Trail Running: Chiang Mai – Doi Surthep, Route 2

Ok, so I gave it a bit of a pose. Wanted to show the running gear off :)

Ok, so I gave it a bit of a pose. Wanted to show the running gear off 🙂

It’s hard to believe that finding great trails to run in and around Chiang Mai could be so hard. I guess it’s because there are about a thousand “trekking” companies that offer every kind of excursion a tourist could want…

But what about those of us that want to go for our own hiking or trail/mountain running adventures? Well, Chiang Mai is surround by mountains and jungle…you just have to a do a little bit of research and exploring.

After a little time online searching for hikes in Chiang Mai (I’ve given up on searching for Trail/Mnt running…seems only a VERY small amount of people do this). So to find running trails, I search for hiking trails.

This trail is about a 10 minute motor bike from the old city.

Here is a map from the trail head. And just below that a map from the old city to the trail head.

The start of the run.

The start of the run.

The trail starts off at a manageable incline and wonderfully maintained trail. It’s about a mile to a beautiful temple that hardly anyone knows about. Most people rent a truck to take them up Doi Surthep road and end up going to Wat Pho. Which you have to pay for and is obscenely tacky. Donation plates, baskets and crates EVERYWHERE! But this temple is different…Secluded in the jungle…No cars…no roads…no tourist!

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View of Chiang Mai from the temple.

View of Chiang Mai from the temple.

As I made it up to the temple, I was feeling so good! Endorphins were through the roof! I quickly took off my pack and got my camera to snap a few photos before continuing on.

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Very beautiful place. I would actually recommend going to this temple and skipping Wat Pho altogether.

After a few minutes taking in the magical stillness of this wonderfully hidden temple, I continued on. From here you simply head up through the temple grounds.

Staying to the right of the stream you will find a small and very steep path that heads up. From here on up, it’s steep and tough.


After another mile, you’ll come to a road. Step over the side railing and go up about 40m. On the right you will see the continuation of the trail. This trail last about another mile (hard, steep mile). You will then end up at another road where you’ll be one hairpin turn away from the base of Wat Pho.

From here I continued past Wat Pho about 1000m until I came to this…

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On the right side of the road I noticed this dirt road heading into the mountain. I decided to give it a go. Amazing rolling hills running here. Nothing too steep.

After about a mile, you will come to this…

Trail Running-ChiangMai-Doi Surthep_Route_2 2215

A fork in the road. I ended up taking the left side first. Which took me a little over a mile to a locked gate. I could have went past the gate but decided not to. So i turned around and then gave the right a try…Which after about 500m led me to someones home. Great trail and beautiful though.

From here I just started the run back down the way that I came.

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Such great trail/mountain running. And so very close to the center of Chiang Mai. I’ll be coming back here a few times a week. Perhaps trying to beat my time each time I go.

Here are my stats:

reated by Google My Tracks on Android.

Name: 02/02/2013 12:11pm
Activity type: Mountain Running
Description: –
Total distance: 15.96 km (9.9 mi)
Total time: 2:48:25
Moving time: 2:35:46
Average speed: 5.69 km/h (3.5 mi/h) (It’s very steep)
Average moving speed: 6.15 km/h (3.8 mi/h)
Max speed: 16.20 km/h (10.1 mi/h)
Average pace: 10.55 min/km (17.0 min/mi)
Average moving pace: 9.76 min/km (15.7 min/mi)
Fastest pace: 3.70 min/km (6.0 min/mi)
Max elevation: 1332 m (4369 ft)
Min elevation: 383 m (1258 ft)
Elevation gain: 1291 m (4234 ft)
Max grade: -11 %
Min grade: -24 %
Recorded: 02/02/2013 12:11pm

On this run, I ran in:

Icebreaker 150 Beast Vneck

Icebreaker Tracer Shorts

Luna Trail Sandals

Here’s a video I made on the run…

Hope this helps anyone looking to do some trail running in Chiang Mai.

If you know of any other great trail runs, please let me know!! 🙂






One response to “Trail Running: Chiang Mai – Doi Surthep, Route 2

  1. Pingback: A Guide to Living in Chiang Mai·

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