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Skiing and Snowboarding : Running

Rocky Top Road Trip

Bomb down epic singletrack, play in Class IV whitewater, and take in Colorado’s famous 14,000-foot vistas on this 500-mile multisport tour of a lifetime.

Packing List: Your entire gear closet, a big roof box, a GoPro

Highlights: Start this odyssey by playing in the four brand-new features in downtown Durango’s Animas River Whitewater Park. Then head east to soak away shoulder burn in Pagosa Springs’ 22 pools (from $25) and cool off with a Skallywag pale ale at Riff Raff Brewing Company.

Near 10,857-foot Wolf Creek Pass, take a mile-long hike to the Pass Creek Yurt, which sleeps six, comes stocked with firewood, and is the ideal base camp for hiking and mountain-biking the Continental Divide 
Trail ($139 per night). At Great Sand Dunes National Park ($3 entry), rent a sandboard to descend 750-foot Star Dune ($18), then go north to Salida to raft 20 miles of Class III-plus through Browns Canyon ($86; noahsark.com). Crash at the three-bedroom cabin at Creekside Hot Springs in nearby Nathrop, which has a private pool next to Chalk Creek (from $295).

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In bike-crazy Gunnison, try some of the 44 miles of singletrack trails in the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, then stay at Three Rivers Resort, where you can rent a cabin or lodge room and step outside the door to cast a fly in the world-class Taylor River for trophy brown, rainbow, or cutthroat trout (from $65).

Wrap up the trip by heading south from Montrose 
on Highway 550 for a jolt of Rocky Mountain highs at 11,099-foot Red Mountain Pass before coasting back through the San Juans to hit all five craft breweries 
in Durango. Bed down at the Strater Hotel, a four-story Victorian built in 1887 (from $192).

{%{"image":"http://media.outsideonline.com/images/rocky-top-map.jpg","size":"large","caption":"The route."}%}

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5 Routes to Run Through London

Blame the weather, the color of the Thames, or the historical moniker of “The Big Smoke,” but London doesn’t always have the best reputation when it comes to the great outdoors. In reality though, Britain’s capital city is an urban runner’s paradise, housing 5,000 acres of parkland in the city’s eight Royal Parks and countless other canals, hidden routes, and greenspace.

The city’s collective grit and sense of can-do ambition means that Londoners understand running. A national aversion to being a nuisance means that pedestrians will generally move out of your way if you let them know you’re behind them (hint: apologetically saying “sorry” is the British way of saying “get the hell out of my way”). And if you’re worried about not knowing which way to look when you cross the road, don’t fret. Always fans of orderliness, the Brits have painted “look right” or “look left” on the cross walks for tourists’ convenience. 

So put on your trainers, and hit the tarmac.

Richmond Park

It’s not really fair to call a run in Richmond park “urban running” because as soon as you enter the enclosed 2,500 acres, you’ll feel far from a double decker bus or black cab. Rolling hills, woodlands, plenty of mud and wildlife, and an amazing view of St. Paul’s Cathedral (12 miles away) at the park’s highest point make it worth exploring. A perimeter run around the park will put you at just over seven miles, but getting lost in the park’s inner trails is the perfect antidote to city life. Oh, and thanks to Henry VII who was a fan of hunting, you’ll find plenty of deer to keep you company (they’ve been roaming freely since 1529).

Victoria Park

Though it’s not a Royal Park, Victoria Park has the distinction of being the closest to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and thus served as the workout spot of everyone from Kenyan distance runners to Paralympic cyclists during the 2012 games. Its roughly 220 acres are a perfect place to run grassy and shady loops and catch your breath at one of the park’s three serene lakes—though you might have to dodge some hipsters thanks to its trendy location in the East End. The easternmost entrance at St Mark’s gate is roughly one mile from the impressive Olympic Park, which is still open to the public.

Grand Union Towpath/Regents Canal to Primrose Hill

If loops aren’t your thing and you want to cover ground while seeing the city, start your run at the Grand Union Towpath behind St. Pancras International Station at Kings Cross. Follow the canal path (you can peek into the windows of all the quaint narrow house boats while you’re at it) to Camden Lock Market, where you might have to dodge a few punk rockers. Once you’re in Camden, you’ll be running along the Regents Canal, take the signposted staircase exit for Primrose Hill and run to the very top to get one of London’s best city views. An out an back will put you at about 5 miles, or you can finish by running around Regents Park, which is adjacent to Primrose Hill.

Thames Path

There’s no doubt every English literature professor has at some point referred to the River Thames (pronounced “Temz”) as “liquid history.” If you’re a runner visiting London, it’s also a very efficient way to get your sightseeing in. Start at the Tower of London and cross Tower Bridge so you’re on the southern bank of the river. From there, turn right and you can run along the path and take in some of its most iconic sights: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, the Millennium Bridge, Big Ben, the London Eye, Houses of Parliament, and Westminster Abbey. Definitely bring your phone to snap a picture, but try doing this run early in the morning, as tourists will predictably descend on the path.

The Pall Mall/Hyde Park

There’s something about incorporating a palace into your running route that feels fittingly British. Start at the corner of The Mall and Horse Guards Road (right on the corner of St James’ Park). Run straight down The Mall and when you get to Buckingham Palace (how’s that for a landmark?), bear right. Run along Constitution Hill, which serves as the finish of the London Marathon, and you’ll reach Hyde Park Corner and the entrance to Hyde Park. From there, you’ll have 630 acres to explore in Central London’s largest park. Don’t miss the famous Speaker’s Corner, in the northeast corner of the park.

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The National Parks Road Tour

See the country’s most iconic wildlife and mountains at five stunning national parks along this 600-mile route.

Packing List: Binoculars, Stetson, beer mug

Highlights: Burn off jet lag with a couple of fingers of Wyoming Whiskey on the deck at Bin22, then rest up in one of 132 rooms at the LEED-certified Hotel Terra, in Teton Village ($309).

Start your adventure north of town with a seven-mile run around Jenny Lake in the shadow of the jagged Tetons. Once in Yellowstone National Park, drive north past Yellowstone Lake and into Hayden Valley, prime viewing territory for buffalo, elk, and grizzly. Before leaving the park, stop for a 100-degree soak in the Gardner River, two miles north of Mammoth Hot Springs, then make for an oatmeal stout at 406 Brewing Company in downtown Bozeman.

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Break up the drive to Missoula by camping among the Missouri River’s braids at Missouri Headwaters State Park. Once you’re in town, stop and kayak or surf at Brennan’s Wave at the downtown Missoula Whitewater Park, grab a gin and tonic at Montgomery Distillery, then scarf down a Flathead cherry pie at Biga Pizza

In Whitefish, hike, run, or mountain-bike the 26-mile Whitefish Trail past alpine lakes and pine forests. Buy bear spray, then bisect Glacier National Park on Highway 2 until you reach the Walton Ranger Station. It’s a tough 16.8-mile hike to Lake Isabel, but once there you’re just about guaranteed solitude to take in the jagged cirque towering over the lake.

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Detour: Western Montana is home to 15 of our favorite craft breweries, including the recently opened Lolo Peak Brewing Company, ten miles southwest of Missoula, where you can get a Buffalo Trout golden ale 
and a locally sourced burger. Take a few extra days and see if you can hit them all.

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