Sapa Dragon’s Back Trail Running Adventure
4 days 3 nights
Looking for a challenging trail holiday with some of the very best high mountain trails and views in Vietnam? Then this is the trip for you! Designed by the Race Director of Vietnam Trail Series, this getaway combines some of his favourite trails in the area, along with a night in Sapa town and two more remote places: Topas Ecolodge and Nam Cang village.
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Day 1: Hanoi – Sapa Town – Cow Mountain
Get on board the Topas Mountain Express for a trip direct from Hanoi to the mountain town of Sapa.
After checking in and enjoying a lunch, we will head about 30 minutes out of town to the start of today’s warm up run. Straight out the gate this route goes skyward, meaning today you will gain plenty of height and see some incredible views. After a couple of KM of up, you’ll reach more runnable terriroty with a trail leading you to an incredible lookout point with views of the Hoang Lien National Park and the highest mountain in the region – Fansipan.
You’ll then head down the mountain on a different trail and be picked up for a short drive back to Sapa.
While it is not quite the quaint, sleep mountain retreat of yesteryear, the modern Sapa has a buzz about it that many enjoy, with loads of restaurants, coffee shops and some bars making an evening here good fun. You’ll also find quite a few runners doing laps of the lake if you’re back in time for sunset.
Meals: Lunch and Dinner
Day 2: The Dragon’s Back | Sapa Town – Topas Ecolodge
Some at Topas call today’s run the Dragon’s Back and some say Dinosaur’s Back – either way, it deserves both names as this is a ridge line run to remember.
You’ll start in an extremely pretty minority village, then pass a small farmstead where Topas also sets up one of our wild camping spots for other tours. Then it’s onto the ridge line for a beautiful stretch of mountain running with expansive views all around.
At the end of the ridge you’ll drop down through a Red Dao village and arrive close to Topas Ecolodge, your home for the night.
Once here, check in to the bungalow and perhaps enjoy a bit of infinity pool time before your evening meal.
On the trail today you might like to ask your running guide to phone ahead and book a well earned massage at the lodge’s Rice Spa!
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3: Running Remote | Topas Ecolodge – Nam Cang Village (Topas Riverside Lodge)
After a hearty buffet breakfast in the Stilt House Restaurant, we will depart the lodge for a long, long section of downhill running. It’s trail almost all the way, with incredible views of high mountains all around.
You’ll reach the lowest point of the day and cross a river via a damn wall, then start to climb steadily on more remote trails via some small villages and river crossings up to the hidden village of Nam Cang and your home for the night Topas Riverside Lodge.
NOTE: if you want to make the run less long, talk to us about tailoring this trip with a transfer by car.
After this big day of running, you can cool down in the natural pools around the lodge, or opt for a traditional Red Dao herbal bath. Your evening meal is a Vietnamese feast inspired by the local flavours.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4: Cool down time! | Nam Cang Village – Hanoi
Today you can have a slower start and an easier run. Enjoy the Topas Riverside Lodge breakfast complete with western and Vietnamese favourites then get ready for a shorter run or walk into the incredible Nam Pa valley. The views here are some of the best in all of Vietnam and the swing bridge across the river is one of the most scary! See if you dare cross it – it is optional!
Enjoy a private BBQ lunch by the river outside our own Nam Pa Hut, then decide if you want to add on some extra trail running. If not, just relax before heading back to the lodge for your onward transfer back to Hanoi.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Note: if you would like to add more days of running or perhaps some non-running options in Sapa or elsewhere, just talk to us and we can put the right program together for you. We also have trail runs available in Pu Luong (home to Vietnam Jungle Marathon) and Moc Chau (home to Vietnam Trail Marathon).
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Hanoi: 1B Alley 12/2/5 Dang Thai Mai St. Tay Ho District
Sapa: 15 Le Van Tam Street
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