Friday, June 5, 2009

Mountain Running Kingston Peak: Early Season Peaks in Colorado

I've gotten behind on posting, but that is to be expected. When you live in Colorado, it seems a little odd to be writing about the mountains instead of playing in them. No worries, I'll put up two posts here on the recent mountain trail running and conditions.

Another early favorite mountain trail run that I like to do is Kingston Peak (12,133 feet). There are a couple of ways to go about it, but I usually come up the Tolland Road from Rollinsville. This is an excellent mountain hill run: The Tolland Road is a lung and leg buster. No warm up, as it goes at a fairly steep grade all the way past the turnoff to Apex (an old mining town). Once you pass the turnoff, keep going straight and head up and over, then down into a nice saddle. From here, you are at the base of Kingston proper, and the summit is only a mile or so away.
Trail running Kingston Peak out of Rollinsville, Colorado
Most of this route is above timberline with outstanding 360degree views much of the way. Several fourteeners can be seen from the top, including Longs Peak to the north and Mt. Evans to the south. Immediately west is James Peak at 13,294 ft. On a clear day, you can see Interstate 70 and Georgetown to the south.
Colorado mountain views from Kingston Peak
As you can see from the photos, most of the snow has melted out, and by now it is all dry. If you are looking for an excellent mountain tail run this early in the season (most of the high single track is still snowed in), then try Kingston. Rarely is there a person or car to be found, and the views are excellent.
Trail running to Kingston Peak
Oh, and did I mention the Pasque flowers were over the top?
Pasque Flowers on Kingston Peak

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