I Finally Ran the El Moro Loop

A few weeks ago, my dad and I went on an early morning run together. It was his turn to pick the route and the meeting time… I should have known I’d be up before the first New Yorker and running farther than I had in years. Because, my dad is gnarly. We met at 5am and ran 10 miles – it was early and far and totally awesome.

Sunrise run at El Moro

Sunrise run at El Moro

We ran through El Moro Canyon, one of my favorite spots around here. It was my first time running the 10 mile loop from the top (Ridge Park Entrance) to the ocean (El Moro Campgrounds) and back up to the top (via Moro Ridge). Evidently, my dad eats amateur runners like me for breakfast because he and his crazy buddy Keith have been know to do three consecutive “laps” in one morning. Fortunately, my dad didn’t have time for such shenanigans on this particular morning, so we stuck to one 10-mile loop is all.

It was a magical experience to run through the canyon before the sun was up – the sky slowly started to glow and there was a warm breeze coming up the canyon. The trail was deserted, except for the dozens of white tailed bunnies dashing about. The sky turned the most amazing rainbow of colors throughout the course of the run. It was quiet and gorgeous. Really, we’re talking about life at it’s finest. I highly recommend a sunrise run at El Moro.

I snapped a few shots along the way, but really none of them do it justice.

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The sky glowed as we ran down to the Pacific.

Rainbow sky over the Pacific.

Rainbow sky over the Pacific.

The climb back up the canyon is no joke.

The climb back up the canyon is no joke.

I could have sworn we were on a trail in Maui at this point.

I could have sworn we were on a trail in Maui at this point.

When you have a chance, you should check it out for yourself. A few notes before you go:

  • There is a ranger station, restroom and water fountain at mile 4. That is the only point along the route with access to water or a restroom.
  • The elevation loss and gain is significant. Expect to slow the pace as you climb back up the canyon during miles 4.5 – 6.5.
  • Once the sun is up, expect to see less bunnies and more mountain bikers. No worries, there’s room for all of us, okay?

Warning: Do not attempt the El Moro loop with a baby jogger/kids in tow. You guys won’t make it. Just saying. I recommend following my dad’s lead – wait until your kid is 32 and can run with you. But watch out, she will likely leave you in her dust on mile 10. Booya!

My dad and I, after one "lap".

My dad and I, after one “lap”.


Have you explored El Moro Canyon?

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    coloradoavocado
    12/08/2014 at 2:51 pm

    What a beautiful trail! Great post!

  • Reply
    Lesley
    12/09/2014 at 2:12 pm

    Ooooo, this looks so fun (and hard!)

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