Date: Monday July 20th, 2015
Start/Finish: Parking Lot off of 267/N. Shore Road – see map below
Distance: 4.2 miles
Elevation: 392 ft
This run is a short and sweet 4 mile loop, but there are several options to increase mileage and add on with different routes. You can take a look at the map below or CLICK HERE to another Martis Valley write up by our very own Helen Pelster. As with most loops (I can’t imagine any in which this wouldn’t be the case), you can run clockwise or counter clockwise. We ran it clockwise, so all mentions of mileage, etc will be representative of running the route as such.
Much like all of our local running venues, Martis Valley doesn’t disappoint in terms of scenery and this summer’s unusual weather pattern has provided unbelievably beautiful backdrops for many an outdoor adventure.
We started this run at the parking lot just off of Highway 267. There are two dirt parking lots – one right as you turn off of the highway and a second down the dirt road about a tenth of a mile. There is a gate which is sometimes closed and blocks access to the lower lot.
This loop is very well marked with clear signage leading the way. Besides the map at the parking lot, we encountered our first map roughly 1 mile into the run. As mentioned earlier, there a several options to diverge and add mileage by running up into Northstar and/or around the golf course area. We opted to turn right and head southwest here, but could have continued east to add on.
From this point and continuing on for about another mile, the valley can be a bit marshy at certain times of the year. Fortunately, there are boardwalks scattered throughout this portion of the trail to keep feet out of the mud.
As we continued southwest on the trail, we began to see glimpses of homes and the golf course leading into Northstar. This portion of the route leads into the tree-line which borders the valley and also includes a a couple of little rolling hills.
Just over halfway through this route, we began to see glimpses of a stream and foliage lining the banks which was a bit more lush than our typical sierra forrest. Somewhat surprisingly there was even some fall color on the bushes. About 2.5 miles in, there was a little tree limb sculpture on the right of the trailing as well. Continuing on just past this point, we crossed the stream via a little bridge with a picnic table to the left.
Making the return trip back to our cars over the last mile, we were greeted with some really amazing cloud formations to the east. This one looked a little bit like an old steam locomotive – very fitting for Truckee.