Winter trail beauty on the Intemann trail.
I am trying to do a weekly trail review from now on as I am discovering the numerous trails available in the Colorado Springs area.
There are plenty of reasons to discover new trails every now and then. As a runner you quickly get comfortable on your “home track.” I have been doing that for weeks now – always running the same three trails.
It’s nice to run the same trail for a couple of reasons:
- You know your way around and you can easily “zone out” and just let it roll
- It’s easy to see some progression as you know your times aka “when I’m fast it’s 30mins to that big tree”
- There is a general feel of comfort about your own home track
- After some time you pretty much know how long it takes to run a trail and be back home – it’s easy planning
However, there are so many beautiful trails surrounding Colorado Springs, it’s almost a shame to run a trail twice.
So, I have decided to check some more trails out and give them a shot – even if they don’t look too appealing by the information you get on the webz.
This is where I found it:
Intemann Trail Specs:
- Length: 8.6 km or 5.3 miles
- Ascent: 379 m or 1243 ft
- Steepness: 8% Average and 27% max
I ran from my home on the westside to the Red Rock Canyon “Lions Trail.” This trail splits into a loop, which takes you back into Red Rock Canyon, or to a connecting trail that leads you onto the Intemann Trail. Then I ran the Intemann till Manitou Springs and the same way back which turns it into:
- Length: 22.5 km or 14 miles
- Total elevation: 1179 m or 3868 ft
Definitely a Colorado Springs area trail highlight. It’s ranked on trail project as #3 in the area for a couple of reasons. It’s a very scenic trail. There is almost always a great view down into the Springs area, only shortly interrupted by small sections of forest with wood bridges and awesome nature. The steep climbing in the end is rewarded with a spectacular view on the surrounding mountains and even Pikes Peak glimpses through at the scenic outlook. I ran it in winter so I only saw 3 hikers on the trail which is really not much. Actually I saw 3 groups of deer and occasionally ran into single deer on the track, which makes the animal encounters higher than the human ones (see pics for proof below). I guess it’s very different in summer time though. Although it helps to have some trail experience for all the roots, steep sections and rocky parts. So, a full on “hell yeah!” 5 stars recommendation.
This trail is part of my Zone 1 heart rate routine. I have adapted a new training concept that I will write about soon. Just to say this: I love it already. I finally feel like I am following a training plan that’s perfectly customized to my goals, person and load.
I have written a blog post about what ressource I ussed to design my training plan. You can find the article here.
From the beginning on it’s a super rolling, easy, eye-candy trail. Lots of turns and loops around steep hillsides, always with a nice scenic view on the flat areas at the base of the front range. Not too steep and not too much elevation gain. Just really enjoyable.
Some rocky parts have to be taken with care. On two or three parts the trails crosses a rock band with a small drop next to it – nothing to worry about – but covered in snow and ice, I walked it rather than running over it like in summer times.
The biggest elevation comes in the end after you have crossed a street. The stairs and following switchbacks up to the scenic outlook are quite steep with up to 47% according to Mr. Google Earth. However, It’s run-able if you take it slow. Occasional stops to snap a pic and soak in the surrounding beauty helped as well.