Winner: Dolomites, Italy
Outfitters around the world are starting to string together self-guided, lodge-to-lodge trail-running trips. “The idea is to organize trips in areas where support is not really necessary,” says Tullia Caballero Augi, director of S-cape Travel, which offers outings across Europe. Our favorite hot spot? The Dolomites of northern Italy. You’ll find 10,000-foot spires, rollicking trails, supreme landscapes, and cushy huts within solid running distance. Go with Italian outfitter Holimites, which arranges lodging, airport transfers, and extras like morning yoga ($1,760 for seven days; holimites.com). You’ll combine the best of the Alta Via 1—a classic north-south trail through the heart of the Dolomites—and the more rugged Alta Via 2, a five-stage, 75-mile route on singletrack. You’ll cruise through alpine valleys in Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park and stay in places like the Ghernacia hut, which serves hot homemade tortes.
Runner-Up: Santa Fe, New Mexico
The high desert around Santa Fe is braided with warm arroyos, high-alpine singletrack, and buff trails just beyond the downtown adobes. Get your legs under you with loops along the Dale Ball complex, where well-marked trails let you piece together runs of any length. Then head high into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains for an 11-mile run from the Santa Fe Ski Basin to Lake Peak and down Raven’s Ridge, much of it above 12,000 feet. Crash at the historic Inn of the Five Graces (from $500; fivegraces.com) and walk around the corner to the Pink Adobe for margaritas (thepinkadobe.com).