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Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.

Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Fri May 11, 2012 8:37 am

I'm looking for a particularly difficult trail run around Golden or Red Rocks. Anyone have any insight on the subject?

I've done Apex, enchanted forest and others which are great but am looking for something incline-esque I guess (lots of vert, small distance).

Thanks a lot.
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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby SurfNTurf » Fri May 11, 2012 8:58 am

Abe --

Have you tried Mt. Morrison from Red Rocks Entrance 4? It's not an "official" trail, I don't think, but there's an obvious path from top to bottom. It gains nearly 2,000' in a very short distance (1 or 2 miles, can't remember). Turn into Entrance 4 and park almost immediately on the right side of the road. The trail starts up to left, across the road. A word of warning though -- a forum member had his window smashed and car looted last summer at this parking area.

Mt. Falcon from the East entrance also can offer almost 2,000' of gain, but it's not nearly as abrupt.
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Postby Brian Thomas » Fri May 11, 2012 9:10 am

SurfNTurf wrote:Have you tried Mt. Morrison from Red Rocks Entrance 4? It's not an "official" trail, I don't think, but there's an obvious path from top to bottom. It gains nearly 2,000' in a very short distance (1 or 2 miles, can't remember). Turn into Entrance 4 and park almost immediately on the right side of the road. The trail starts up to left, across the road. A word of warning though -- a forum member had his window smashed and car looted last summer at this parking area.

Don't park there, I was a smash and grab victim on a Tuesday afternoon between 5:00 and 6:30 last April. Park on the north side of CO 74 just before entrance 4 so your vehicle is in a visible area with traffic.
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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby YonderMountain » Fri May 11, 2012 9:24 am

FoTM (Great name by the way - recent 35th anniversary of 5/8/77!)

Where is Enchanted Forest? Which route in Apex do you recommend?

I run Green Mountain, Dinosaur Ridge, Red Rocks often and looking for other good trails in the area.

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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby roguejackalope » Fri May 11, 2012 9:42 am

Chimney Gulch from 6 up to Windy Saddle or Buffalo Bill's grave is relatively steep (~10%). You gain almost 2000 feet in about 3.5 miles.

I'm going to keep my eye on this thread though because I am training for the Pikes marathon and I need to find some new climbs too.
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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby MikeyC » Fri May 11, 2012 9:43 am

I run Mt Falcon pretty often and it may be too easy for you. There is also White Ranch from the east side. I'm not sure what the gain is and it has been a while since I have done it. It is very close to Golden though. I used to do the monocline route on Mt Morrison but I could have sworn they closed all the routes on that mountain. If not, a couple laps on that are awesome and you can get a crapton of vert really quick. Also, if you ever want a running partner please let me know. I may be a wee bit slower than you but I am training for the Pikes ascent this year and could use some help with motivation.

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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby Monster5 » Fri May 11, 2012 10:08 am

Some trails (all about 45 min - 1.5 hrs):

-Chimney gulch from 6th. Sort of steep during the first mile, but not challenging after. Plenty of trails to tack on though. I typically do this one from campus. Crowded.
-Matthews/Winters. Short and quick but easy to access. Starting at the NE entrance, has a nice steep lollipop up the Morrison slide and back via the red rocks trail.
-White Ranch. My favorite for running - has plenty of loop opportunities. Whippletree->Longhorn is a good start.
-Green Mountain and the Table Mountains. Has a quick initial steep gain with plenty of trails to cruise on after. Practice hopping rattlers. Sort of boring.
-Mount Galbraith. Good moderately steep lollipop. Gains about 1200' in a couple miles or so.

Edit - link for maps/stats: http://jeffco.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R108.htm
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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Fri May 11, 2012 10:14 am

Thanks for the recommendations / warnings.

Here's some info on Apex / Enchanted. Enchanted is really neat but not too hard or long. You have to be weary about the day you are on the trail also, some days are designated for bikers and others for runners which is nice actually.

http://dtr.runuphillracing.com/Maps/Apex.html

I've also heard of a Mount Morrison Funicular Ridge but that one might be closed for restoration. Supposed to be pretty hard.

Monster5 wrote:Practice hopping rattlers.


Very true :lol:
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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby SurfNTurf » Fri May 11, 2012 10:19 am

My understanding, which stands a strong chance of being wrong, is that the official trails on Mt. Morrison are closed for renovation/restoration. The ridge from Entrance 4, however, is not an official trail. Perhaps someone with better knowledge of the situation can chime in. Every time I do it I see plenty of other people on the trail, and I've never had a note/ticket left on my car or anything.
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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby CRAIGO » Fri May 11, 2012 10:48 am

I like running Mt Golbraith in Golden. Its 960' elevation gain in about 2 miles. The full loop is 4.2 miles.
Last edited by CRAIGO on Fri May 11, 2012 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby SolarAlex » Fri May 11, 2012 10:54 am

+1 about rattlesnakes on table mountain. i have seen at least 5 snakes so far this season on north table, almost all of them over on the south side of the loop, where you are across from the coors plant.

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Re: Trail Running Around Golden/Red Rocks

Postby Tory Wells » Fri May 11, 2012 7:54 pm

Doing a counterclockwise loop of Red Rocks and Dakota Ridge (starting from the Matthews/Winters lot) is a good one. You can also take the Zorro trail from Dakota over to Green Mountain to add more distance. You can easily do 20+ miles and a good vertical mile linking those two parks together.

I'll second White Ranch as another good one, and will say that Mt Falcon from the bottom to the true summit is a good hard climb. Deer Creek Canyon also has good trails, two 7k' summits with trails up them, and plenty of vertical gain.
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