The weather here has been greatly lately, allowing for nice runs up higher that are usually much more snowpacked this time of year. This run started at our house in Palmer Lake and headed over to the base of Mt. Herman (about 2 miles away). It then essentially makes a big clockwise circle around the mountain.
On the way, you get a nice view of Monument Rock.
Mt. Herman Rd starts as pavement in Monument, CO and soon turns to dirt. It then goes about 12 miles up till it intersects with Rampart Range Rd. There are just tons of smaller forest service roads and trails that branch off from it, making it a great place for running.
How Many Rules Did I see Broken Today?
That would be 2: lots of trash and an idiot shooting his gun right off the road into the woods (and towards Trail 715).
As you get off the dry, east face of Mt. Herman you start to get some great lush views.
View Up the Road
Trail signs don't seem to last long out here, but I did see two on this run (that is out of about 12 trail intersections I passed!). This point is at a little over 8500 feet, and then it is a nice gradual descent down Limbaugh Canyon through some very pretty meadows. A creek runs down the middle but right now all the crossings are nice and frozen.
The difference from the shady parts of the canyon to the arid east facing overlook was amazing. The temperature was also about 20 degrees cooler in the canyon than down in town.
Overlook of Palmer Lake
This is at the opening of the canyon towards the bottom. You are looking down into town. Our house is about 1/2 way from where I took the shot to the lake. The lake has a nice flat dirt path around it that is exactly 6 laps for 5 miles so I do some of my workouts down there.
From this point on the trail, you can either trespass and go straight back to town, or veer off to the right on a new trail that runs down the east face of Mt. Herman back to the base of the mountain near Monument Rock. Depending on the exact route you take, the loop is 12 - 16 miles.