I’ve been progressing steadily towards my third attempt @ 50 miles. In order to shake it up a bit I’ve been running some trails near my house. Plus my upcoming race is a desert trail race so I can claim I’m simulating race conditions 🙂
Two of the trails are Gateway Canyon and Brownstone Trail. Both have the same trail head if you go my way. I park @ Desert Moon & Sky Vista, the end of the civilized world right now. Though home construction has started back up again so by the time you read this you might be parking a little closer.
Either trail you take, the first few miles are going to be cleared rocky service roads, The Brownstone road is boring for 2-3 miles but it gets more fun. Gateway is a utility pole road but it is more trail like so it is still fun to run.
Gateway Canyon itself is a fun narrow canyon with some rock scrambling. Nothing crazy but you will have to climb up some boulders — you probably could run the canyon if you start on the west side but I come in from the east.
The canyon has some neat spiral colors on the rocks, but I’m not the best photographer so I don’t have pictures of those.
You have several options once you get to the end of the canyon. I turn left and run towards the small town of Calico Basin and turn the run into a 12 mile loop. You can push on and get into the main part of Red Rock and turn it into a 15+ mile loop, or if you go right you’ll turn into the better part of the Brownstone trail.
Once you get off of the cleared road, you are running up a wash – like running in sand, except with rocks.
Thanks — and remember its a desert. Bring more water than you think you need.