A trail runner on a gravel path with a bald mountain in the background

Trail Running

It's What's for Breakfast

- | 2 min read

What is the intersection of long distance running and high-speed hiking? Trail running.

Straddling the running and mountain recreation sectors, trail running has never been more popular. The Outdoor Foundation reports that trail running now draws more participants than hiking, with an 8 percent growth spurt in a mere three years. Luckily for runners, Taos Ski Valley’s trails have yet to be fully discovered. Believe it or not, it’s still possible to have a solo run through aspen and evergreen groves—and fields of wildflowers brought to you by Mother Nature’s generosity this year—without rubbing elbows with another soul.

There are a slew of trails on which to refresh your spirit while simultaneously gaining major altitude and honing your skills for races such as the upcoming Up & Over 10K (Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022) or September’s Bull of the Woods half or full marathon in Taos Ski Valley.

 

Trail runners in a race run down a wide dirt path

 

The challenging race route with a technical descent will take runners up to 11,819 feet—that’s more than twice the altitude of Denver, the “Mile High” city—bringing them to unique wildflowers and literally breathtaking (if they’re running hard enough) views.“Come challenge your heart and lungs in our high-altitude nirvana,” said Courtney Tucker, Race Director and Executive Director of the Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitor’s Center. “We encourage dedicated and experienced trail runners to think of our 10K as a way to prepare for longer trail races—like the Bull of the Woods run—and to stay a while afterwards to enjoy countless other outdoor activities, unique southwestern shopping, dining on our many sunlit outdoor patios, and the overall soothing vibe of our small but mighty village.”

 

 

Outside dining includes the Door 38 at Taos Ale House‘s patio, with a beautiful stream running alongside it, the secluded aspen-and-wildflower dotted courtyard at Café Naranja (behind the Edelweiss Lodge & Spa), the famous Bavarian Restaurant‘s patios, all with great views of the mountains. There are also many lodging options, including camping, for those who come for the trail running but decide to stay for the horseback outings, fly fishing, white water rafting down in the valley, or local art and history.

Check out the trails starting in the Taos Ski Valley parking lot that branch off into multiple options including a couple of routes to Wheeler Peak (New Mexico’s tallest at 13,159’) or investigate the unique nature of each of several fantastic trails (Questa Ranger District) off of Highway 150-North which comes to a dead end in the ski valley.

And last but certainly not least, there’s the Sept. 10, 2022 Bull of the Woods single-track race up a mountainside, which will let you test the skills you’ve honed locally or elsewhere.

There is no more beautiful option for creating steely quads and glutes while breathing in the deep forest green and fresh mountain air.

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