June 24, 2023
Study this Course Description!
Please take a few minutes to review and study it. You may download the the gpx file or jpeg map at the bottom of this page.
Segment 1 - Alpine Gulch to Williams: From the town park, up Engineer Pass road for 2.7 miles. Water refill here, if you want. Remember, there is no water or race drink available at the Alpine Aid Station. Left and S up Alpine Gulch trail. Way up! Aid is five miles up, just below tree line. Seven creek crossings before East Alpine guarantee that you will get wet. Please remember that the aid is not at the top of the climb! From aid, proceed up and SW to huge saddle. Turn hard right, NW, and go all the way up until the ridge flattens out somewhat. Traverse generally W until the obvious descent into Williams Creek. Don’t descend off the high ridge until you see the obvious trail. Emerge at aid #2, 15.7 miles, in the Williams Creek Campground on the Cinnamon Pass road. Cutoff at Williams is 10AM.
Segment 2 - Williams to Carson: Go W up County Road 30 for 2.5 miles, turn S onto Wager Gulch jeep road, and go way up, 3.3 miles to aid #3, 21 miles, at just below Carson ghost town. Cutoff at Carson is 12PM.
Segment 3 - Carson to Divide: Head S up the jeep road to the Divide, turn hard E and then NE, and go for Coney Peak, along the Colorado Trail (CT)/ Continental Divide Trail (CDT). From here until mile 35, you’ll be on the CT/CDT. Along the Divide, stay left if ever in doubt. This segment is 10 miles long, so carry plenty of water and food. Be vigilant and watch those clouds. If it goes electric, get off the ridge! You may parallel the trail from the underside, either N or S, along this section, should the weather become untenable. Keep your eyes open for a left turn toward the yurt and aid at mile 31. There is no shuttle from the Aid Station if you miss this cutoff. There is a 5.5 mile hike down the Camp Trail to County Road 30. Communicate with Aid Station volunteers and we will arrange a vehicle to pick you up on County Road 30. Cutoff at Divide is 3:15 PM.
Segment 4 - Divide to Sawmill Park: Continue E along CT/CDT, which becomes a jeep road. Turn left (N) at Rambouillet Park (the first large intersection of jeep roads - mile 35) and, within about a mile, begin descending NE. Emerge on the Slumgullion Pass Hwy 149 road at mile 40. Aid station # 5 is here. You will cross the highway here and descend via a trail, NOT the pavement! Please watch for cars when crossing--the road is open to traffic. Cutoff at Sawmill is 6PM.
Segment 5 - Sawmill Park to Finish: Run down a trail segment for one mile, then turn right (E and up) onto a trail going through BLM onto private land. NOTE: Please don’t train on this section, and please be REALLY courteous to people you might meet or cows that might chase you. This family usually does not let the public onto their land. We would like to maintain the great relationship that we have going with the Vickers. Cutoff at Vickers is 8:15 PM.
This first hill in the Vickers is a doozy, heading up 1,700’ to 11,000’, so be ready for it! There's some bushwhacking, and you have to pay really close attention to the markers; if some are down, eaten, or trampled by cattle, then figure that the loop is cruising up NNE to just under the big rise you see, called Mesa Seco, at which point you’re heading N, connecting some trails, jeep tracks, and various amounts of bushwhacking, so that you end up at one of the highest pastures. Aid here at mile 46+. From this aid station turn left and merge with the Waterdog Trail. One mile down you'll turn right into the aspen trees, and now it’s a no-brainer but a quad burner ( steep and rocky) down to town for 2 miles. When you emerge into the residential area, follow the markers to the 5th St pedestrian bridge, and use 5th Street to cross over Hwy 149 to Bluff Street. Cutoff at Town Park Finish Line is 9PM.
DROP BAGS can be dropped at the Armory Building, 3rd and Bluff Sts, but access it from the alley as construction has the front of the building closed. Those will be ferried to aid stations #2 Williams (mile 15.7), #3 Carson (mile 21), and #5 Sawmill (mile 40). Send extra gear. Pick up drop bags after the race at the same place. Remember to take your drop bags home with you! Having to mail them back to you will cost you and make us grumpy.
AID STATIONS DO NOT PROVIDE over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or expensive energy products like gels. Such supplies can be easily carried or packed in drop bags.
CUT OFFS as follows:
Aid #1 - Alpine Gulch | 7:30AM | mile 7 is a pack-in aid, so it is minimal with no water or race drink, but few runners really feel like eating this early in the morning, anyway.
Aid #2 - Williams Creek | 10:00AM | mile 15.7(Drop Bag and Crew Access) is a big station with everything from dishes of salt (use it!) to sandwiches.
Aid #3 Carson | 12:00PM | mile 21 (Drop Bag) is also fully stocked. Use it because the next stretch is 9.5 miles along the Divide. Take 3 bottles.
Aid #4 Divide | 3:45PM | mile 31 is totally stocked. Again, after this, you have another 9 miles, but this time you get to go downhill.
Aid #5 Slumgullion | 6:00PM | mile 40 (Drop Bag and Crew Access) is totally stocked. Get ready for the third and last climb.
Aid #6 Vickers | 8:15PM | mile 46.5 has plenty, but most just want to get to the park, which is about 3 miles straight downhill. Don’t miss the right turn 1/2 mile past the aid.
Aid #7 Town Park Finish Line | 9:00 pm has loads of fruit, sandwiches, drinks, and other treats.
PLEASE CARRY WISELY because there is a 10 mile and a 9 mile stretch between aid on the Divide. Carry a lot and be ready for anything. You must be out of the aid station at the published cut-off time, to the second according to the race clock. Please note these cut-offs before you send in your entry, because they’ll be strictly enforced for your safety! No refunds for those who miss cut-off times!!! CHECK IN AND OUT of each aid station. We are tracking you by your bib number, so wear your bib with your number very visible from the front. Call out your number to the aid station official and make sure you hear confirmation. Not being logged in at an aid station is grounds for disqualification. Also, there are real safety concerns out there on the course, so you must let an official know if you drop.
CREWS AND SPECTATORS are allowed at Williams Creek (mile 14.7), Slumgullion (mile 40), and, of course, the finish. The Slumgullion Aid Station is small and often crowded. Please monitor your runner's progress from the Start/Finish and show up at Slumgullion shortly before your runner is expected. Crews may aid runners only within one hundred yards of the aid stations. No dogs allowed at the aid stations (or, for that matter, on the course, unless mandated for a medical condition). Also, please park off the roads and drive at the speed limit. Hinsdale Sheriff’s officers will stop you for going five over, especially in town.
PACERS are allowed from mile 40 (aid #5, Slumgullion). Pacers do not need to register, but please let the aid station captain at Slum know you are leaving with a pacer.
TREKKING POLES are allowed for runners and pacers.
STAY ON TRAIL Most trail deviations force us to DQ you; however, on the Divide section (mile 23 - 36), you may parallel the trail (i.e., get down!) if the weather causes you exceptional fear. Keep an eye on those clouds! Finishing this race in a particular time is definitely not worth your life.
ENVIRONMENT FIRST is the credo of this run. Any runner caught messing with the local ecology will be pulled. If you throw any trash, including drink cups, on the ground, you will be DQ’d. Never litter ANYWHERE. Bury human waste at least 6” deep, 200’ from water sources, and 50’ from any trail. Use common sense and courtesy with respect to the land, water, and all others out there enjoying the mountains, including race volunteers. Just because you’re running does not mean you have the right of way or the right to be impolite. We know you’re tired; try not to be cranky about it. The old Ultra “no whining” rule is in effect at this event.