FKT: Matthew Matta - Jones/Lower Talkington/Lower Paddock Loop (ND) - 2021-04-06

Route variation
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2h 6m 5s
GPS track(s)

On April 6th, 2021 I ran the Jones/Lower Talkington/Lower Paddock Loop. I started at 2:40pm from Peaceful Valley Ranch and ran clockwise. I quickly realized that there were multiple bison paths going in the same direction and that following the gps track exactly would be nearly impossible as the main path seems to shift slightly over time. I ran up the CCC trail, then started ascending along Jones Creek. There were several steam crossings but it had been dry so most were small but still muddy.

The Spur Trail marks the high point of this loop. It’s beautiful singletrack winding through an elevated field with great views. The loop touches Scenic View Drive briefly before heading west again on the Lower Paddock Trail. This part of the loop takes you through a couple prairie dog towns and eventually to the Paddock Creek trailhead. The gps track on Trail Run Project then directs you down the gravel road, left on the main road and then right, through a field back to Peaceful Valley Ranch. It doesn’t look like there is a trail there and I was unsure if this was private property so I went a few hundred feet farther and followed the road back to the trailhead, arriving at 4:46. In any case the gps track provided is not perfect and will likely change slightly over time. Most of the trail has wooden posts you can follow, as you can usually see one or two off in the distance.

The best time I could find on this loop was at 11:03 pace. There is also a women who has ran faster than my 10:39 pace on a similar route, omitting the CCC trail. I consumed about 1 liter of water and 200 calories. It was cloudy and in the mid 50s, beautiful weather. I ran by myself, unsupported. I only saw 2 other people on trail, near the start of the loop.