I set out on a mission this summer to see if the trails or the town was what made the trail scene so great and, after spending a decent amount of time in Lake City, it is clear that there’s a wonderful balance of having great trails and a great town. Below I’ve tried to briefly describe some trails, but it’s difficult to capture how spectacular this area is. It’s definitely worth a visit and I’m certainly glad it’s where I started this year’s PLT.

Continue reading about the various trail runs and other sites to see in Lake City.

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