Trail Run Mushroom Rock and Red Hill

Colorado Carbondale, Colorado

Added by Ben Thomas

Run through red desert hills and rolling trails with excellent views of the Rocky Mountains along the way.

Mushroom Rock sits high above Colorado Highway 82 overlooking the town of Carbondale. With huge views up the Crystal and Roaring Fork River Valleys, terrain that inspires more desert-Utah than Rocky-Mountain-Colorado, this recreation area feels like a getaway even when it is minutes from Main Street.

Start by parking in the lot at the bottom of County Road 107 on the North side of Highway 82. Warm your legs up on the 0.3 mile approach to the Red Hill trailhead just off to the left of County Road 107. Once you've hit the trailhead, take a right up the Three Gulch trail. This trail winds up to the back side of Red Hill, eventually connecting with the Blue Ribbon trail around 1.5 miles from the parking lot. For a quick 3 mile loop, follow Blue Ribbon up to the top of Red Hill and scramble down to Mushroom Rock for the iconic Sopris-over-Carbondale-view. From there, head down on the Mushroom Rock trail that goes east along the edge of Red Hill, high above Highway 82. Follow this back to the Three Poles trail which will lead you north, back down to the trailhead, completing the loop. For bonus points, or to make the run a but longer, add on the Bogus Trail and/or Faerie Trail. During the summer, adding the Elk Traverse section can create an amazing backcountry half-marathon.

The terrain is decently technical, but it is all on trails. Please make your best effort to stay on trail, as this area doesn't need any help eroding away. The Mushroom Rock trail is steep on the descent, so keep an eye on your speed (and your knees!).

Pack List

  • Trail Running shoes with good ankle support
  • Water
  • Gel or bars depending on run length
  • Weather appropriate clothing
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Hiking, Running

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



3 Miles



Dog Friendly

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

12 months ago

Ever wonder why so many people are hiking up a dirt road near the highway? It's probably one of the best short hikes in the Roaring Fork Valley.

12 months ago

Added by Ben Thomas

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Spearhead

Colorado / Glacier Gorge Trailhead

Beginning from the Glacier Gorge trailhead, follow trail signs towards Mills Lake. At Mills, continue onward past Black Lake, and then continue hiking up into the incredible basin above Black Lake.

Kyle Frost
2 Saves

Hike Mt. Elbert via Black Cloud Trail

Colorado / Black Cloud Trailhead

Directions:  Heading south from Leadville from U.S. 24: West on CO 82 for 10.5 miles to a hidden right turn that leads to a trail head. If you make it to the Mt.

Mike Stevens
2 Saves

Backpack to Dragon's Back via Horsethief Trail

Colorado / Horsethief Trailhead

The Uncompahgre Wilderness stretches out through the mountains and forests of southwestern Colorado, with worn trails lingering beside abandoned 19th-century mines and crossing old alpine sheep pastu.

Jonathon Reed
11 Saves