There are good reasons to start your run from Gnarabup. They are:
- Good parking
- Close to home
- Good beach
- Great coffee
The runs? – well they are good exercise.
I have listed 3. The long run, which I have named the Gnarabup Trail Run, was done as a short lived event around 2018 or so. I have made a few small changes. The other 2, which are essentially the north and south portions of the main run, are much more commonly run. The south section is usually called the Crazy steps, and the north is called the Rainbow Cave run.
These runs are best done in the cool – and can be ideal winter runs.
Drive to Gnarabup. Get there before the crowd in summer – that is before 7am.
Gnarabup Trail Run.
Navigation-wise this run is simple. Run along the beach south until Boodjidup Creek, run on the Cape to Cape north until you get to the River Mouth overflow capark, and then back along the beach path to Gnarabup. More details below.
Start at the top carpark – above the cafe. Run along the limestone trail for 200m, and then down onto the beach. This beach is Ok to run at low tide as it does not catch a lot of swell.
At 1.6km you will come to the end of the beach – either take the stairs out or find the rough path behind the rocks. In any case run to the next beach (Boodjidup 2km). This beach does catch the swell, so either pick a low swell day, or perhaps run on the track behind the beach.
Anyway run to about 3.6km and you will come across a creek (Boodjidup). Cross, if it is flowing, and immediately find the track onto the dunes, which is marked as the Cape to Cape.
Follow the Cape to Cape north until about 13km. At 5km you will come to the bridge back over the creek, and the base of the crazy steps. This is almost 200 log steps, cut into the gully, some quite high. At 7.7km pass a churned up 4WD road, heading west, and back onto Gnarabup which is your bail out point if you need it, and the short run option for both the following runs.
However you are heading north. At around 8.5km run up a very steep hill, and when you are top of this its all (nearly) down hill. Zig and zag until 11.5km (Wallcliffe Rd), cross the road at 11.8km, turn right onto a track at 12km, and head towards the river. When you get to the Rivermouth road and carpark, leave the C2C, turn south and head along the path along the road, past Surfers Point, and then, right and down the hill on the beach path back to Gnarabup.
About 10km of this is soft, or hills or both.
Same as above, but bail at the 7.7km, and run down the 4WD track and into Gnarabup. Turn right when you hit bitumen, and then left, and then onto a path that will take you close enough to the start you will be able to see where to go. About 10km.
I like to do this counter clockwise – dependant on there not being a howling northwester – as the climb is gentler though much longer. I also run south around Gnarabup at the finish, for no good reason, but it does add a little onto the run. Like the Crazy steps, bail at about the 7.8km mark – at the churned up road, and down the hill.
This run I do rate, partly because it is always dry, and makes an ideal winter run.
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