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Le Parcour / Free Running in Hall Ranch, Boulder, Colorado USA
It is an easy going community only 16 mi/25.8 km away from Boulder. Free running is one of the most popular sports in Boulder. One of the best places to run is Hall Ranch. It is a 9.6 mi/15.4 km, singletrack loop with an elevation of 5499 to 6636 ft/1676 to 2023 m. It is a very popular park, so if you want solidarity, don’t go on weekends. Be careful, the park is full of wildlife.
At the trailhead for the mountain, there is warning for mountain lion spotting on the way. Start at the parking area and then follow a singletrack, intersecting with the upper parking area trailhead. After four miles there is a trail junction. The trail splits there away from Bitterbrush trail. Turn right and follow it up the hill.
The trail becomes wide with sections of large rocks, which you might have to jump over or climb, if they are bigger. At one mile, you cross a double track, fire road and head downhill. At the bottom of the valley there is a technical section.
At 1.3 mi/2 km further, the trail gets sandier and then heads again into a rocky section, which is the most technical spot of the trail. 2.1 mi/3.4 km more, the technical part is over and you are rewarded with a magnificent view. Take a moment to catch your breath on the benches, while admiring the nature’s work.
On the way down, you pass an easy grade trail through the end of Bitterbrush, after 3.8 mi/6.1 km. Then the Nelson loop begins and circles the old homestead and silo. If you turn left, climb the hillside, pass the bridge and navigate a series of switchbacks. If you turn right, it is a more gradual and longer climb.
Continue running on the hill until you reach Nighthawk trail at 4.7 mi/7.5 km, where you find a lovely place to stop again and watch the magnificent view of Longs Peak. From there it is an easy downhill to the parking lot. Physical level of the path is moderate and technical level, difficult, so be prepared.
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