Where to Run – Mammoth Lakes


  1. Whitmore Tubs Road and Track Loop

    • The track here is new and open to the public.
    • For an 8.8 mile loop, park at the track and run back toward the highway for about a half mile and turn right at the dirt road that heads to the airport. Keep making right turns, up an unnamed road, to Hot Creek Hatchery Road, over the hill, back to Whitmore Tubs road. There are bathrooms at the start and at the Hot Creek Geologic Site at the top of the hill.Screen Shot 2018-11-25 at 3.52.25 PM.png
    • Most of the roads in this area are unpaved. There are endless possibilities for loops and out and backs. We’ve also parked closer to Owens River Road and started there. You can make a 10-11 mile loop by going out Antelope Spring and back Forest Road 3S138.
    • For a less hilly option, you can run from the track down toward Crowley Lake. Or park across the highway along the road to Convict lake and go back toward town. These are a bit boring, but you avoid any major hills.
    • The whole area is beautiful, with incredible views of the mountains. After a run, try one of the hot springs. We went to Wild Willy’s.
  2. Runs in/near town

    • Shady Rest Park – Maze of dirt trails
    • Town Loop – 7.3 asphalt path around Mammoth Lakes. This is a rolling/hilly run.
    • Lake Mary – Loop this one for a run at almost 9000ft. It’s about two miles on Around Lake Mary Rd. And you can add another two out to Horseshoe Lake. The trees are dead up there because of geologic activity, it’s eery. This is all road running.
  3. Dirt runs farther away

    • Mono Lake – Park at Mono Lake South Tufa Area and run out Test Station Road to the Forest Road 1N44. These are wide roads with good footing. As a bonus, there’s a great scenic view of natural limestone formations (tufa) steps from the parking lot.
    • Whoa Nellie Deli is a deli in a gas station in the nearby town. It’s a popular spot for people coming in or out of Yosemite.
    • Bald Mountain Road is another dirt out-and-back run
    • Ohanas 395 is a Hawaiian food cart parked at June Lake nearby. Friends on Mammoth Track Club say it’s the best food in the area.
    • Owens River Campground is a good place for soft surface running at lower elevations.
  4. Food /Coffee in Mammoth Lakes

    • Black Velvet Coffee
    • Stellar Brew & Natural Cafe – They seem to have a bit of an issue keeping inventory (whenever we got there later in the day, they would be out of common lunch items). But it when everything was available, it was my favorite place for smoothies, bowls, and healthy breakfast options.
    • Good Life Cafe – Generic diner fare, which I always like after a long run. There are a few similar options in town, Good Life was my pick.
    • Shea Shatt’s Bakery – Good deli sandwiches, hit-and-miss service.
    • The Eatery at Mammoth Brewing – for the weekly gastropub hit
photos by Talbot Cox

Where to Run – Portland

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  1. Waterfront loop (pavement)

    • Start at Water Avenue Coffee (or anywhere near the water. I just like this as a meeting place for easy parking and river access). Go down Salmon Street to the water, a loop from the Tilikum Crossing Bridge to Steel Bridge and back is about 5 miles. This run has all the Portland sights (downtown, river, bridges, markets).
    • Just after Tilikum, the path goes along the road for a second. Follow signs for the bike lane and it will join back with the separated waterfront trail. If you want longer, continue past Tilikum Bridge and follow signs for Spring Water Corridor. You can take that all the way to the Sellwood bridge, cross the Sellwood and come back the other side. That full loop is about 10 miles.
    • East PDX Waterfront is ground zero for good food options. Produce Row Cafe and Trifecta Tavern are Portland takes on American gastropub. Afuri and Maruken are two of the best ramen places. There is a food cart pod on 12th, and a bunch of other options stretching out along Hawthorne and Burnside.
  2. Leif Erikson in Forest Park (dirt/gravel fire road)

    • Leif is the entry-level trail. It’s a fire road closed off to cars, so you get all the beauty of Forest Park (largest urban forest in the country!), without the technical aspects of the single track trails. Though mountain bikes are allowed. The trail runs a net uphill from Northwest District to Germantown Road, but it’s relatively rolling and mild from either direction. I usually do an out and back for 5-8 miles, starting at either end. But there also trails that connect up to Wildwood every few miles, if you want a more adventurous loop.
    • DragonFly Coffee and Clearing Cafe are two common starting places for group runs to Forest Park. I love DragonFly for the local flair, and their homemade chai latte with hemp milk. But the best coffee in the area is at Groundwork one block over. Or Barista isn’t far.
    • After the run, Stepping Stone is a classic diner. Kiva Cafe has smoothies and bowls. St. Honore is a local French bakery with perfect pastries (plus other food). And Kenny and Zuke’s has fresh bagel sandwiches. Olympia Provisions is my favorite brunch in the area, but it’s a few more blocks out.
    • 23rd Avenue is the local shopping street. There you’d find some iconic Portland stores (Tender Loving Empire, The Meadow) and food (Blue Star Donuts, Salt and Straw, Grassa, Pine State Biscuit).
  3. Wildwood Trail (single track trail)

    • Wildwood is a single track trail that runs the length of Forest Park. It’s almost 30 miles long, and a classic Pacific NW trail run. As you get toward the Northwest District and Pittock Mansion, the trail has a lot of elevation change (I’m a baby with this stuff). To avoid that, I prefer the section from Germantown Road back toward town, there are about 12 miles of relatively flat running.
  4. Tracks and soft surface loops in town

Photo by Jordan Beckett

Where to Run – Sacramento


  1. The American River Trail

    • This path is the bread and butter for area runners. The trail runs 32 miles from downtown out to the foothills of the Sierras. We recommend starting anywhere from Sac State out to the east (the whole thing is well-maintained and trafficked, but the area from Sac State to Downtown is a bit more isolated, because there are fewer access points). 
    • Here is a map of areas to park for easy trail access.
    • A note on etiquette – on this path, runners should go on the opposite side of the trail, so they are facing oncoming bike traffic.
    • Sacramento State is a great place to meet the trail close to downtown. Park along University Ave. There is an Insight Coffee and Cafe Bernardo at the Pavilions Shopping Center nearby. And Sellands is a great cafe across the river.
    • Another option a bit further up is to meet at Bella Bru Cafe, and run down Arden to meet the trail at William Pond Park.
    • If you park at Nimbus Fish Hatchery or Folsom, you can catch the hilly section up to Folsom Lake. Folsom has a cute historic downtown to explore.
  2. William Land Park

    • This is a pretty, three mile dirt path around a park and golf course. It’s nice for a quick jog, and close to downtown.
    • Vics Cafe has good breakfast burritos nearby.

  3. Midtown soft loop and food

    1. You can get a one mile loop around McKinley Park or the State Capitol.
    2. Midtown has all the good food and drink options. For coffee, try Identity or one of the Temple locations, or Insight. I like Pushkin’s or Cafe Bernardo for brunch.
Photo by David Bracetty