Born and raised in the misty Pacific Northwest, Ryan is a lover of outdoor spaces. Ryan ran his first marathon at 15 years old and was immediately inspired by long-distance running. Since his debut ultra marathon in 2016, he has run races such as the Wasatch Front 100, Badwater 135, and Tahoe 200. Most recently, he placed 2nd at the 100-mile USATF National Championships in 2019, qualified for 24-Hour Team USA in 2020, and received a Golden Ticket for Western States at the Javelina Jundred in 2021. As a queer, gay runner, Ryan is passionate about creating community for LGBTQ+ athletes out on the trails. For this reason, he recently founded Out Trails as an opportunity to bring queer together in outdoor places. Ryan currently lives in the Park City, Utah area.
Addie is a coach, sport psychology consultant, and professional ultra runner living in Denver, Colorado. Previously competing on the roads and track with Olympic Trials qualifiers in the 10,000m and the marathon, she found trail running in 2016 and has competed in ultra races like the Leadville 100, Western States 100, and Run Rabbit Run 100. Professionally, Addie is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant and works with athletes to help them prepare for the mental and emotional demands of performance. She recently published the book Mental Training for Ultrarunning. As a queer runner, Addie is passionate about helping to create more actively inclusive environments in the running and outdoor space. She co-founded OUTrun, a community created to provide support and visibility to LGBTQ+ runners, and to help educate races on implementing more inclusive and welcoming practices and policies.
One of the most important aspects of hiking is to always be prepared, and that includes fully understanding WHAT KIND of trail you are hiking, and what to expect from it. That is why it is important to have sound knowledge of what exactly is an out and back trail, and what to expect when hiking one. The more prepared you are, the more enjoyable and responsible a hiking experience you will have!
There are several benefits of out and back trails. The important thing to remember is that no matter what trail you hike, always be prepared and do your research ahead of time. Be familiar with the trail as much as you can before stepping foot on it, and make sure to let a family member or friend know of your hiking plans always, including when you plan to be finished hiking.
There is no set distance that defines out and back trails. They can vary greatly, though many are considered day hikes. When considering the total distance of your chosen out and back trail, it is important to understand how they might be conveyed in hiking apps or on hiking websites. Apps and websites will most likely show the entire roundtrip mileage.
As just mentioned above, trail descriptions on popular hiking apps and websites will almost always be in roundtrip format, unless otherwise noted. One example of this is the popular hiking app AllTrails.
Hiking apps like AllTrails includes the roundtrip mileage of out and back trails (also sometimes referred to as a point to point trail). This means that their out and back trails are described in the total miles that will be hiked roundtrip.
For example, if AllTrails says that an out and back hike is 10 miles in length, that means that the trail is 5 miles in, and 5 miles out. Or, in other words, Point A to Point B is 5 miles in length, and then Point B to Point A is 5 miles in length, equaling 10 miles total roundtrip.
However, it is important to remember that trail markers on the actual trail will indicate the mileage to the turn around point. So if you start your hike and the trail marker at the beginning (the trailhead) tells you that it is 3 miles to the waterfall (which is the destination and turn around point), it will actually be a 6 mile roundtrip hike.
You will want to make sure that you note what your total mileage will be when considering trail markers on the actual trail. Always keep in mind that you have to make the return trip. Keep in mind factors like elevation gain. 3 miles going downhill on the way in will be a much harder 3 miles returning going uphill. Know yourself, and know your limits.
As you now know, an out and back trail is a trail going from Point A to Point B on a single path, then returning from Point B to Point A on the same path. Out and back trails have the same starting and ending point.
Similarly, loop trails also have the same starting and ending point (referred to as a trailhead), but a loop trail does not repeat any portion of the trail, unlike an out and back trail. On a loop trail, you will literally hike in a loop.
When hiking a loop trail, it is important to remember that you will not repeat any portion of the trail, so you will need to keep your attention up, as every step will be new territory! You will need to pay closer attention to navigation, potential obstacles, and the weather. You will not be able to rely on familiar landmarks on the way back to help navigate or orient yourself.
Because they are often seen as easier to navigate and more newbie friendly, out and back trails can be mistakenly assumed to always be easy. Out and back trails can have some increased degree of ease and familiarity, and they can come across as simpler, but do NOT ever underestimate any trail!
You can still get lost on an out and back trail, encounter an obstacle or wildlife on an out and back trail, have malfunctioning gear or uncooperative weather on an out and back trail, or simply, in general, be unprepared for your hike. Do not ever underestimate a trail, or hike unprepared!
We hiked up the brutal Tejas trail for several miles, to our backcountry campsite. The Tejas Trail is a steep uphill climb on switchbacks, lasting about 11 miles, in full sun and no shade. There are also no water sources located anywhere along the trail.
Returning back down the mountain the next morning, we passed several hikers coming up the trail. They were woefully unprepared in what they were wearing, especially in the footwear department. I immediately also noticed that they were carrying one 16 oz water bottle each, and that was it, for an 11 mile roundtrip hike on this particular out and back trail, in warming temps and full sun, approaching the hottest part of the day.
This event offers multiple terrains, varying trail surfaces and plenty of challenge for racers of all skill levels. The course consists of one long circuit beginning at the top of the park in the picnic area. The runners quickly enter the woods and navigate a narrow, winding trail which eventually opens up to a logging road before again narrowing to single track. This middle portion features several wet areas capable of sucking the shoe off an unsuspecting foot. The course makes its way back to the wider more open trail before arriving at the locally famous Gravity Cavity. As the name suggests, the trail drops very steeply and then climbs just as steeply. Bring your heavy duty quadriceps muscles for this little stretch of pure running joy. The last mile or so is a long gradual uphill back to the starting area.
Find out if a Montgomery Parks trail is open, closed or undergoing renovation in real time! Montgomery Parks urges the public to use common sense and good judgment when accessing trails and to avoid those that are wet or have muddy conditions. Heavy rains can create hazardous conditions on trails and adversely impact the integrity of park trails. We thank you for your understanding and cooperation. Use our convenient RainoutLine.com system and:
This quiet open space is nestled in downtown Fountain. Wide, hard-packed trails lead you throughout the open space. The trail from the library to the bridge leading into John Metcalf Park was just under a mile. Lots of beautiful trees and nice views of the gentle Jimmy Camp Creek. Great option for a playground-free family adventure or a quiet 2 mile run.
A good nearby alternative to the Garden of the Gods for a quick walk or for access to the Foot Hills trail. Blair Bridge Open Space is located on 31st street, a mile north of the entrance into the Garden of the Gods. A wide hard surface trail starts from a good sized parking lot. A tunnel connects to the Foot Hills trail, the trail going left into the open space goes north and south. This route goes north through the narrow track of land. The trail goes in a straight line up a hill that will give you a work out. There are great views of the Garden of the Gods to the south, Rampart Range to the west and city views to the north. This is recommended for families and people looking for a quick walk or jog.
This is an urban 2.7 mile loop using natural and concrete paths/trails with 288 feet of elevation gain. Ample parking at Woodland Hills Park and with numerous neighborhood points of access. Great views of Cottonwood Creek and Pikes Peak. This trail is perfect for people looking for easy jogging and biking, birding and dog walking.
There is a paved parking lot on Mesa Road. The 1 mile loop starts with a walk through the Demonstration Garden and continues onto the wide dirt trail heading north. You will walk by a small pond and a rose garden highlighted by a huge American Elm tree. You will connect back to the sidewalk and head north to Uintah. You will turn east on Uintah and walk along the bridge. At the end of the bridge, you take a right back onto the trail and head south past Colorado College until you hit Mesa Road. From this point, you will finish by going over the Mesa Road Bridge back to the parking lot. This walk is perfect for families, stroller walks, jogging, dog walking and more.
This northeastern open space, near Peterson and Dublin, is the perfect place for a quick 20 minute walk or jog. There is a large dirt parking lot for public use next to the Fire Station. The first half of the loop is on the wide natural surface Sand Creek trail. The second half of the loop is a 4 foot wide natural surface trail that sneaks through a meadow along Sand Creek. This open space has a great view of the Front Range and is great for wildlife and wildflowers. 59ce067264