Whiskey Row Marathon 2014

Whiskey Row Marathon 2014

Thank-you Prescott for hosting another amazing Whiskey Row Marathon for 2014. I want to congratulate everyone who ran in the races. Also, I want to extend a very special thank-you the event organizers, the aid station volunteers, and to the friends and family that supported us.

It was an exciting and challenging race this year. I felt very strong throughout the entire race and I did a great job of managing my hydration. The only major challenge I encountered this year was around mile 19. I was running quickly down a steeper part of Copper Basin road while attempting to navigate a turn. A misplaced foot caused me to slip on loose gravel. I then took a forward flip on to the side of the road into the bushes. The fall knocked the wind out of me and blooded me up a bit. :-)

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After about a 10 min break to regain my breath and work through what happened. I felt strong enough to push myself the to the finish. I got back to 100% on the last 3 miles to finish very strong.

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Lately running has really been testing me. I have recently had more than my share of crappy runs. It has been about 2 1/2 years since I started running and for the most part I have had no real challenges; things have come very easy.

As I reflect on the race and the past several weeks of runs I see that having shitty runs and learning how to work though them is teaching me a lot more about myself then any other previous running experience. It is helping me develop some great physical as well as mental tools for dealing with challenges. Tools I hope will help me on my next major challenge

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Happy Trail Running
peace50h

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April 7 – 13

April 7 – 13

4/7/2014 – Mon – Groom Creek Loop (2:02, 1,600′)

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Beautiful afternoon run up Spruce Mountain on the Groom Creek Loop Trail #307

4/9/2014 – Wed – Circle Trail (2:00, 665′)

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Another great day on the Circle Trail #332.

4/11/2014 – Fri – Watershed Trail (2:00, 1,122′)

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Spring is here on the Watershed Trail #299.

4/13/2014 – Sun – Wolf Creek Loop (2:00, 574′)

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Exploring the Wolf Creek Loop Trail #384.

Totals

Time in mountains: 8h2m
Vertical Gain: 3,961′

Happy Trail Running
peace50h

Groom Creek Loop Trail #307

Groom Creek Loop Trail #307

Groom Creek Loop Trail #307 passes through idyllic stands of ponderosa pine and Gambel oak as it climbs to the top of Spruce Mountain. There are Douglas fir and a number of other cone-bearing species that thrive in the cool mountain conditions. There is a picnic area, restroom, and a lookout tower located at the top of the trail.

The first 3 1/2 miles are a very steady climb to the summit, which will end up to be about a 50/50 split, 50% running / %50 power hiking. Once reaching the top of Spruce Mountain #307 continues past the radio towers to begin the long gradual descent along Spruce Ridge. Most of the trail above 6,500 feet is very technical with large loose rocks, as well as lots of exposed tree routes. With a consistent pace (~14 min/mi) the 9 mile loop can be completed in about two hours.

Elevation: 6,329’ ft (low) – 7,693’ ft (high)
Length: 9 miles
Skill Level: Advanced

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running
peace50h

March 31 – April 6

March 31 – April 6

Beautiful week of trail running in the mountains. Clear sunny skies most of the week, but with a mid week treat of snow!

3/31/2014 – Mon – Watershed Trail (1:00, 687′)

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Sunny afternoon run on the Watershed Trail #299

4/2/2014 – Wed – Watershed Trail (1:41, 1,122′)

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Another amazing run on the Watershed Trail, but very different day than Monday :-)

4/3/2014 – Thur – Goldwater Lake Trail (1:45, 1,480′)

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Nice afternoon run on the beautiful Goldwater Lake Trail #396

4/4/2014 – Fri – Forest Road #9401J (1:45, 905′)

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Did more trail exploration by running the FR #9401J.

4/5/2014 – Sat – Wolverton Mountain Trail (1:48, 1,244′)

Had a great morning run up the Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415 with running buddy Jim, from our Prescott Trail Running group.

Totals

Time in mountains: 7h19m
Vertical Gain: 5,438′

Happy Trail Running
peace50h

Forest Road #9401J

Forest Road #9401J

Forest Road (FR) #9401J is a steep rocky trail that climbs up out of Ponderosa pines exposing amazing views of Thumb Butte and Granite Mountain. FR #9401J is an inner trail that can be accessed from #327, #391, or #366.

The easiest route is to start at Cold Springs Trail #393 which connects to Potts Creek Trail #327. Potts Creek has lots of ups-and-downs, staying close to the stream at first, but soon dives into the woodlands through shady canyons, sun-washed meadows and a short burnt
section. #327 connects to a three-way junction for 327-391-9401J which allows access to a myriad trails near Thumb Butte. FR #9401J trail is to the left (west) which climbs quickly uphill toward the Sierra Prieta Overlook on the connecting #366. Forest Road #9401J is also one of the tougher race routes of the Whiskey Off Road.

#393 and #327 are very runnable, but once hitting the trail head of #9401J there is a very steady climb until reaching #366 toward the top of the Sierra Prieta ridge.

Elevation: 6,211’ (low) – 7,000′ (high)
Length: 11 miles (#393 -> #327 -> #9401J -> #366) (round trip)
Skill Level: Moderate

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running
peace50h

Watershed Trail #299

Watershed Trail #299

Watershed Trail #299 travels upward through beautiful pinyon pine and juniper. The trail hits a junction with the Seven-Mile Gulch Trail #9854 to a mixed forest of ponderosa pine and Gambel oak. On clear days amazing views of Bill Williams Mountain and the San Francisco Peaks can be seen to the north as well as Maverick Mountain and Mount Tritle to the south.

This trail hits you very hard, very fast. Your running pace will be reduced to fast power hike for the first quarter of a mile. The trail begins at Senator Highway and climbs several hundred feet over an open scrub oak covered hillside to Deer Lick Spring. Trail #299 turns south, rising sharply to Spruce Ridge. At nearly 6,900 feet this is the highest point along the trail and as one might expect, the views are spectacular. The first part of the trail is very technical with large boulders and granite rocks along the trail. As you reach the peak of the ridge the trail smooths out a bit, but is stays fairly technical to the end.

Elevation: 6,1874’ ft (low) – 6,874’ ft (high)
Length: 6.2 miles (roundtrip)
Skill Level: Advanced

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running
peace50h

March 24 – 30

March 24 – 30

Another amazing week in the mountains. This mountain living really agrees with me :-)

3/24/2014 – Mon – Goldwater Lake Trail (2:00, 1,152′)

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Beautiful afternoon run on the Goldwater Lake Trail #396.

3/27/2014 – Thur – Lower Circle Trail (1:05, 843′)

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Quick afternoon run on the lower part of the Circle Trail #332 from Thumb Butte road to Iron Springs road.

3/28/2014 – Fri – Upper Circle Trail to Hokaygon Trail (2:00, 843′)

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Back on #332, but this time on the upper part from Iron Springs road to Hokaygon Trail #341.

3/29/2014 – Sat – Upper Circle Trail to Willow Trail (2:45, 1,795′)

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Mid morning run starting on #332 at Iron Springs road to Willow Trail #347 to Williamson valley road and back.

3/30/2014 – Sun – Groom Creek Loop Trail (4:30, 1,373′)

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Spent the afternoon exploring the Groom Creek Loop Trail #307 up to Spruce Mountain at 7,693′.

Totals

Time in mountains: 12h20m
Vertical Gain: 6,006′

March 17 – 23

March 17 – 23

Great week of amazing trail runs, was able to get about 42 miles in on some pretty tough trails.

3/18/2014 – Tue – Cold Springs Trail to Garden Grove Trail (2:10, 789′)

Beautiful afternoon out and back run starting at the Cold Springs Trail #393 off of Copper Basin road to the Garden Grove Trail #392 on Thumb Butte Road.

3/19/2014 – Wed – Cold Springs Trail to Garden Grove Trail (2:05, 789′)

Had so much fun on Tuesday, decided to run the same route again :-)

3/20/2014 – Thur – Circle Trail (2:02, 716′)

Beautiful afternoon mountain run on the Circle Trail #332.

3/21/2014 – Fri – Garden Grove Trail to Wolverton Mountain Trail(2:45, 1,795′)

Had my wife Lisa drop me off at the Garden Grove Trail #392 off of Thumb Butte Road and then ran the network of trails that are part of the Prescott Circle Trail to Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415 just off of White Spar road. Made for a beautiful 11 mile run over the Sierra Prieta mountain range. Once I made it to White Spar road, it was just short 2.5 miles down White Spar to my house.

Totals

Time in mountains: 9h2m
Vertical Gain: 4,089′

March 3 – 16

March 3 – 16

3/3/2014 – Mon – Thumb Butte Bypass Trail (:53, 523′)

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After work run on the Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 Loop.

3/4/2014 – Tue – Goldwater lake trail (1:45, 626′)

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Beautiful afternoon run on the Goldwater Lake Trail #396.

3/5/2014 – Wed – Wolverton Trail (2:02, 1,244′)

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Very beautiful, but warm day on round trip run on Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415.

3/6/2014 – Thur – Aspen Creek to Wolverton (:45, 365′)

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Short afternoon run from Aspen Creek #48 trail to the trail head of Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415.

3/10/2014 – Mon – Bright Angel Trail (1:10, 1,104′)

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Camping at the Grand Canyon and enjoying time on the beautiful Bright Angel Trail.

3/12/2014 – Wed – Angels Landing Trail (1:30, 1,488′)

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Zion National Park exploring the amazing trails. Stunning views of Zion from Angels Landing.

3/14/2014 – Fri – Wolverton Trail (2:50, 1,244′)

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Back from camping trip and enjoying mid morning out and back trail run with Lisa on Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415.

3/15/2014 – Sat – Wolverton Trail to Aspen Creek (1:10, 1,244′)

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One way run from Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415 to Aspen Creek Trail #48. Lisa & kids planned a trail hike on the Cold Springs Trail #393 with members from our local trail running group, so she dropped me off on the other side of the mountain and I ran to meet them.

Totals

Time in mountains: 10h45m
Vertical Gain: 7,838′

Feb 24 – March 2

Feb 24 – March 2

2/25/2014 – Tue – Trail #332 (1:15, 610′)

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Beautiful afternoon run on the Circle Trail #332

2/26/2014 – Wed – Thumb Butte Bypass Trail (:45, 447′)

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Quick lunch run on the Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 Loop.

2/27/2014 – Thurs – Trail #332 (1:25, 610′)

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Out and back on the Circle Trail #332 with Lisa. Storm clouds were starting to roll in, but got finished before any serious weather hit us.

3/1/2014 – Sat – Goldwater lake trail (1:26, 626′)

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Nice mid morning run on the beautiful Goldwater Lake Trail #396. It was raining the entire run, but the dense pine trees provided a nice canopy to protect me from some of the heavier rain.

3/1/2014 – Sun – Willow Lake Trail Loops (1:15, 100′)

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Hiked and light bouldering throughout the Willow Dells Slickrock Trail Loops. The sky was still overcast from Saturday’s storm, which made for a very cool day.

Week Totals

Time in mountains: 5h26m
Vertical Gain: 2,393”

Circle Trail #332

Circle Trail #332

Circle Trail #332 rises and falls over the hilly terrain of Arizona’s central highlands. Exposed slopes of chaparral and pinyon-juniper woodland are interspersed with shady groves of ponderosa pine where a variety of bird calls can be heard ringing out from among the trees. Great views of both Thumb Butte and Granite Mountain. This trail is another segment of the larger Prescott Circle Trail.

This trail is a lot fun to run with a nice set of switchbacks over ridges and around river beds. Since the elevation is fairly consistent throughout the entire trail, you can pretty much run the entire trail with very little hiking required. Some parts of the trail are more technical with the standard Prescott trails boulders and granite rocks on the trail, but overall a nice smooth trail.

Elevation: 5,787’ ft (low) – 6,082’ ft (high)
Length: 7.2 miles (roundtrip)
Skill Level: Intermediate

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
Circle Trail 332

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Feb 17 – 23

Feb 17 – 23

2/18/2014 – Tue – Mount Francis (1:10, 760′)

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Beautiful afternoon run up Mount Francis. I meet some cool new folks on the trail. We are now working on organizing an Prescott Circle Trail ultra in mid April. I will share more details soon.

2/19/2014 – Wed – Thumb Butte (:30, 608′)

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Quick lunch run up Thumb Butte with Lisa.

2/20/2014 – Thurs – Goldwater lake trail (1:01, 626′)

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Afternoon run with Lisa on the Goldwater Lake Trail #396

2/21/2014 – Fri – Thumb Butte Bypass Trail (1:07, 523′)

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Evening run with Lisa on the Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 Loop.

2/23/2014 – Sun – Thumb Butte Bypass Trail (:53, 523′)

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Morning run back on Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 Loop. It was a beautiful morning nice and warm around 45F.

Week Totals

Time in mountains: 4h
Vertical Gain: 3040′

Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 Loop

Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 Loop

Thumb Butte Bypass Trail #326 is part of a network of trails serving the Thumb Butte area. This trail begins in well-shaded pine forest and briefly meanders along the southern bank of Miller Creek before turning sharply and continuing uphill. As this trail climbs into higher country it enters more open terrain and there are some lovely views of the surrounding hills and valleys.

Several different trail routes can be created with the network of trails to make for a variety of very exciting trail runs. One very popular loop route is to start at the Thumb Butte Bypass trail #326 to climb the lower western ridge of Thumb Butte to connect to Garden Grove Trail #392. This trail quickly descents back down the ridge connecting to Miller Creek Trail #367. From #367 complete the loop by reconnecting back to the lower portion of Trail #326.

Elevation: 5,870’ ft (low) – 6,355’ ft (high)
Length: ~ 4 miles
Skill Level: Intermediate

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running :-)

Goldwater Lake Trail #396

Goldwater Lake Trail #396

The Goldwater Lake trail #396 is a forested trail shaded by dense stands of ponderosa pine that occasionally give way to alligator juniper and chaparral-type vegetation. The trail has amazing views of Goldwater Lakes and the Bradshaw and Sierra Prieta ranges. Trail #396 climbs hills and ridges through a series of switchbacks over valleys green with Gambel oak.

Most of the trail is fairly smooth soft forest soil, but parts of the trail are more technical with boulders and beautiful white granite. The trail starts with a stead accent before reaching the top of the first ridge then drops down into Bannon Creek. Most of the trail is shaded by the dense ponderosa which provides great relief on hotter days.

Elevation: 5,658’ ft (low) – 6,160’ ft (high)
Length: 8.5 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Intermediate
Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
Direction to Wolverton Mountain Trail #9415

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Feb 10 – 16

Feb 10 – 16

02/10/2014
Mon-PM: 1:20, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Up and back on Mount Francis with Lisa.

02/12/2014
Wed-PM: 0:30, Elevation Low: 5630′ High: 6286′, Total Gain: 652′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Quick lunch run up front side and down back side of Thumb Butte. Very warm day, felt like summer.

02/13/2014
Thurs-PM: 1:01, Elevation Low: 6319′ High: 6991′ , Total Gain: 672′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Drove to the top of the Sierra Prieta and ran down and back up the Sierra Prieta Trail. Very warm day around 68F. Felt very strong throughout the entire run.

02/16/2014
Sun-PM: 2:30, Elevation Low: 5510′ High: 7230′ , Total Gain: 1720′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Up and back on Granite Mountain. The cloudy warm day made for a perfect run.

Hours: 5h21m
Vert: 3,829′

Great week of some good vertical climbs. Felt 100% back in strength from being sick, but felt a little heavier. I think I got a bit out shape over the past few weeks from the reduced training volume. Going to kick up the training schedule and tighten up the diet with more of a Paleo focus for the next few weeks to get back in running weight :-)

Feb 3 – 9

Feb 3 – 9

02/03/2014
Mon-PM: 1:10, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Up and back on Mount Francis. Still recovering from being sick. Felt kind of slow and it was very cold.

02/04/2014
Tue-PM: 1:07, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Another run up Mount Francis. Feeling a little stronger, but was another cold afternoon.

02/05/2014
Wed-PM: 0:58, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Decided I would just run Mount Francis this week. Felt strong and fast.

02/06/2014
Thurs-PM: 1:02, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Last run of the week. Might have pushed it to hard, because I started to feel crappy after the run. I am still not 100% back after getting sick, still have some upper respiratory congestion.

Hours: 4h17
Vert: 3140
Felt stronger mid-week, but started to get a bit of a relapse of sinus and nasal issues at the end of the week. I hope to be fully back next week.

Jan 27 – Feb 2

Jan 27 – Feb 2

01/27/2014
Mon-PM: 1:00, Elevation Low: 6449′ High: 7193, Total Gain: 785′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Afternoon run up Mount Francis. Very warm afternoon, felt like summer. Was very strong and fast, shaved 8 min off my last roundtrip time.

01/28/2014 – 01/31/2014
No running, fought a tough chest cold. Really bad timing with the Sedona Marathon over the weekend.

02/01/14
Sat-AM: 2:36, Elevation Low: 4,375′ High: 4,612′, Total Gain: 961′
Sedona Marathon, still had a slight fever on Saturday morning so I made last minute decision to not run the full marathon, but instead run the half and support my wife by pacing her to shave 2 min off her last year time.

Hours: 3h36
Vert: 1746
Getting sick really destroyed my week and Sedona marathon prep, but the plus was I got to run an entire race pacing my wife, it was so much fun running together :-)

Jan 20 – 26

Jan 20 – 26

After moving up to the mountains last July I pretty much gave up road running in favor the more exciting mountain trail running. This change made me realize that using my GPS to track my pace and mileage really did not provide a lot of value. When running the mountains I really only care about the amount of time running and the elevation gain. For example, over the last 6 months I have spent 77 hours in the mountains with a total vertical gain 38,485 feet.

With this new mindset I decided to throw out my Garmin forerunner and switch to using the Highgear Alti-XTss watch/altimeter. It has a barometric altimeter which calculates altitude based on barometric pressure, not GPS, which is a more accurate type of tool for tracking vertical gain.

So my plan now is to just post a weekly log of my elevation low, high, and total gain.

01/21/2014
Tue-PM: 0:40, Elevation Low: 377′ High: 400′, Total Gain: 23′ ~ Irving, TX
Short out and back near hotel. Not a very hospitable place to run, but found a short grass path along the canal under all the freeway over passes.

01/22/2014
Wed-AM: 1:05, Elevation Low: 427′ High: 451, Total Gain: 24′ ~ Arlington, TX
Fun morning run with co-workers from Portland and Madison at River Legacy Park.

01/26/2014
Sun-AM: 1:08, Elevation Low: 6308′ High: 7102, Total Gain: 794′ ~ Prescott, AZ
Back from Texas and loving being back in the mountains. Broke away from Sunday birthday activities for a mid morning run up Mount Francis. Very warm morning, felt tired at start, but gained my strength around 35min into climb.

Hours: 2h53
Vert: 851
Had to travel this week to DFW for work so did not get in much running. Will be spending the next few days getting in some longer runs then plan to tapper off Thursday to rest up for the Sedona Marathon on Feb 1st.

Granite Mountain Trail #261

Granite Mountain Trail #261

Granite Mountain Trail #261 is part of a network of trails serving the Granite Mountain Wilderness. This area is sanctuary for a diversity of wildlife, such as javelina, deer, foxes, as well as snakes, lizards, and a variety of Southwestern birds. The trail travels upward through open chaparral and boulders before climbing steeply into pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine forest. There are a number of remarkable vistas that offer breathtaking views of the city of Prescott, Thumb Butte, Mount Francis, Sierra Prieta, and Watson Lake. This trail goes past peregrine falcon nesting sites on the south flank of Granite Mountain.

The first 2 miles of the trail allow for a fairly quick paced run as you travel westward from the trailhead into the Granite Mountain Wilderness area. Once you reach Blair Pass the very steep rocky series of switchbacks slows your run to a slow trot or fast paced hike as you climb to the summit of Granite Mountain. The westside of Granite Mountain is showing some signs of recovery from the destructive Doce Fire last June, but it will take several more seasons for the full beauty of the granite forest to be restored.

Elevation: 5,596’ (low) – 7,220′ (high)
Length: 8 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

Directions: Google Maps Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running :-)

Mount Francis

Mount Francis

Mount Francis is a 7,110 feet (2,167 m) mountain which is part of the Sierra Prieta mountain range. The Sierra Prieta’s are a 14-mi (23 km), long mountain range in central-northwest Arizona. Mount Francis is the highest peak in the south which borders the Bradshaw Mountains.

To run to the summit of Mount Francis start at the Aspen creek Trail #48. After 2.7 miles turn right on to the East Copper Trail #260. Follow trail 260 until reaching the Mount Francis access road which will lead to the radio towers at the top.

The accent to the summit covers 4 miles of very steep technical trail. In the winter large portions of the shade cover sections of Aspen Creek trail are covered in snow. The trail climbs up over several smaller ridges as you move from the northern trail head around the eastern side to access the service road on the southwest side of Mount Francis.

Mount Francis provides amazing panoramic views of Bradshaw Mountains, Prescott, Granite Dells, San Francisco Peaks, Granite Mountain, and Skull Valley.

Elevation: 6,409’ (low) – 7,110′ (high)
Length: 8 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Cold Springs Trail #393

Cold Springs Trail #393

Cold Springs Trail #393 in the Prescott National Forest climbs steeply from its trailhead on Copper Basin Road to a ridge toward Thumb Butte and the Sierra Prieta Overlook. On this run the trail still had a large amount of snow, but the warm high altitude sun of the day has started to melt most of the snow. The melting snow made the trail much more technical due to the ice and mud, but a lot of fun!

Elevation: 6,223’ (low) – 6,507′ (high)
Length: 3 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Moderate

Directions: Google Map Driving Directions
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Happy Trail Running :-)

Season of the trail

Season of the trail

One of amazing things of living in a small mountain community filled with endless trails is with the change of each season a new trail is born. Now that winter is here the rocky very technical trails of the summer are reborn into amazingly fast trails that feel more like skiing than trail running. One such trail is the Centennial Trail.

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Happy Trail Running :-)

Aspen Creek Trail

Aspen Creek Trail

Now that I have ran the majority of the Mile High Trail System trails I have been having fun combining the trails to make more interesting runs. One of my frequent trail runs combines Aspen Creek Trail and Butte Creek Trail.

Aspen Creek Trail is a very technical one mile trail that follows a portion of Aspen Creek while paralleling the Hassayampa golf course. Like the Butte Creek Trail this trail is a very technical trail run with large boulders and sharp rocks to navigate as you make your accent up toward Hassayampa Village Ln. Once you reach the road you make a short decent toward Stricklin Park to connect to the Butte Creek Trail.

Elevation: 5500’ (low) – 5600’ (high)
Length: 2 miles (round trip)
Skill Level: Advanced

I live in west Prescott (1 mile from Aspen Creek Trail) so overall from my home these two trails are a nice 7 mile round trip run.

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Happy Trail Running :)