“An epic alpine trail through the San Juans.
— Tyler Prince
Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
While the trail itself is never closed, its trailheads are often closed in the winter. Most runners of the RSD probably aren't too afraid of mileage, but should expect to add a few miles on either end during winter.
This trail passes through national forest, so dogs must be leashed.
This long, rolling trail, mostly on prime Colorado singletrack, makes for an excellent run. It's wicked long, so carefully consider out-and-back options or running a shuttle from TH to TH with a friend.
This trail runs from near Ouray (West end: Alpine Flats; Bear Creek and Horsethief Trail
junctions) to a remote area in between Gunnison and Lake City (East end: Alpine Plateau), and can also be accessed by way of the Matterhorn Creek Trailhead (see Uncompahgre Peak
It consists mostly of rolling singletrack, taking runners from near Ouray to Matterhorn Creek Trailhead and catching up with the approach to Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre
Peaks at 7.5 miles. It winds through the basin between these two 14ers before departing this route to the right, at 13 miles and 12,600 ft. From here it continues for about 15 miles, winding by several alpine passes before descending gradual singletrack into the Alpine Plateau, an area of lower altitude tundra between Lake City and Gunnison.
Flora & Fauna
Wildflowers in this part of the state are stunning. While you'll spend some time above tree line, the aspens and pines in this area are beautiful as well.
As with any alpine trail in the San Juans, expect to see marmots, pika, and maybe some bighorn sheep and mountain goats.