Fall Colors and 100k Routes

I headed out to Box Prairie with Nick today to run the loop around Monument Gulch, Old Flowers Rd, and West White Pine mountain. As many times as I’ve run up in this area, I’ve never made it around this particular route. This loop is a possible segment for a 100k route that Nick is cooking up so we figured we’d take advantage of some gorgeous fall weather and dry ground while we still can.

The entire area is literally a maze of jeep roads, atv trails, and some single track – all of which change depending on what map you’re looking at. Fortunately, the route we took turned out to be fairly straight forward and well marked. We only passed a few side roads that weren’t identified on any map and only stopped to guess at one fork in the road which turned out to be just a split that reconnected back together a few hundred yards later.

The total round trip turned came out to be 16.3 miles by my GPS with 3,800ft of climbing between 7,800ft and 10,300ft. For a possible 100k route, I think this loop is ideal. Almost all of it is accessible by ATV or a 4WD vehicle so it won’t be difficult to set up regular aid stations and if anything goes wrong, it won’t take long to get help to anyone out on the course. But the route is still challenging and scenic with some great views of Lookout, Signal, Stormy Peaks and Comanche.

And the fall colors today were spectacular. It would be great to run an event here during the peak foliage but it would be fairly risky to organize. Last year, this area was already buried in snow by mid-October.

Click here for the detailed map, elevation profile, and route info.

Here are a few photos from the run today:

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17-Oct-2010 11:30

Looking south to Lookout Mountain from the start at the Donner Pass trailhead.Looking south to Lookout Mountain from the start at the Donner Pass trailhead.

Looking south to Lookout Mountain from the start at the Donner Pass trailhead.17-Oct-2010 09:14

Turn onto Monument Gulch Rd about 3/4 mile up Buckhorn from the trailhead.Turn onto Monument Gulch Rd about 3/4 mile up Buckhorn from the trailhead.

Turn onto Monument Gulch Rd about 3/4 mile up Buckhorn from the trailhead.17-Oct-2010 09:27

17-Oct-2010 09:27

Nick leading the way.Nick leading the way.

Nick leading the way.17-Oct-2010 09:34

17-Oct-2010 09:36

Lookout Mtn from Monument Gulch.Lookout Mtn from Monument Gulch.

Lookout Mtn from Monument Gulch.17-Oct-2010 09:40

Looking up at White Pine from Monument GulchLooking up at White Pine from Monument Gulch

Looking up at White Pine from Monument Gulch17-Oct-2010 09:45

135 is the correct road to take through Monument Gulch.135 is the correct road to take through Monument Gulch.

135 is the correct road to take through Monument Gulch.17-Oct-2010 09:46

350 is Monument Gulch Way which is posted as private property where it reconnects with 135.350 is Monument Gulch Way which is posted as private property where it reconnects with 135.

350 is Monument Gulch Way which is posted as private property where it reconnects with 135.17-Oct-2010 09:46

17-Oct-2010 09:49

17-Oct-2010 09:49

17-Oct-2010 09:53

17-Oct-2010 09:54

17-Oct-2010 09:54

Going north, this is an unmarked fork in the road. Stay right to continue on Monument Gulch. The left turn isn't marked on any map.Going north, this is an unmarked fork in the road. Stay right to continue on Monument Gulch. The left turn isn’t marked on any map.

Going north, this is an unmarked fork in the road. Stay right to continue on Monument Gulch. The left turn isn't marked on any map.17-Oct-2010 09:58

17-Oct-2010 09:58

Looking north, Monument Way on the right is heavily posted as private property.Looking north, Monument Way on the right is heavily posted as private property.

Looking north, Monument Way on the right is heavily posted as private property.17-Oct-2010 10:06

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