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.
Here are a few photos from the run today: