Top 5 Destinations for a Trail Runcation
Here’s a handful of trail-running towns with a solid mix of dirt trails and just enough urban flair to satisfy any hipster looking for a night out on the town. Namely, good coffee, good brews, and good food.
Boasting amazing trails right next to town and an opportunity to summit the highest peak in Arizona (Mount Humpreys), Flagstaff is a solid choice. With a lot of flat, rolling terrain at 7,000 feet, it’s easy to see why many elite track and road runners have called it home. As an added bonus: Tack on a day trip to the Grand Canyon for Rim2Rim2Rim or a nice run down into the canyon.
Prime season: April-October
Coffee and Restaurant picks: Lux Coffee and Proper Meats + Provisions
Surrounded by big terrain, Bozeman is a mountain running mecca. With the Bridger Range to the northeast and the Spanish Peaks to the south, the options are endless. Come prepared, as this terrain is wild, wonderful, and full of wildlife. Don’t forget to pack your bear spray!
Prime season: July-September
Coffee and restaurant picks: Ghost Town Coffee Roasters and Backcountry Burger Bar
Nestled just east of the Ring of Fire of five volcanoes and the Three Sisters Wilderness, Bend sits on the banks of the Deschutes River at 3,600 feet. The Three Sisters Wilderness is connected by a plethora of trails that tumble all the way to town. You’ll find all varieties of trails from rolling, flowy singletrack along the banks of the Deschutes, to steep, rocky terrain around the volcanoes.
Prime season: June-October
Coffee and restaurant picks: Backporch Coffee Roasters and Jackson’s Corner
Seated along the banks of the Animas River, Durango is the southern terminus of the Colorado Trail. It’s also the launch point to the gigantic terrain of Silverton, Telluride and Ouray, home turf of the Wild and Tough Hardrock 100 Endurance Run. Come prepared for big terrain, big views, and gnarly afternoon thunderstorms. Get started early, as the gorgeous bluebird mornings quickly turn into electrically-charged, wet afternoons.
Prime season: June-September
Coffee and restaurant picks: Durango Coffee Company and Steamworks Brewing Company
Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville boasts over 500 miles of trails within a 30-minute drive of town. The city is surrounded by the rugged mountain terrain of Pisgah National Forest, ranging from 1,400 to 6,700 feet. With access to the Appalachian Trail, Mountain-to-Sea Trail, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Asheville is the trail running mecca of the East Coast.
Prime season: Year-round
Coffee and restaurant picks: High Five Coffee and Burial Beer Company
When you start to feel like running is a chore, it may be time to take a running vacation. Hopefully these tips and a change of scenery can help you infuse some new stoke into your training.