Despite the name, the Alpine Running Guides Up Up Ridge trail running tour is one of our more mellow trips. There just happens to be a peak called Up Up Mountain at the head of the ridge!
One my favorite things about this area is exploring the Eagle-Ward Roadless Area. While still not a federally designated Wilderness, Roadless Areas still offer protection from continuing road building and logging operations for "inventoried roadless areas within the National Forest System in the context of multiple-use management." What that means for us is that we will be running through prime elk and other wildlife habitat.
We will cover nearly 10 miles over the course of this run and will summit three separate peaks that the trail runs right over. From Ward Peak, the high point of the day, we will have unobstructed views into mountainous Idaho (we'll be on the border between Idaho and Montana), as well as North into the Couer d'Alene Mountains and distance Cabinets. If it's a clear day we may even catch sight of the Missions in the distance.
At the base of Ward Mountain lay Mary, Hub, and Hazel Lakes, and these mark our exit. We will descend past these gorgeous alpine lakes, through an old-growth cedar forest, and arrive at the trailhead in early afternoon for a scrumptious lunch and post-run massage before heading back to Missoula.
Despite covering three peaks during this trail running tour, the elevation gain is a relatively low 2,000'. Like all of our running adventures, you run your pace. We stop for pictures, we can hike on steep sections, and we stop just to look around at the gorgeous Northern Bitterroot Mountains!