The Elkhorn Crest 50 will take you along the Elkhorn Mountain ridgeline across sub-alpine forests and grasslands. The trail offers panoramic views of Baker Valley, the Wallowas, and the Blue Mountains.
The race has an average elevation of over 7200ft, making it a one-of-a-kind ultra in Oregon. 11,000 ft of climbing and 11,700 ft of loss is packed into 53 miles.
The Elkhorn Crest Trail is a mix of smooth single track as well as rocky, technical sections. The course starts on an old mining road just outside of the town of Bourne and continues climbing roughly 2400 ft in 4.5 miles on your way to Cracker Creek Aid Station ( AS #1). From AS #1 you will descend 1200 ft in 2.5 miles. "The Gauntlet" is located in this section - a half mile of extremely rocky terrain. You will continue on Summit Lake Trail passing Summit Lake as you climb back up to the crest. You will return to Cracker Creek Aid Station at mile 9.7.
The course then returns to the Elkhorn Crest Trail (the trail you just came from) veering right this time for approximately 7 miles before turning onto Pole Creek Trail and descending 1000ft to Pole Creek Aid Station (AS #3). You will return on Pole Creek Trail to the Elkhorn Crest Trail continuing 3.75 miles before turning onto the Twin Lakes Trail. Descend 2800 ft in 4.5 miles to the Twin Lakes Aid Station (AS #4). Now the fun part! Return on the Twin Lakes Trail to the Elkhorn Crest Trail.
Once you are on the crest, the trail levels off becoming a gentle descent in 3.8 miles to Marble Pass Aid Station (AS #5). Return on the Elkhorn Crest Trail 7.5 miles on your way to Pole Creek Trail. Descend Pole Creek Trail 1000 ft for the last time to Pole Creek Aid Station (last AS!). From there you will continue descending 2300 ft in 6.2 miles to the finish in Sumpter on a mix of two track and forest service roads.
There are 3 strict cut-offs: Pole Creek (AS #3) at 11:30AM, Twin Lakes (AS #4) at 3PM and Marble Pass (AS #5) at 5:30PM. You MUST LEAVE each aid station by the cut-off times.
Due to the mountain environment, the following gear must be carried by every runner at all times during the race (no exceptions):
Ability to carry 1.5liters of fluid
Headlamp with extra batteries (no Petzl e+lite headlamp...something you can actually see with)
There is one drop bag location at Twin Lakes (AS #4) mile 28.9. See drop bag requirements HERE
There will be 6 fully stocked aid stations (see below). Aid Stations will be stocked with typical aid station fare - PB & Js, tortillas, chips, Bob's Red Mill bars, GU gels and liquid gels, GU Roctane electrolyte drink, bananas, sweet & salty snacks, coke, ginger ale, etc.