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.
Maroon 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.
Cumberland 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.
Larapinta 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.
Annapurna 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.
Torres 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.