June 24, 2023
Study this Course Description!
Please take a few minutes to review and study it. You may download the jpg file which is the actual map of the course at the bottom of this page.
Segment 1 - Alpine Gulch: 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 - Carson: Go W up County Road 30 for 2.5 miles, turn S onto Wager Gulch jeep road, and go way up, 3.6 miles to aid #3, 22 miles, at just below Carson ghost town. Cutoff at Carson is noon.
Segment 3 - The 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 9 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. Cutoff at Divide is 3:45 PM.
Segment 4 - 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. Cutoff at Slumgullion Aid Station is 6 PM. 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.
Segment 5 - Vickers’ Ranch: 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.
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 (mile 15.7), #3 (mile 21.5), and #5 (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 - 7:30 am - Alpine Gulch, mi 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 - 10:00 am - Williams Creek, mi 15.7 (Drop Bag) is a big station with everything from dishes of salt (use it!) to sandwiches.
Aid #3 12:00 pm Carson, mi 21.5 (Drop Bag) is also fully stocked. Use it because the next stretch is 9.5 miles along the Divide. Take 3 bottles.
Aid #4 3:45 pm Divide Aid Station, mi 31 is totally stocked. Again, after this, you have another 9 miles, but this time you get to go downhill.
Aid #5 6:00 pm Slumgullion, mi 40 (Drop Bag) is totally stocked. Get ready for the third and last climb.
Aid #6 8:15 pmVickers upper ranch, mi 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 9:00 pm the finish line has loads of fruit, sandwiches, drinks, and other treats.
• PLEASE CARRY WISELY because there are 2 nine-mile stretches 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.