Out Of Breath: Saltillo Canyons, Mexico
Welcome to the tenth episode in the Out Of Breath series! I'm featuring two runs on this episode, and they occurred on the 16th and 31st of August, 2017.
This run is so nice I did it twice! I believe this is the best trail I've ever been on. The first time I did it I didn't know what to expect besides it was going to be difficult, so I didn't bring my phone. However, it was so beautiful (and certainly challenging) that I decided to go again and take pictures the second time.
I've been in Saltillo for nearly the entirety of August, and very luckily the airbnb where I was staying was owned by an awesome couple by the name of Remie and Zihomara. Remie enjoys trail runs (he's training for a 45k run in a couple months) and invited me to join him on a short run a little ways outside of the city.
The first time we went the weather was hot and sunny with no moisture at all, and the second time it was pouring rain for the first hour of the run. This made the beginning of the run especially tricky, since the second kilometer has a nearly vertical wall (literally a wall; you have to pull yourself up a few places with your arms) at the end of a ravine.
After the wall, there is a bit of a gradual uphill as you reach the top of the canyon. It's amazing how the flora changes multiple times through the trail, as you start in the bottom of the canyon and go through a couple different climate zones before reaching the top.
There are even a few areas where you can put a tent and have a campfire. If I had spent more time in Saltillo I would have definitely come up here to go camping for a night or two. There is also a bunch of wildlife, since hardly anyone ever goes on these trails. They aren't marked very well (i.e. some rocks have spray painted arrows on them, but don't always point in the correct direction) and the trail splits multiple times. Some of the routes go on for over 20km.
The views on our route were amazing. After you reach the top of the canyon and reach the other side, the city of Saltillo spreads out below you. It's spectacular. As you can tell, it's also quite a ways down (and up).
Remie is the other guy in the picture, obviously. The last couple of kilometers is basically a downhill sprint, which is a bit tricky when the rocks are all wet. Luckily as we reached the top it stopped raining heavily, so there wasn't as much flowing water on the way down.
What a totally amazing trail and set of runs. I really hope I am lucky enough to find some other trails even close to this!