Today I’m joining with Miss Zippy and other bloggers to talk about my favorite run. No, not my favorite race, or my best time ever; we’re talking here about my all time favorite running route. I am excited to tell you about it, but I’m even more excited that now that my training for the Costume Party Run is over and the race is in the bag (full race report and costume pictures coming tomorrow), I can go back to simply going out and taking a run along my favorite route.
If I were to virtually take you along on my run, we would start by walking out my front door. If we were lucky, we’d have one of these amazing sunrises to greet us.
After leaving the house, we’d head west for about a half mile. This is the only part of the run on asphalt. After that it is all trails and some of the most beautiful views you’ll ever see. Once we reach the trail, you can take a glance back, and if you’re lucky, that sunrise is still popping.
At that point, we’ll be running on a hard trail that the city of La Quinta created a few years back. It takes us uphill for the next mile and a half. When we reach the one mile point of our run, there is a covered seating area that has a water fountain if you’d like a drink (and a bowl if you happen to be running with your dog). There are several of these water stations along this trail, so convenient for walkers, runners, and doggies. They also provide bags to take care of your dogs, er, business, the better to keep the trails clean and beautiful.
We’ll follow the trail along the wash for another half mile. Then we reach the end of the planned trail and step out into a wide open trail system. If you take the path to the west, you can run or hike all the way up the mountain, to a small town at about 4,000 feet elevation (in about 13 miles). If you stay straight south, you can head deep into a trail system that will also take you up the mountain. We’re going to take the eastern route, my favorite one.
Within a quarter mile, we will pass the final water station, which has covered picnic tables, trail maps, and water. As we head up the next ridge, we can take a look back, and see all of La Quinta in the distance.
Here we head east, and then south for about a mile. I’ll be honest, it is mostly uphill, sometimes sandy, with scrub brush and rocks. But the trail is well marked, the views are amazing, and, well, the return is mostly downhill. When you finally reach the top of the ridge you have a few options. The first one, not really optional, is to stand and admire the distant view of the Salton Sea in the distance (on a clear day). If you continue down the hill, over the sand, and finally along a lush hidden golf course, you will eventually come to Lake Cahuilla. That’s not my favorite run though, so today we’re going to head home.
At that point, we’ll turn around and head back down the trail. Try not to forget your water bottle like I have done (because, of course, I put it down to take pictures), then remember about a half mile down and have to run back uphill to get it. Because the whole trail area is so open, we’ll take a slightly different route down, catching more great view of the mountains and the hills.
When we finally pass the last water station, and down the final hill, we’ll be a mile from my house. All told, we’ve run about seven miles. It won’t be fast, because between the hills, the trails, and the views, this is the kind of run that you savor. You take your time, enjoy the beauty, breathe the fresh air, and chat with your running partner.
That is my favorite running route tour. I hope you enjoyed it. I know that I can’t wait to get out there and run it again. I hope you feel the same. And if you’re really lucky, you will be able to run it with great running partners like mine.
Thanks again! I look forward to running with you on your favorite route. Tell me about it in the comments.