ElevationAscent: 579' 177 m
Descent: -579' -177 m
High: 5,984' 1,824 m
Low: 5,509' 1,679 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 15% (8°)
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“A great trail for fast running while enjoying the scenery along the South Platte River.”— Derek Griffiths
There is a bathroom at the parking lot at the trailhead, and one at the top of the trail near the dam. There is also a bathroom about half way up at a picnic area along the river.
The smooth surface and gradual incline make a perfect training ground for all types of workouts, from tempo runs to long runs to fartleks and anything in between.
Once you reach the shelter at the top of the trail near the dam, you can keep going past the buildings to continue on the Colorado Trail.
The first mile of the road is through open space with grasslands and cottonwoods along the Platte River. After this, you'll enter the canyon where the road winds alongside the river. Be sure to look up and around at the hillside as you travel along the road, as you may see elk, big horn sheep, or other wildlife on the mountains. You'll also have a great view of the Platte River as the road meanders along its banks for about six miles.
Around the three mile mark, there is a small pull-out with restrooms and a picnic spot. This would also be a good place for fishing or sticking your feet in the river on a hot day. You'll also see numerous mountain bikers along the way, and you may encounter a few Denver Water vehicles, but this is rare as the road is closed to motor vehicles.
Around 4.5 miles, the slope gets a bit steeper as you run up to a small manmade dam and reservoir. The road narrows here and the rock outcroppings are a bit more pronounced than along the earlier miles of the road. Past this point, the road gets a little bit steeper (compared to the barely noticeable incline you were on previously) as you wind your way up past the Strontia Springs Dam. The turnaround point for this run is at the sign marking the continuation of the Colorado Trail. Take in the scenery and enjoy the well-earned breeze down to your car on way back!
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