Here’s a video narration, it is a fun way to experience what it’s like to do the Badger Mountain Challenge.
Saturday, March 29 was the annual Badger Mountain Challenge. It was a great experience. Friday, the weather wasn’t looking too promising.
The hundred milers started Friday and had to put up with the rain. But, Saturday morning, it was beautiful and sunny, a great day for the Badger Mountain Challenge 2014.
Hundreds of people participated in this year’s event. The biggest crowd was the 15k group, which I was in. This was my third year in the Badger Mountain Challenge. I did the 2011 event, missed 2012, then did 2013 and this year (you can click the links to see reports from the previous years). I was so excited to be there again! I was even more excited to finish! I wasn’t really worried too much about my time, just that I completed the Badger Mountain Challenge! Going up from Trailhead Park, the hikers crowded the “stairs” section as they jockeyed for position.
The trail conditions were about as good as they get. Recent rain meant no dust and the trail was packed down nicely. From the top of the stairs, we headed up the Canyon Trail.
On the way up the Canyon Trail, you could look across the draw to the people ahead. Hikers, runners, joggers all congested the trail as they would get winded climbing this part of the course. Many people consider the Canyon Trail section as the toughest because of this steep uphill section up the first draw.
Then its up on the “Bench” section of the Canyon Trail. This is where you get the best view of the Tri-Cities area on your way to the top. You also pass the Lake Lewis trail marker, a granite monument noting the level geologists believe an ancient lake reached during the great ice-age floods which helped shape our beautiful geography.
Then its on up the upper section of the Canyon Trail on the “switchbacks” section as the trail steepens a little more before the summit.
At the summit, the view opened up even more! The weather was so beautiful with sunshine and just a light wind with some gusts. The temperature was very pleasant.
From the top it was down the back side of Badger Mountain on the Sagebrush Trail. A detour on the east end of Badger Mountain sent us to the base of the south side of the mountain and the section of the Badger Mountain Challenge where we followed a road which bordered orchard land.
The orchard road was a little uphill, a little downhill, and a little flat hiking. I think it was a pretty fast section of the course. We followed the orchard road until the trailhead for the Skyline Trail on the west end of Badger Mountain.
At this point, we’re at about six and a half miles. This is another challenging uphill area that can really get your heart rate up and get you perspiring.
The Skyline Trail is the favorite of many people because it isn’t too steep but it still gets you to the top, it just takes a little longer.
The Skyline Trail is also a nice perspective because it gives you a great view of Badger Canyon which is green with spring as the crop circles are growing like gangbusters.
The Sagebrush Trail is aptly named because it winds through the sagebrush on the east end of Badger Mountain. The Sagebrush Trail is home to hundreds of old-growth sagebrush that are over six feet tall!
The Sagebrush Trail is where I know I’m nearing the end and I’m kind of gauging how I’m feeling. How are my legs doing? Any signs of injuries to joints, feet, skin, blisters. As I realized I was doing okay, I let myself go a little and jogged quite a bit on the bottom of the Sagebrush Trail and from the bottom of the stairs to the finish line! It was an awesome Badger Mountain Challenge! I was quite slow but, I know I got a good workout and, most importantly, I finished and got to be around a lot of great people!