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!).
- Trail Running shoes with good ankle support
- Gel or bars depending on run length
- Weather appropriate clothing
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