Length 5.8 km (3.6 miles), terrain is hilly, rising 160 meters, elevation is high: 2800 meters (9000 feet)!
For more running routes, see Route List
Warning: Don't try this on your first couple of days if you've just arrived from some location near sea level. Take it easy the first few days!
Snowmass is developing into an all-year resort. So if you find yourself there in the summer, here's a great spot to run, especially nice as a morning jog in the cool morning air. If you like trail running, this will feel like heaven.
|Along the Ditch Trail|
This out-and-back run combines three trails: the Nature Trail, the Sleigh Ride Trail, and the Ditch Trail.
So, if you're psyched to go, then let's head out!
Start at the Snowmass Mall. Go up to the top level, and go out to the street. You'll see parking lots across the street, and a wooden sign pointing straight ahead, to the far side of the parking lot.
|Just follow that arrow to the back of the parking lot to start the run!|
The Nature Trail lives up to its name: this narrow trail winds through a changing scene of woods and meadows, following Brush Creek, going uphill. There are pine woods and aspens, and lots of wildflowers. I ran it in June, and there were hundreds of purple lupine, and strangely large yellow flowers.
|Lupine meadow along the Nature Trail|
It also has a few short but steep climbs, rising 100 meters in the first kilometer. If you aren't used to the altitude, take it easy. I, as a flatlander, struggled with the climbs, and I walked the steepest ones.
|Aspens and columbines|
At 1.3km, the Nature Trail goes up a short uphill stretch and then runs into the Sleigh Ride Trail, a smooth, graded trail that feels more like a sidewalk. Turn right and continue westwards.
|The Sleigh Ride Trail|
Continue straight by running past the right side of the stone sign ahead of you. You'll see a wooden sign for the Ditch Trail, which starts behind the stone, and is very narrow at this point.
|Run straight to those rocks at the corner to begin the Ditch Trail!|
|View of Snowmass Creek Valley|
You will run under the Campground ski lift after 2.4 km, then soon, in another half-kilometer, come to a spot where trail makes a sharp turn to the left and begins to go uphill. There is a waterfall in the valley ahead, which you can hear. And there is a bench to sit and enjoy the view south towards Mt. Daly.
|This is the turn-around spot|