The was my last trail run with Kate before the SOB 50k. After a lazy and overcast morning in Encinitas, we grabbed coffee from Ironsmith and headed down to Alpine. After an hour of driving, we arrived at our destination, or so we hoped/thought.
We parked in the apparent lot and spotted the sign “Espinosa Trail –> Secret Canyon rail.” By the time we made it out east to the trailhead, the temperatures had risen. No need for an outer- or wind-layer and we both stripped to tanks and shorts. We headed out with the intention of running 10 miles. The trail was wide and evident, and we followed along this main trail for 5 miles.
At this point, we had never reached Secret Canyon. I guess the big indicator should have been the fact that we continued to gradually climb and never dropped down into a canyon. In our defense though, the climb was very gradual and we didn’t realize it until we turned around to run back. We did take some walking breaks on the way up, but I just assumed that I was out of shape/getting my bearings back (not the greatest feeling the week before the race).
On our way back we also realized we clearly missed the split off for Secret Canyon. It was maybe a mile or so in, but at a quick glance, the small wooden sign was misleading. It clearly said “trail –>” but since I didn’t read it and the wooden sign was kind of shaped like an arrow in the opposite direction, we just stayed on the Espinosa Trail the whole time.
The Espinosa Trail extends 7 miles out. Kate was obsessed with how green it was and kept exclaiming “it looks like Ireland!”
Although we ran the wrong trail, it just gives us another one to try the next time!
Entrance: 21697 Lyons Valley Rd, Alpine, CA
Route: From the trailhead parking lot walk to the trail. Espinosa is the main trail and will take you out 7+ miles.
Miles: 10 miles +