Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Mesa Trail

On Monday morning (the 23rd), I dove out to the South Mesa trailhead near Eldorado Springs. The Mesa Trail is a classic run that skirts the Flatirons all the way to Chautauchua park in Boulder. Unlike most trails in the area, it never climbs very high into the mountains. Don't let that fool you, though. This beast of a trail that crosses several creek drainages and mesas, reminding me a bit of the Flatrock 25k. Out and back, the official length is just about 13 miles, but I manged to do a little extra with a wrong turn on the return trip. I think it took me around 3.5 hours to complete this run.

Climbing South Mesa

Also near the beginning, on the top of South Mesa looking North.

The highlight of the run had to be the aptly named Enchanted Mesa, close to the Northern end of the trail. Picture a gentle slope with towering Ponderosa pines and nothing but lush grass and flowers on the forest floor. Through the trees one can see the great plains stretching out for miles beyond the trees. Gigantic dandelion seed heads highlighted by the morning sun added to the dreamlike feel of the place. Unfortunately, I was getting anxious about returning to the car at a reasonable time and opted not to stop for photos.

It was a good morning to be alive, breathing, and using my legs.


  1. Love the Mesa Trail. I've run it out - or sections of it - dozens of times over the years. Was up there in May trying to navigate through through some of the canyons. The erosion channels from last fall's floods were unreal. I can see one in your photo there on the initial climb out of Eldo. Beautiful place.

  2. There was quite a bit of erosion, come to think of it. Not something that stood out to me on the run because trails out in Oklahoma are always much more of a mess than anything out there.