San Juan Mountain Trail Running Photos

Hey All,
While the iRunFar team traveled to Colorado’s San Juan Mountians to cover the Hardrock 100, we’re also enjoying many a good mile on the trails. Below are a couple of our favorite shots (not including Hardrock photos). Many more photos can be found in our San Juan Mountain Facebook album. We’ll keep adding photos to that album throughout the remainder of our visit to these spectacular mountains.

Silverton, Colorado

Silverton's been our home since the start of July.

Arrastra Gulch

Trail running here may result in a strained neck.

Hardrock 100 course

For a few days, we got to follow Hardrock 100 course markings.

Engineer Pass

The trails aren't always easy. For example, there's a steep climb to the top of Engineer Pass at nearly 13,000'.

Hematite Lake San Juan Mountians

But, then, you're treated to fabulous descents with even better views.

Stony Gulch San Juan Mountians fog

Sometimes fog obscures the views... and other times it makes them.

Sunflower in Rocky Gulch San Juan Mountains

Regardless, the sun ... or a sunflower can brighten up any run.

Boulder Gulch wildflowers

More often than not, spontaneous magic happens in these mountains.

Boulder Gulch lake with wildflowers

Exhibit 1 - The wildflowers and lake in Boulder Gulch

Columbine Boulder Gulch San Juan Mountains

Exhibit 2 - A columbine in Boulder Gulch

Bryon nap Highland Mary Lakes

All those trail miles and breathtaking vistas can leave a guy tuckered out.

Call for Comments
What do you think?!

There are 29 comments

  1. Ash

    Good gawd that gorgeous! Thanks for posting these photos, Bryon. I hope you don't grow tired of seeing such beautiful trails too quickly. ;-P

  2. Rob

    absolutely spectacular. From your photos, running those mountains looks like traipsing along the edge of heaven. And I can't imagine the views get much better from actual heaven.

  3. Steve Pero

    Hi Bryon….

    How much longer will you be up there? I'm planning on coming up for several weekends after Speedgoat 50K for Bear 100 training and would love to hook up.

    Thanks for the fantastic photos, the San Juans are my absolute favorite place in the world and I live only 4 hours away :-)


  4. Sarah Lavender Smith

    Gorgeous and makes me miss the San Juans! Interesting to note that almost every morning is that sunny and beautiful, but by afternoon it's a different picture — steel gray sky and bolts of lightening. The weather there can be so fierce and extreme. Did you ever get caught in scary storms out there? Also I'm curious if you started running with poles at all. I'm glad you guys got out on so many glorious runs.

  5. Chris G

    It has been less than two weeks since I drove back to Colorado Springs. I was ready to go back the day after. The great photos don't help :)

    I love the Colorado High Country. The San Juans are even more cherished. I wish they were a little closer. I'll be headed back next month once they're a little drier for my husband. He doesn't do wet feet, mud, or snow.

  6. Bart Smith

    Hey Bryon, beautiful pictures! Amazing area. I can understand how you could get a kink in your neck.

    Thanks for sharing.


  7. Matt P

    Yeah, thanks a whole lot, Bryon. I just want to cry. I'll try to enjoy the 115 degree heat index this weekend on the Maryland trails…

  8. Andy

    Wow is right. Looks like the San Juans brought out your inner Ansel Adams, but in color! Your pics are truly stunning – and the beauty of the mountains easily rivals the footage streaming live from le Tour in the French Alps these past two days. Hope to make it to SW CO some day soon to run those epic mountains. Thanks!

  9. Schlarb

    Painfully Beautiful. It is sort of good that the best mountains in CO are so rediculously out of the way, or they would be way too crowded. The juans are the best… Period.

    Thanks for capturing the splendor.

  10. Seamus Foy

    Hey Bryon,

    These pics are driving me crazy. I need to get out to Colorado this summer. Do you have any recommendations on how to go about it? Are the trails easy enough to follow? I'm going out from Boston, and I don't know the area at all.

    Any advice or resources are greatly appreciated.



    1. Bryon Powell

      Any of the "big" towns in the San Juans – Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride – would have the great San Juans map in its outdoor stores. These can get you going in the right direction. That said, there's plenty of opportunity to be left without a clear trail. However, so long as you know which trail you were on, which major drainage you're in, and can roughly make out large topographic features (a compass might help) you'd be fine. The scale is grand and so much of it is above treeline that you can easily make out your basic progress during daylight.

      Basically, the ability to "explore" the San Juans comes down to comfort with broad scale navigation. That said, you can talk to people and find out the obvious trails… or go up trails into gulches without easy access to other drainages…. at some point you just turn around and come down.

      1. Seamus Foy

        Awesome, thanks Bryon! Is the terrain diverse enough that it's worth it to plan different days starting from each of the different towns?

        I assume I'll have to rent a car to get around, which is fine because I'm thinking I might try to make this a bigger trip that would call for your Zion and Bryce Canyon running guides :-D

        Great site, and thanks again!

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