Trails Worth the Effort. Part 2

Mesa Trail

Boulder, Colorado

If there is anything Colorado is famous for, it’s the mountains. Colorado is home for 78 out of 100 highest peaks of the Rockies, which makes it the top destination for all kinds of athletes. The Mesa trail starts near Boulder, which has famously been named the happiest place to live in the USA due to the year-round outdoor activities, spectacular scenery and vast amounts of quality restaurants and breweries it has to offer. There is one crucial thing to keep in mind if you do decide to travel out to Colorado and try this trail – the altitude. Boulder itself is located at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, at around 1700 meters above sea level. While in itself it is not challenging, if you have never been to the mountains before, you might find it a little more difficult to breathe while running than usual. That occurs because of the lower levels of oxygen high up in the mountains. And the trail itself is not that short – around 21km, so make sure you are up for the challenge. Be prepared to encounter some wildlife along the way!

Maderas Volcano

Maderas Volcano

Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Speaking of challenges, this trail will present one. Starting with the weather, the texture of which differs greatly from that encountered in most cities and feels heavy and thick, and finishing with the wildlife, the trails in Central America can easily take even the most experienced runners out of their comfort zone. The heat, the humidity and the running surfaces might prolong the time of the run perhaps even twice to what you are used to for an 8km run. However, what you will see there most probably will take your breath away. Incredible jungle, with flora and fauna straight from adventure movies, volcanos instead of regular mountains, dark black ground covered in volcano ash, cute monkeys at the top of the trees – all of that combined provides a running experience that is not only about running.

Inner Basin Trail

Flagstaff, Arizona

This one is a cooldown compared to the previous highly physically challenging trails. Inner Basin trail is located in Coconino National Forest, one of the most diverse National Forests in the USA. The trail itself is peaceful, mellow, without steep jumps or falls in terms of elevation and extends for 6.5km. However, the elevation can at points reach 3.5km, which can offer a challenge when it comes to the oxygen supply to your body. If you are up for a more tiring experience, you can go ahead and connect it to various nearby trail loops and observe even more diverse nature as well as the San Francisco Peaks. Pay attention to wildflowers, Arizona has a great diversity of them! However, keep in mind that the Forest Service does a lot of maintenance there in the fall, when the leaves start falling, so make sure to check their schedule in advance to avoid being turned around.