Utah Drives: Your new favorite hobby. Trail running.

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Calling all runners…and walkers for that matter. Are you new to running, a seasoned pro or even a hiking enthusiast? No matter your skill level you may consider ditching the pavement and experience a dirtier form of running. Trail running.

Here is a guide to get you started:

What you need:

  1. Shoes – Good shoes are essential when picking up trail running. Not all classic running shoes will do for the trail, you need to make sure you have lots of tread so you don’t slide around when running downhill.
  2. Hydration – It can be tough to carry a water bottle on long trail runs. Invest in a pack or vest that easily stores smaller containers.
  3. Layered clothing – Elevation gains can mean quickly changing temperatures. Be prepared with warm layers and lots of sunscreen as you head up a mountain.
  4. A way to the trailhead – Unlike traditional running where you can step out your front door and just go. You’ll need to get yourself to the trailhead first, which can take you on some pretty gorgeous road trips.

Utah has so much to offer when it comes to trail running. Here are some ideas to get you started:

For beginners:

  • Avenues Twin Peaks Trailhead on The Bonneville Shoreline Trail: This is a great place to start. The trailhead starts in The Avenues of Salt Lake City and can be as long and as hard as you make it. You can choose from flat steady paths to tougher climbs. Go as far as you want, then just turn back. Simple.
  • Round Valley in Park City: Like The Bonneville Shoreline Trail, the Round Valley is great for all skill levels. It is a system of trails, rather than a single trail, so you can choose your difficulty and length.
  • Broken Arch Loop Trail near Moab: This run will take you down south on a gorgeous road trip to get to the trailhead. Broken Arch Loop is one of the lesser known “arch” hikes, but it is a great way to get you started with desert trail running. It is a short loop with a few different kinds of terrain. You’ll need to use caution in the sandy areas, but they provide a great workout for your legs.

More advanced trails:

  • Dog Lake Trail in Millcreek Canyon: Running up to Dog Lake is an excellent workout and running down can be exhilarating. Not to mention, you can take your furry friend with you.
  • Moab Rim Trail: This trail is not for the faint of heart. The first mile of the trail has been described as “terrifying” on most reviews. If you are ready for an adventure lace up your running shoes embark on this 7.7 mile journey.
  • Jean Lake and Hell’s Kitchen Trail near Kamas: If high alpine lakes are your thing, you will love this trail. The 8.9 mile out and back trail brings you to a gorgeous lake. Make sure you bring a camera and a snack.

Trail running is a great way to change up your existing routine. It adds elevation to your runs and scenery for your eyes.

What are your favorite trail runs? Tell us in the comments.

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