Distance: 100.9 miles
Low point: 8,505 feet (at the start/finish)
High point: 13,207 feet (Argentine Pass--highest pass on the Continental Divide!)
Average elevation: 11,500 feet
Elevation Gain: 29,000 feet
A full course map, including .gpx download, can be found at CalTopo.
Please note: The course exists through cooperation and permitting with the United States Forest Service (South Platte, Clear Creek, and White River Ranger Districts), Clear Creek County, and the town of Georgetown and the town of Montezuma.
Course description (outbound)
The race begins in the historic mining town of Georgetown, just off I-70 about 40 minutes west of Denver, Colorado. Leave town at its southwest corner on the Rutherford trail for approximately 1.5 miles to a parking lot. Cross it and continue on another trail until you cross Guanella Pass Road onto the Pioneer Union Ditch trail past several old mine entrances and onward to the Leavenworth Creek Road. Continue upward to mile 5 and your first aid station on the right. Stock up as it is ten miles over a high pass to the next aid station. Continue uphill to the top of Argentine Pass at mile 9.7 and 4700 feet above Georgetown. Take a second to enjoy the view before descending an old toll road (now little more than singletrack) into Peru Creek at the base of Grays and Torreys Mountains. Your second aid station is here at mile 15. From the aid station, depart up a rugged 4wd road on the Continental Divide Trail, pass by another old mine at treeline and follow the flagging on a faint trail around Morgan Peak. Once you reach a gravel road, turn left and continue climbing to 13,100 feet at mile 20, just below the summit of Santa Fe Peak (note, the summit itself is off limits but enjoy the view over the divide of Geneva Creek where you will be in another 24 miles). Turn around and run 2800 back down this 4wd road to the town of Montezuma. Make a quick left onto Main Street and right onto Saint John's Road and another climb. From Montezuma, it's another 2.5 miles uphill to the next aid station. Load up here for a high section with several miles above treeline. Continue climbing up this double track onto the oblong Glacier Mountain. Be sure to look out and left for a large red cone (named Red Cone), which you climb at mile 37 and 63. Glacier Mountain is fairly flat, but is over 12,000 feet of elevation for six miles. The hillsides below you are littered with old mines dating back to the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, and you are only a couple miles as the crow flies from Keystone Ski Resort. You'll dip slightly on the eastern edge of the mountain crossing two road junctions (take a right at each) and then climb Teller Mountain. From the top you should be able to see your next aid station 1000 feet and two miles below. This is only a brief respite however, as now you climb Red Cone at 12,801 feet. The final strip of jeep road to the summit of red cone is very loose and steep. From the summit you will have sweeping views of Mount Bierstadt ahead and left and if you turn around you can find Argentine Pass where you were earlier in the day. A seven mile descent with a couple brief uphills follows, down to Geneva Creek aid station at 10,000 feet. From the top of Red Cone, descend ahead for 2.3 miles to a heavily flagged intersection and a faint trail to your left. For the next several miles, follow the flags closely. This section has some challenging navigation, but has been marked by line of sight so you should alway see the next flag (and correlates precisely with the GPX track as well). While occasionally challenging to navigation, the 22 miles from this junction to Guanella Pass and back is some of the best single track in the front range, so enjoy it! From the junction, follow flagging to a good alpine singletrack and follow it to 10,600 feet and a junction with a good single track leading downhill and a faint trail leading forward into the woods. Take the faint trail, sorry. the trail fades in and out for the next half mile, so take your time and follow flag-to-flag to a steep descent to another creek crossing. Once out of the willows on the other side, you'll be on a screaming singletrack downhill all the way to Geneva Creek. From this aid station, you have a five mile climb and brief descent to Guanella Pass. Leave the aid station on a steep, rocky trail. Follow this good trail to treeline at which point it fades away. Follow the flagging in a beautiful alpine meadow from cairn to cairn above treeline to the Square Top Lakes at 12,000 feet. A 2.5 mile descent on good trail will take you to the Guanella Pass Aid Station. From here, you get to turn around and do it all again!