One of the basic tenets to keep in mind when running in Boulder is that no matter how many races you’ve done (or even won), or how many miles you have logged this year in training, there is always going to be some member of some national team that is going to run past you and make you feel obese (Boulder + South Korean woman’s national cross country team + running + me = resurfacing of childhood trauma).
The Boulder Reservoir is a great place to get in a run and spot some elite level athletes. A great dirt option without the trail running obstacles, the reservoir provides a mix of well beaten trails and dirt roads that wind around the water and the neighborhoods surrounding it. The area around the reservoir is mostly flat, with a few rolling hills. The reservoir is also home to a number of Boulder’s big races, including the Boulder Triathlon Series and the Boulder Backroads Marathon and Half-Marathon. The views of the Flatirons from the run are outstanding, especially when the sun is rising and lighting up those things brighter than a fat kid’s smile when he spots cake.
Our map below shows the main loop around the reservoir that we usually run and an extension that adds 3/4 of a mile. There are a number of other loops possible, we hope ours provide a good starting point for your own exploring. We always park at the parking lot before the gate to the reservoir, in order to avoid the day use fee.
Distance: 5.25 miles (main loop) 6.05 miles (extended loop)
Directions: From downtown Boulder (9th St. and Pearl St.), take 9th St. south to Canyon, take a left on Canyon and head to 28th St. Take a left on 28th and head up to Jay Road where you will take a right. Take a left on 51st St and continue north until you hit Reservoir Road. Park at the lot before the gate to the reservoir.