Leadville to May Queen Aid Station
The race begins at the corner of 6th Street and Harrison Avenue. Runners will head west on 6th St. just less than a mile to the junction of McWethy Drive and 6th Street. Turn Left for about 1/10 mile, then turn right on a dirt road called by locals, “The Boulevard”. Follow the dirt road for approximately 2 1/2 miles, turn right at the junction and run about 8/10 mile to the Turquoise Lake Road (paved). Turn left onto this pavement and run 1/4 mile to a 3-way junction opposite Sugar Loafin’ Campground. Follow the dirt road (middle fork) for about one mile to the power line cut. Turn right and go UP this cut which will come out onto the Turquoise Lake Road. Cross the road and pick up the Turquoise Lake TRAIL which runs right beside Turquoise Lake. Follow this trail along the shoreline, first heading north, then west to the May Queen Campground at the far west end of the Lake. Be cautious along this trail section as it will be dark and some of the course is right along the water. Run west through the campground on the pavement to the aid station near the Turquoise Lake Road. You should carry adequate fluids from the race start to make it to this first aid station The May Queen Aid Station is approximately 13 ½ miles into the race.
May Queen Aid Station to Fish Hatchery/Wilderness Outward Bound
Run west out of the aid station to the Turquoise Lake Road and turn right on the pavement (uphill). Run on pavement to a hairpin curve in the road, where you will turn left off the main road and across a small stream, bearing left on a trail that in turn crosses a wooded bridge over a larger stream. Turn right immediately after the bridge and continue until you reach metal rails standing in the jeep road. Turn left and go approximately 1 mile on the Colorado Trail to the Haggerman Pass Road
Once you encounter the Haggerman Pass dirt road, turn right (west). Follow this wide dirt road west for 1 mile (a gentle climbing grade). After 1 mile you will see an unimproved dirt road climbing on your left. Take a hard left onto this jeep trail, FS Road #105, and climb steadily for about 3.5 miles to the top of Sugarloaf Pass (the Power Lines). Do not short-cut any of the road. At the top of Sugarloaf Pass, make sure you don’t turn right or left at the Colorado Trail sign. Continue along the dirt road for several hundred yards, then turn right on the road that leads you down the power line right-of-way to the County road. After about 3.5 miles you are nearly at the bottom of the Power Lines. Turn right at the “T” intersection and after 1/8 mile cross the small stream. Continue to run up the road for and arrive at the paved Fish Hatchery road. Turn right onto this paved road and run about 2.5 miles to the Leadville National Fish Hatchery. Turn right into the Fish Hatchery/Wilderness Outward Bound Aid Station. This is the first medical checkpoint and is 23 ½ miles into the race.
Fish Hatchery/Wilderness Outward Bound Aid Station to Halfmoon Aid Station
Exit the Fish Hatchery/Wilderness Outward Bound Aid Station by turning right and running on the pavement. After 1.5 miles there will be a paved road on your right. Turn right (south) onto this road which will eventually lead to the Halfmoon Aid Station. Run approximately 1 mile on this paved section of road until you encounter a dirt road on your right. Turn right (west) at this junction and run on the dirt road toward the Halfmoon Campground. Halfmoon Aid Station is at the 30 1/2mile point on the north side of the road.
Halfmoon Aid Station to Twin Lakes
After leaving Halfmoon, run about 1 ¼ miles and turn left off of the dirt road at the Colorado Trail Trailhead, heading south. Climb on this trail for approximately 1.5 miles to a trail junction. Take the left fork of the Colorado Trail toward Twin Lakes (the right fork will climb to the summit of Mt. Elbert). Descend now to a small creek and continue running on the trail. This trail will continue through small streams for about 2 ½ miles to a metal sign. Turn left at this metal sign and run on the unimproved dirt road south. This ‘road’ continues south still climbing and descending through meadows for about 2 miles and eventually past the beaver ponds to another trail junction. Turn right at this trail junction, run the very short uphill section and then take a quick left at the next trail junction. Run south about ½ mile, cross the stream and turn right onto the dirt road to head south again. 100 yards after turning right, you will cross a larger stream to an improved dirt road. Run down (south) on this dirt road for ¼ mile and watch closely to your right for a vague trail. Angle right onto the Colorado trail (hard to see at first) off of the dirt road and run south on this trail. After running on the Colorado Trail for about 2 miles, you will come out onto a very rocky jeep trail. Head downhill (left) and this will turn into a trail again. Continue running downward and once again you will encounter a rocky jeep trail. Once again continue left and downward. You are now running on a rocky jeep trail that is descending toward Twin Lakes. Run for 1 mile to the bottom of the rocky road. At this point you will bear left, up a short section, past private property marked with a chain across the road and then bear right over the short hill in front of you and descend quickly to the Twin Lakes Aid Station. The section between Halfmoon and Twin Lakes is one of the most difficult to follow, because of the number of intersecting trails and roads. Pay close attention to the trail markings! The first building on your left as you arrive in Twin Lakes is an early day school house. The second building on your left is the Twin Lakes Fire House and the location of the fourth aid station and the second medical check. The mileage is 39 ½ miles.
Twin Lakes to Winfield
Turn left out of the Twin Lakes Aid Station and go about 1 block east. Turn right (south) and run 1 block straight ahead to Highway #82. Cross the pavement and the parking lot and head in a westerly direction following the trail that roughly parallels the pavement until you reach a dirt road. Turn left and follow the dirt road until you reach the river. After crossing the river, continue on a jeep road until you reach the trail intersection, with a “NO VECHICLE” sign. This will soon turn into a trail. There is a fork in the trail after about 1 mile—take the left fork. This uphill section will take you to the top of Hope Pass eventually at 12,600 ft. The stream flowing down from the pass will primarily be on your right as you ascend. As you approach tree line, the trail becomes marshier and Hope Pass will be visible. The “Hopeless Pass Aid Station” at 45 miles will be on your left at tree line. This is a limited aid station and will not be a drop bag point. At the top of Hope Pass you will now descend down the trail (no trail cutting) for about 3 miles to the dirt road which leads to Winfield. There are no places to get off the trail so just run down the trail to the bottom. As you exit the Hope Pass trail near the bottom, bear right on the dirt road and continue 200 yards to the main Winfield dirt road. Turn right (west) onto the Winfield dirt road. Run 2.5 miles west on this busy, dusty dirt road and on to the ghost town of Winfield. In the center of Winfield turn left (south), go over the bridge, turn left again (east) and into the Winfield Aid Station tent.
Winfield (1/2 Way) to Leadville (Finish Line)
Turn around at the Winfield Aid Station and run the course in reverse to get to the finish line (50 miles away in Leadville)!