Trail Run Project Logo

Blue Ridge Trail #N20

Intermediate
 4.0 (1)

A lovely, high alpine run with stunning views in all directions.


Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

7.3

Miles

11.7

KM

81%

Runnable

12,192' 3,716 m

High

10,391' 3,167 m

Low

2,169' 661 m

Up

1,090' 332 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

36%

Max Grade (20°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Commonly Backpacked · Views · Wildflowers

Need to Know

The trail is faint in some places and non-existent in others. Look for cairns if you lose the trail, and, generally, keep following the ridgeline. Much of this trail is exposed and above treeline; be sure to run early in the summer to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

Runner Notes

There is a bit of a side-hill slope that could make this a bit tricky, but otherwise this trail lacks a lot of the rocky tundra that many other above tree line trails have. The mostly grassy terrain is interspersed with a couple rocky sections that will slow you down, but otherwise, you should be able to keep up a good pace.

Description

The Blue Ridge Trail climbs from its southern trailhead up to an exposed, above-treeline ridgeline that offers panoramic views of the Never Summers. The climb when running from south to north is mostly gradually with a few steep, rocky sections. Once you climb above treeline, you'll enjoy views of Bowen Lake, Ruby Lake, and Bowen Mountain to the east. To the west, you can see Parkview Mountain and to the northwest, the high mountain plains stretching from Rand to Walden.

Once you gain the ridgeline, the trail itself is a narrow singletrack that follow along or just below the ridgeline. The ridge is mostly grassy with a few rocks so the footing is easy, and the views are spectacular. The trail skirts to the west of Cascade Mountain (12,291 ft.) and you can do a little off-trail route-finding if you want to gain the summit. To the east, you'll be looking back down the Bowen Gulch drainage, which perhaps you climbed earlier on the Bowen Gulch Trail #119.

From Cascade Mountain, the trail disappears briefly, but you can find your way by looking for the large cairns to climb down and then up to the summit of Ruby Mountain (12,008 feet). Again the trail skirts to the west of the true summit, but with a short, rocky scramble, you can reach the peak for some more impressive views.

From Ruby Mountain, the trail descends steeply on a rocky and loose slope to a saddle. Again the trail is a bit vague, but keep your eyes up across the saddle, and you should be able to spot where the ribbon of singletrack picks up again. This final section of trail contours around the backside of the ridge. While faint in spots, you can usually pick out where to go. There are a few steep, loose sections where you'll want to watch your footing.

The trail eventually descends a steep and rocky ridge to Bowen Pass, a saddle where you'll meet up with the Bowen Pass Trail #1136 and the continuation of the CDT.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kristen McGlynn

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#3

in Grand Lake

#11940

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
0%
4 Star
100%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#3

in Grand Lake

#1,087

in Colorado

#11,940

Overall
8 Views Last Month
1,118 Since Aug 6, 2018
Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Bowen Lake from the Blue Ridge Trail.
Aug 7, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
Looking up toward Ruby Mountain.
Aug 7, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO
The faint Blue Ridge Trail.
Aug 7, 2018 near Grand Lake, CO

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

none