TRAIL RUNNERS & RACERS: PARADISE
Hello Beautiful Humans,
I’m compelled to share why I (along with countless dirt-loving friends) have voted Moab as a top destination for trail running and racing.
The highest priority, of course, are the trails themselves: their accessibility, quality, variety, and the sheer quantity to choose from. For a small town, Moab proudly presents a truly world-class trail system, coupled with year-round sunshine and fresh, clean air. Our friends at Moab Trail Mix, the non-profit local trail community, diligently care for over 200 miles of trails in Moab. As we all should, it’s important to pitch in to build and maintain the adventurous places we so cherish. You can join them at various events when in the area. Beyond using the ALL TRAILS app, you’ll find trail maps for hiking, trail running, and mountain biking on www.discovermoab.com. It’s thrilling to realize that trail runners can amicably share paths with mountain bikers, linking together 136 unique trails from easily accessible parking lot trailheads.
Over the past 5 years, as I traveled through and to Moab for work and play, I’ve explored both the town and surrounding areas, training for an array of trail and ultra races. I first discovered Moab 6 years ago, staying at the Gonzo Inn, before diving into the EPIC Desert Rats 6 Day Stage Race that spans from Fruita to Moab—a 150-mile journey on foot… in the heart of summer! We ran on the legendary Kokopelli Trail, which you can access via the Sand Flats jeep road in Moab, connecting to the splendid La Sal Mountains. Once I was smitten with the area and its “small town, BIG adventure” vibe, I registered annually for the Moab Trail Marathon or Half each November. This summer, post the Trans Rockies Stage Race in Colorado, I caught wind of a fresh Spring race: Moab Run The Rocks by www.transrockies.com. Each of these, along with numerous other trail running events, showcases unique trails and seasons. Frankly, my friends and I are so enamored by the trails here that we volunteer at races like The Moab240 and the Mad Moose Events, just to immerse ourselves in the “dirty magic” once more.
Among my favorites are Hidden Valley Trail (featured in the Moab240 course), Amasa Back Trail (part of the Moab Trail Marathon) and the Porcupine Rim Trail (included in both Desert Rats & Moab240 courses). For beginners, the Klondike Bluff trails and Moab Brand trails are ideal. On warm days, the higher La Sal Loop trails offer a refreshing escape with breathtaking views. Many trails interconnect, enabling you to explore all day and continually discover new locales. I still dream of conquering the White Rim Trail’s 100 miles—perhaps camping a night overlooking the mighty Colorado River.
Regardless of the trails you embark upon, Moab also boasts cold beer, premium coffee, delectable food, and affordable lodging. It’s the perfect escape to disconnect and rekindle your connection with nature. Remember to always carry water and safety gear. Many places are remote, offering no services, and you’re in the desert. This necessitates planning, wisdom, and equipping yourself with navigation tools, hydration belts or packs (with fluid-electrolytes-calories), off-road shoes, appropriate attire, and a hat—regardless of the season. I’m confident that once you’re out there, you’ll succumb to the “desert daze” and fall hopelessly in love. 😉 ❤️
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
GUEST AUTHOR •
Samantha Pruitt is a transformative endurance athlete and coach who rebuilt her life through outdoor adventure and endurance sports. After overcoming personal health challenges, Samantha discovered her passion for long-distance running, transitioning from 5ks to ULTRA events. Leveraging her business background, she founded Race SLO, a top-tier endurance sports event company, and launched EnduranceTown USA, a podcast celebrating the endurance lifestyle. With 20+ years in the industry, she’s an advocate for harnessing human potential, believing endurance sports can shape better individuals and communities. 🏃♀️🌍