Grand Mesa Ultra 50M
27 July 2019
The Grand Mesa is a large mesa in western Colorado in the United States. It is the largest flat-topped mountain in the entire world. It has an area of about 500 square miles (1,300 km2) and stretches for about 40 miles (64 km) east of Grand Junction between the Colorado River and the Gunnison River, its tributary to the south. The north side of the mesa is drained largely by Plateau Creek, a smaller tributary of the Colorado. The west side is drained largely by Kannah Creek, which is received to the west by the lower Gunnison River. The mesa rises about 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above the surrounding river valleys, including the Grand Valley to the west, reaching an elevation of about 11,000 feet (3,400 m), with a maximum elevation of 11,333 feet (3,454 m) at Crater Peak. Much of the mesa is within Grand Mesa National Forest. Over 300 lakes, including many reservoirs created and used for drinking and irrigation water, are scattered along the top of the formation. The Grand Mesa is flat in some areas, but quite rugged in others.This is a good old fashioned Colorado mountain trail race run at high elevation. This race takes place on the Grand Mesa (near Grand Junction, CO), known as the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. The terrain varies from rocky ridges, smooth single track, grassy meadows and pine/aspen forests with views galore! The average elevation is 10,000'. The highest point for each race is the summit of Crag's Crest at 11,200' where you can view many of the 300 beautiful lakes that are located on the Grand Mesa.
Race starts at the Mesa Top Parking Lot. Racers head east out of the parking lot onto a trail leading to the Grand Mesa Lodge (3m/gradual downhill). From the lodge, racers will cross Hwy 65 and head towards the Crag Crest (CC) Trailhead and the CC aid station (0.5m). Racers will then run a 10.4m counterclockwise loop on Crag Crest and return to the CC aid station (1550′ of climbing & descent & fun! You will love the views on Crag Crest… 13 lakes!). From the CC aid station, racers will head back on the Grand Mesa Lodge Trail to the Mesa Top Parking Lot (MT) aid station (3.5m/gradual uphill). From the MT aid station, racers will run south on the Mesa Top Trail 7.6m to Flowing Park and check in at the Flowing Park (FP) aid station. Section 2 = 7.6m and 160′ of climbing but 805′ of descent. This section is a long, gradual downhill.From FP aid station, racers will continue south and run a clockwise lollipop towards IP aid station (9m from FP aid station). After hitting up the IP aid station, racers will run 5.4m back to FP aid station (be sure to stay left at the intersection out in the meadow so you do not repeat the loop)! Section 3 = 14.4m and 810′ of descent and then 810′ of ascent (this loop is run along the Mesa’s edge and has endless views of the San Juan’s and the Elk Mountains). After checking in at the FP aid station, racers will return 7.6m on the Mesa Top Trail to the Finish at the Mesa Top Parking Lot.
Grand MesaColorado River Gunnison River
Drop Bags are available at most Aid Stations throughout the course.
There are 8 Aid Stations throughout the race.
The Grand Mesa is managed by the National Forest Service, therefore, there are many campgrounds and free camping opportunities throughout the forest. Cabins for rent on the Grand Mesa at the: Grand Mesa Lodge and Store,Thunder Mountain Lodge, Alexander Lodge and Restaurant, Mesa Lakes Lodge and Restaurant.
Awards hand crafted by local artistes.