FALL TRAIL RUNS:
Take yourself on a journey around the Southwest, trail by trail, as we discover some of our Red Team's favorite runs.
LET'S TALK ABOUT TRAILS.
Trail running is more than just running. It’s exploring. It’s exhilarating. It’s escaping. Trails take us places both physically and emotionally, and fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy them. The weather is shifting, the leaves and changing, and the trails are calling.
There are great places to explore all across the country. But don’t take it from us—take it from our Altra Red Team athletes who have provided some of their favorite trails by region.
Singletracks and doubletracks, pushing peaks and pitstops, climbing hills and bombing descents, here are some of our favorite trails throughout the Southwest.
Mount Baldy is one of the most popular peaks in Southern California, but this particular route is the road less traveled. You'll have big sections of the trail to yourself and climb more than 6,000 feet from Mount Baldy village to the summit. You'll enjoy wildflowers, stunning panoramic views of the Angeles National Forest, and you might even see a mountain goat or two. If you do this route as an out and back, it's 13.5 miles, or you can come down Devils Backbone for a somewhat shorter route. Mount Baldy tops out at just over 10,000 feet, so be sure to hit this route in the late spring or early fall to avoid snow. Be sure to bring adequate water and get an early start to avoid the heat. Happy trails!
See what Sarah’s up to on her Instagram.
The Backbone Trail is a point-to-point trail that runs 68 miles from Will Rodgers State Park in Pacific Palisades to Point Mugu State Park. There are so many different access points, it's easy to run many smaller sections of the trail or if you're not feeling up to the big challenge of all 68 miles. With a mix of majestic singletrack and smooth fire road with some major climbs, you’ll experience so many different ecosystems. Regardless what section you end up running, you will be rewarded with amazing views throughout. Running the whole 68 miles of the Backbone Trail is a classic rite of passage and bragging right in Southern California. The reward for hard work is a dip in the ocean to cool off and soothe the sore muscles you will accumulate along the way. Make sure to pack a camera and make time to stop and enjoy the views. A great trail to work on your tan but sunscreen is a must as many of the sections are exposed to the Southern California sun.
Keep up with Kenneth on his Instagram.
Green Mountain trail and summit loop is one of my usual running routes—It's non-technical, you can do 7-9 miles or more (if you add more loops), and it’s only a 15-minute drive from my house. You can see the view of downtown Denver in one direction, and a view of Red Rocks in another. There are lots of wildflowers in the spring and summer and you may run into some deer if you are lucky😄.
Check out Instagram for more of Junko’s journeys.
Animas Mountain is a 1,500-foot grind to some of the best views in the valley. The loop is best when you can run the technical, rocky section up and take the smooth singletrack to cruise back to the trailhead. Don't forget to stop at the lookout where the La Plata range towers to the west and the San Juans stretch on endlessly to the north. This trail is only open half the year to provide a winter habit for animals that come down from higher elevations, so every summer loop is that much more special.
Follow Kyle on Instagram for some Type II fun.
We have so many beautiful trails all over Arizona so it's hard to pick! I love McDowell Mountain Regional Park and one of my favorite trails to run there is the Escondido Trail.
This trail has fun switchbacks and what I call “roly-poly” hills. It's fun to go up and down them like a roller coaster. It's mainly singletrack and the views are spectacular. It's in the Arizona desert, so plenty of saguaros and cacti. Flowers will also appear in the spring. I've done this trail during a night race and it's just as fun at night! Although it's showing as an out and back trail, towards the end of the trail you can link up with others in the park.
It is closer to a road than I would normally like, but it's never bothered me since that road is not heavily trafficked (at least not the early mornings or nights). There is no shade so be prepared to be in the sun as well.
Check out Lia’s Instagram—she's both funny and fast.