Reckless Raven 50 Mile Ultra Trail Description
Note distances are approximate and may be refined slightly based on additional pre-race trail scouting.
Section 1: Mt McIntyre ski base to Raven’s Ridge (0-6.7 miles, 6.7 miles total)
Mostly hilly single track trails in the forest. Very runnable.
The course begins at the ski base. Runners leave the ski base and run along Copper Trail (wide skate ski trail) before quickly turning onto Birch Trail (single track). Turn left onto the Sarah Steele outer loop (wide skate ski trail), and then left onto Reimer Reason (single track) and join Upper Selwyn Trail (wide skate ski trail) at Fireweed Hut. Cut left across Coyote to Lower Selwyn and Wolf trails (wide skate ski trails), then join 24 Hours of Light (single track) to the KSA Snowmobile Trail. Turn left on the KSA Snowmobile Trail and follow it to the Raven’s Ridge Trailhead and Aid Station 1.
Section 2: Raven’s Ridge to MacIntyre Marsh/Haeckel Hill road (6.7-9.0 miles, 2.2 miles total)
Creek crossing and only asphalted section of the course!
From Raven’s Ridge, runners will cross the shallow McIntyre Creek to reach Fish Lake Road. Runners will have a short run up Fish Lake Road to the start of the Haeckel Hill downhill trail (single track) behind Icy Waters, where you’ll find to Aid Station 2.
Section 3: Haeckel Hill (9.0-12.2 miles, 3.2 miles total)
Steep uphill single track. This is the steepest climb of the course!
Run (or powerhike) up (and up, and up) the Haeckel Hill downhill trail to the summit of Haeckle Hill. Aid Station 3 will be at the top of the hill. Get ready. It’s your first big climb!
Section 4: Haeckel Hill summit to south end of Sumanik Ridge (12.2-20.9 miles, 8.7 miles total)
Alpine terrain with 360o view. Much of this stretch has no worn trail and mossy, spongy footing with exposed rocks. Expect slow going in this section. Plan to hike, stock up on food and water, and be ready for weather-dependent exposure and extreme conditions.
Drop down off the other side of Haeckel Hill (where you may want gaitors or tall socks – it’s brushy) before climbing back up to Sumanik Ridge. Enjoy spectacular views along Sumanik Ridge, but watch your footing on the spongy, mossy terrain. There is no visible trail along the top of the ridge, but flags will mark the route. This is a long section. Be prepared to move in exposed conditions along this ridge top, and top up your supplies. Begin the descent off Sumanik Ridge on an old brushy trail. Aid Station 4 is located halfway down the descent at the junction of an ATV trail cutting up from the valley to the ridge.
Section 5: South end of Sumanik Ridge to Jackson Lake (20.9-24.2 miles, 3.3 miles total)
Downhill and flat ATV trails.
Continue descending from Sumanik Ridge on an ATV trail and eventually a gravel road. Follow the trail along the north side of Franklin Lake to the south end of Jackson Lake. The checkpoint at Jackson Lake is the halfway point on the course, and also the relay exchange point. At this checkpoint, solo runners will have access to their drop bags and crew, and the second runner of the relay teams will take off.
Section 6: Jackson Lake to Sunshine Valley Ranch (24.2-26.7 miles, 2.5 miles total)
Uphill runnable ATV trail in the forest following McIntyre Creek.
End of Leg 1 and start of Leg 2.
On this leg, runners will climb again on a hilly trail used in winter by mushers and snowmobilers. The end of the leg is at Sunshine Valley Ranch where a community of mushers and wranglers reside. Please respect their privacy. Past the ranch you will follow a gravel road leading to another crossing of McIntyre Creek where Aid Station 5 is located.
Section 7: Sunshine Valley Ranch to Fish Lake (26.7-34.7 miles, 8 miles total)
ATV trail with open views, alpine terrain and forest. Very runnable stretches in this section.
After the creek crossing, runners will follow a beautiful ATV trail going uphill to the north side of the Fish Lake mountain ridge. Going up the ridge, you will reach the alpine and be rewarded with a second 360o view of the Bonneville Lakes on one side, and Fish Lake on the other. From the ridge you will follow the hiking/horsepacking trail descending into the forest to Fish Lake. Aid Station 6 is located at Fish Lake.
Section 8: Fish Lake to Mt McIntyre Ascent Road junction (34.7-38.9 miles, 4.2 miles total)
Uphill trail and single track with breathtaking views. Some steady climbing, some runnable singletrack, and some off-trail scrambling!
Run up Fish Lake Road, turn right on a 4×4 road, and then join a steep single track trail leading up to Knuckle Ridge. Expect a bit of scrambling. Traverse Knuckle Ridge and go downhill to reach Starbucks Revenge, a singletrack mountain biking trail, then cross the Mt McIntyre Ascent Road. Refresh your supplies at Aid Station 7, and go down along the road to reach on Blown Away on the other side (another singletrack mountain biking trail). You will pass this intersection again in the next section, so be careful to go straight across the road and back into the forest this time. Enjoy the views of Fish Lake on one side and Grey Mountain on the other.
Section 9: Mt McIntyre Ascent Road to Copper Haul Road (38.9-44 miles, 5.1 miles)
Downhill gravel road with awesome views.
At the end of Blown Away, you will reach the Mt McIntyre Road, but lucky for you, you will run it downhill 😉 Part way down this road, you will cross the junction with the road and Blown Away, where you were in the previous section. Again, pay attention to the signs and continue to go straight downhill on the Road. You will turn left at the flags to an ATV trail before reaching Copper Haul road. At the end of this trail, turn right on Copper Haul road and continue until you find Aid Station 8.
Section 10: Copper Haul Road junction to Mt McIntyre Rec Centre (44-50 miles, 6.1 miles total)
Forested, runnable singletrack and more great views.
Run briefly along the Copper Haul Road (wide gravel road,) and turn left on Mordor. Follow Mordor to reach Copper Trail. Follow Copper Trail to Porcupine Ridge trail (singletrack trail). Jollow Porcupine Ridge to Can Can (singletrack), run up Can Can, then turn right on Birch Trail and run the last downhill to Copper Trail. Turn left onto Copper Trail, cross the bridge, and finish strong to the Mt McIntyre ski base where your super fans are waiting for you with showers and beer.