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[The Outdoor Issue]

Experts recommend local trails for every level of runner

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Sloan Canyon.
Photo: Steve Marcus

Running outdoors isn’t for everyone, but sometimes the hardest part is simply finding a decent trail to keep both your feet and mind happy. For beginners, that means scoping out a trail that isn’t too challenging but might still provide a scenic view. Intermediate and advanced runners, on the other hand, are usually all about the challenge. We spoke with folks at Red Rock Running Company to find the best trails for every level of runner. Now focus on getting there.

BEGINNER“A good beginner trail is the McCullough Hills trail in Henderson,” manager Brent Bowers says. “It has two trail heads—the Mission trailhead and the Anthem trailhead. It’s a runnable trail, because the elevation and the climbing is not as dramatic as other trails. It’s eight miles in length one way, and you can’t really get lost out there. It’s a safer trail, [but] anyone who hasn’t run trails should probably run or walk it to start, or use the buddy system.” There’s also a bathroom at the beginning of the Mission trailhead and markers at every mile.

INTERMEDIATE “One thing to understand when thinking about the variety of trails is that there’s a bunch of mountain bike paths in town, [like] Bootleg Canyon, Cowboy Trail Rides … most of [these areas are] well-groomed,” customer Daniel Zarrella says, versus most of Red Rock’s terrain, “[which] tends to be more technical.” Conversely, Cottonwood Trail at Red Rock’s south end is good for intermediate runners. There’s an abundance of trails, so you can figure out what’s right for you.

ADVANCED “The Escarpment Route in Red Rock is made up of a bunch of smaller trails, and some get pretty technical,” Zarella says. The 404 Loop in Sloan Canyon is also one of Southern Nevada’s more intense trails. “You’re going to have a lot of vertical gain. You’re basically climbing the highest point in Henderson. You’re not just running anymore, you’re bouldering and you have to use your hands.”

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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