Mesa Trail, Boulder, CO
Be warned: an afternoon “trail run” in Boulder can mean a 26-mile loop over 12,000-foot passes. The seven-mile Mesa Trail, however, is the perfect after-work challenge. Sitting right on the edge of town, the trail mostly rolls through the foothills of Chautauqua Park, with inspiring views of the flatirons and vast wildflower blooms. Without a ride back from the Mesa Trailhead (the halfway point), this run gets pretty hardcore, requiring the fitness to tackle some 14 miles and 3,250 feet of elevation gain, topping out at a hypoxic 6,465 feet.
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