The World’s Most Colorful Trail Runs

Run­ning requires strength, ded­i­ca­tion, and a pure (some­times sadis­tic) love for the sport. That said, why not sat­u­rate your sens­es on trails burst­ing with col­or that inspire and chal­lenge you? Here are some of the best and most beau­ti­ful trail runs in the world.

©istockphoto/RoschetzkyIstockPhotoMaroon Snow­mass Trail, Crest­ed Butte Col­orado in the Spring-Time
Bring a stur­dy set of lungs, bring your cam­era, and camp near­by because this 11-mile trail is one to take your time on. Con­nect­ing Crest­ed Butte and Aspen, this hik­ing trail will be a high-alti­tude chal­lenge for trail run­ners who want to push them­selves while still tak­ing some amaz­ing hues. Known as the “Switzer­land of Col­orado”, Crest­ed Butte boasts an array of mag­nif­i­cent wild­flow­ers dur­ing the spring and ear­ly sum­mer months. As you run, you’ll notice bril­liant blue columbines (Colorado’s state flower) and splash­es of red from the mul­ti­tude of Indi­an paint­brush pop­ping up in the area.

©istockphoto/­ber­land Trail, Chat­tanooga Tennessee
Rolling hills lead­ing up to scenic vis­tas and one of the most col­or­ful shows on earth in the fall, Chattanooga’s well-known Cum­ber­land Trail allows run­ners the best of both worlds: nature on the brink of a bustling city. You’re also sure to see wild­flow­ers in the spring. The trail is 13 miles out and back, but you only have to go as far as your legs can take you.

©istockphoto/Dieter TraceyLara­p­in­ta Trail, Australia
Known to many thru-hik­ers, this trail is a prim­i­tive back­coun­try Aus­tralian expe­ri­ence. Take it in sec­tions or just enjoy it for the day. Along your run, you’ll tra­verse the West Mac­Don­nell Moun­tain Range, expan­sive plains, and view scenic canyons. It should be not­ed that there are no fires allowed on this trail, but fuel stoves are permitted.

©istockphoto/bawanchAnna­pur­na Cir­cuit, Nepal
This run cer­tain­ly isn’t for the faint of heart and is geared more toward long-dis­tance high-alpine run­ners. But don’t be intim­i­dat­ed; many run­ners choose to do this trail in sec­tions over the course of many days, much the same way hik­ers tack­le this trek. In the morn­ing, you’ll be greet­ed by serene sun­ris­es, and in the evening the alpen­glow will take your breath away. Expect deep reds, vio­lent pur­ples, and stark whites as you drink in all that Nepal has to offer.

©istockphoto/Gerad ColesTor­res del Paine Nation­al Park Trail Sys­tem, Patag­o­nia region of Chile
Steadi­ly becom­ing one of the most sought-after hik­ing and trail-run­ning expe­ri­ences among out­door enthu­si­asts, the Tor­res del Paine trail sys­tem inspires with its icon­ic moun­tains, deep pur­ple sun­sets, and mag­nif­i­cent gran­ite peaks. Grey speck­led glac­i­ers and a diverse array of flo­ra and fau­na in col­ors of vibrant yel­lows, oranges, and reds are beyond awe-inspiring.

Home to the Ultra­Trail Tor­res del Paine, a trail race pop­u­lar among ultra­run­ners all over the world, this Nation­al Park may seem intim­i­dat­ing to recre­ation­al run­ners, but that shouldn’t stop you from com­plet­ing what could be the most scenic and reward­ing run of your life.