Wonderland Running

Coyote Wall 50K

Course Description Summary

Aid Station Total Distance To Next Aid Crew Drop Bag Cutoff Restrooms
Start (8:00 AM) 0 miles 3.9 miles * * * Yes
1 - Catherine Creek Aid Station #1 3.9 miles 4.5 miles No Yes * Yes
2 - Catherine Creek Aid Station #2 8.4 miles 6.5 miles No Yes * Yes
3 - Courtney Road Aid Station #1 14.9 miles 6.1 miles No No * No
4 - Jewett Creek Aid Station 21 miles 7.8 miles Yes Yes * No
5 - Courtney Road Aid Station #2 28.8 miles 4.5 miles Yes Yes 4:00 PM No
Finish 33.3 miles * * * 5:30 PM Yes

Course Description

Coyote Wall 50k Trail Race Saturday, November 2nd, 2019)

This year is the first running of the Coyote Wall 50k Trail Race in the iconic Columbia River Gorge! The 50k will take place Saturday, November 2nd, 2019. The start time is 8:00am. The finish line cutoff is 5:30pm. The 50k has 7,300 feet of climb, all on breathtaking trails with sweeping vistas.

This race is a grand and thoughtfully crafted tour of this unique Cascade rainshadow ecosystem, with very little repeated trail. Mount Hood’s imposing volcanic pyramid looms large over much of the course, which flows between open Douglas fir forest, oak savanna, and grasslands with seemingly endless viewscapes of the Columbia River Gorge.

This is a rugged, steep, and sometimes technical course that will challenge even the most seasoned trail runners. This is not a closed course. The trails are open to mountain bikers, equestrians, and hikers. Please be respectful and courteous to other users. Due to steep climbs and technical terrain, this 50k is not considered a beginner’s course, and runners are therefore strongly encouraged to have prior ultramarathon experience. This is also a long 50k course, coming in at 33.3 miles.

Start to Catherine Creek Aid Station #1 (3.9 miles)

The start area is located at the Old Highway 8 Trail, near the back end of the Coyote Wall parking area. Starting along this mostly paved section for about 0.7 miles, runners will have a good chance to spread out by pace before turning left and beginning the spectacular climb up the Hidden Canyon Trail onto the high slopes and cliffs above the Columbia River. During this 1-mile climb, you gain almost 850 feet. A right turn onto the Loose Lucy Trail takes you eastward, descending on sweeping switchbacks through oaks and lava flows for another mile to a somewhat obscure junction at the base of a cliff. Turning left, a short, steep climb takes you through the cliffs above, before descending the rocky path roughly 0.8 miles down to the Catherine Creek Aid Station (Mile 3.9). PLEASE NOTE: You may elect to have a drop bag at the Catherine Creek Aid Station.

Catherine Creek Aid Station #1 to Catherine Creek Aid Station #2 (4.5 Miles)

From here, the course follows an old road for about 0.7 miles, crossing Catherine Creek before veering left at a Ponderosa pine-filled junction. This marks the beginning of the 3.1-mile Tracy Hill Loop. Passing through a meadow underneath some transmission lines, you begin a long and rugged climb. This segment is very technical in spots, and gains over 1,000 feet in 1.4 miles. During your climb, you will ascend through oak savanna and grasslands up onto Tracy Hill. As the trail levels out, head right and up to the crest of the ridge. From here, the views eastward to the Columbia River Gorge and south to Mount Hood are staggering. A glorious 2-mile descent through broad meadows will return you back to the Catherine Creek Aid Station (Mile 8.4).

Catherine Creek Aid Station #2 to Courtney Road Aid Station #1 (6.5 miles)

Continuing right and steeply uphill from here, you pass a viewpoint high atop Coyote Wall before entering a primarily coniferous forest, eventually regaining the Atwood Road Trail. Turn left here, heading west along Atwood, gently climbing through the forest for approximately 1.3 miles until you reach the junction with Courtney Road. Continue straight onto Courtney Road. PLEASE NOTE: Courtney Road is a public right-of-way and there may be vehicle traffic. Please stay to the right-hand side of the road. Follow this winding gravel road for just under a mile to the Courtney Road Aid Station (Mile 14.9).

Courtney Road Aid Station #1 to Jewett Creek Aid Station (6.1 miles)

Once you depart the Courtney Road Aid Station, you will pass through a gate on the private lands of Kreps Ranch, to whom we are immeasurably for the generous use of their property on race day. Heading for a short distance through the woods towards the Columbia River, you will cross an old logging road and continue through a field to the Millennium Trail. You are now ready to begin the incredible west loop of the race! PLEASE NOTE: this is a working ranch, and you may find cattle at points along the west loop. While this almost never of any consequence, there is a chance you may need to stop and let a wary animal pass… please be aware of this!

Millennium Trail takes you along the bluffs high above the Columbia River Gorge. This section of trail traverses an improbably steep grassland slope for roughly 1.5 miles, with dramatic, far-reaching views of the Columbia River Gorge. You then reach a junction where Millennium Trail drops to the left steeply downward on a seemingly endless set of switchbacks for 1.5 miles. The trail then turns north up through the forested Dry Creek drainage. The trail turns south after a small footbridge. The course then traverses the base of Burdoin Mountain along the Frontside Climb and Oakey Pokey Trail for a short distance before reaching an unsigned junction just above Jewett Creek Park. At this point, you have descended almost all the way down to the City of White Salmon. From here, the Oakey Pokey Trail turns north, slowly climbing along the quiet, forested creekside corridor of Jewett Creek. In approximately 0.8 miles, you reach the Jewett Creek Aid Station (Mile 21). PLEASE NOTE: You may elect to have a drop bag at the Jewett Creek Aid Station. This is also the ONLY crew-accessible aid station for the Coyote Wall 50k.

Jewett Creek Aid Station to Courtney Road Aid Station #2 (7.8 miles)

Fuel up well here, because this is the beginning of the long, breathtaking (literally and figuratively!) climb up to the summit of Burdoin Mountain. It is also 7.8 miles to your next aid station! From here the Crazy Cajun Trail gains around 2,000 feet in 4.3 miles. The ascent takes you steadily up a stunning ridge through a mixture of black oak and Douglas fir forest punctuated by uncommonly beautiful portals out into the mountains and the Columbia River. As the climb begins to become more gently graded, you turn right onto an old roadbed. Follow the old roadbed about 0.25 miles to a junction with another old roadbed. From here, turn right, then quickly veer left onto a trail heading into the woods. You will contour a fence line for another 0.5 miles. Just past a gate on your left, continue along this trail south on the ridgeline through open forest lands.

After approximately 1.2 miles of gently climbing trail, you will arrive at a delightful meadow lined with wind-sculpted conifers. You have arrived at the summit of Mount Burdoin, the high point of the course at 2,200 feet! The panorama here of Mount Hood, White Salmon, Hood River, and the Columbia River Gorge is indescribably spectacular. Though this is a race, you are strongly encouraged to stop for a minute and take in what might be one of the best views in the Columbia River Gorge!

From the summit you will descend approximately 1.5 miles back down through rolling grasslands and then pasture lands along bluffs high above the mighty Columbia River. This will return you to the hillside section of Millennium Trail. Retracing your route along the steep, grassy hills, you will return to the Courtney Road Aid Station (Mile 28.8). This is your last aid station of the race. PLEASE NOTE: there is a FIRM CUTOFF of 4:00pm at this Aid Station, which will be strictly enforced! Daylight is short this time of year, and the volunteers have been hard at work for many hours. You must have left the second Courtney Road Aid Station by 4:00pm, NO EXCEPTIONS.

Courtney Road Aid Station #2 to Finish (4.5 miles)

Fuel up, hit the trail, and enjoy… you are now only 4.5 miles from the finish! Climbing back up Courtney Road and descending through the lush forest of Atwood Trail, you return to the lofty top of Coyote Wall. Now begins your wild descent to the finish! From here, the course drops over 1,800 feet in just 2 miles along one of the most spectacular vistas to be found in any race! This section along the rim of Coyote Wall is stunning, but it is also very technical in sections, especially on the last 0.5 miles or so before the reaching the pavement. Tired legs and technical trails make this section challenging. It will be very important to watch your footing near the bottom of Coyote Wall. Soon you arrive back at the Old Highway 8 Trail. Turning right onto the paved pathway on which you began the race, you have only 0.5 miles left to your memorable, hard-earned finish… congratulations!!!!!