Weekend Trail Running: Sourdough Trail, Roosevelt National Forest

Another new trail! I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I could live in Boulder for the rest of my life and never ever run out of new trails to run or hike. 

Since I’ve been less inspired to ride my bike lately (not sure what’s going on there, but I’m working through it), I pulled up my AllTrails app to find a new trail to explore while I was sipping my coffee on Sunday morning. I wanted something with at least 8 miles, 1,000 feet of climbing, and less than an hour drive.

I love that you can filter the trails that way in the app–that way you’re not scrolling for ages to find something to fit what you’re looking for. 

After a couple minutes I discovered the Sourdough Trail. It was on the edge of an hour away up Boulder Canyon and over Peak to Peak Hwy. Sold! I packed my things and jumped in the car.

I arrived at the trailhead parking lot right at 10 a.m. and started onto the trail. Like I’d hoped, it was a very steady ascent full of chunky rocks and some switchbacks, but the trail was pretty wide which made it easy to let other hikers, runners, and mountain bikers pass without having to go off trail too far. I’m trying to be more mindful of that since I know our forests are sensitive environments.

One of the things I loved most about Sourdough was how shaded it was. The tall, thin trees were packed in so tight and towered over the trail so high that it felt like I was running down a hallway in the forest. Only a thin, blue slice of sky paralleled the trail overhead. It was a pretty cool feeling.

^^^ It me with my bib shorts tan line I just cannot get rid of.

The trail was also marked very well. Blue markers nailed into the trees appeared every tenth of a mile or so, which was reassuring since I had no service and the trail cut off different ways every so often. On the way back, some of them were orange; just an FYI if any local readers do this out-and-back trail.

The views were kind of just meh, but I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular based on the reviews on AllTrails. One reviewer described Sourdough as a “lazy Sunday hike” and that is totally what it felt like. The trail is rated as hard, but I’d give it a moderate, maximum.

^^^ This was around mile four when the trail opened up to a view of Boulder. It was really pretty!

After about 4.75 miles, I was kind of over it, so I turned around and headed back the way I came and enjoyed a steady descent…


I don’t think I have ever fallen so hard in my life on a trail. My toe clipped a rock or a root or something and I toppled over myself and slammed the right side of my body onto the trail. The right side of my quad smashed so hard into a rock that I seriously thought something went into my quad or I had broken my leg. I WAILED and started crying almost immediately. I could barely stand for a few minutes let alone walk or try to run. My right had has huge cuts in it and blood started running down my wrist. My right shoulder also got scraped up a bit which really stung when my sweat rolled over the cuts.

After a couple minutes of whimpering and limping down the trail, I was able to slow jog while letting my left side do more of the work. Surprisingly, I have barely any cuts on my right side, but everything is just tender and huge bruises are forming. I think my biggest fear in the moment was getting out of there without a way to get help. Definitely going to try to watch my feet more closely next time, even though that’s difficult with Dystonia.

I ended up with 9.3 miles and 1,325ft of climbing at over 9,000ft above sea level. Brutal, but definitely fun!

Since I was already up in the mountains, I headed about 8 miles down the road to Nederland for coffee and lunch at Salto Coffee Works. I was so hungry that I literally ordered the first thing I saw on the menu; the falafel pita and HOLY MOLY it was one of the best things I’ve ever had. I will drive an hour just to eat that again.

If you’re local, I hope you try both the trail and the pita. If you’re not, well, I hope you enjoyed reading about my epic wipeout 🙂

More to come!

3 Replies to “Weekend Trail Running: Sourdough Trail, Roosevelt National Forest”

  1. Wow! This Sourdough trail sure looks like fun and I’m so sorry about your fall. Hope you recovered well.
    That’s a great app, AllTrailz. I think I’ll check it out.
    Excuse me for asking but what exactly are the blue markers for?

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