The course will be the same as it was since 2015, except for a small change inside JMR to finish at the North Meadow, about 0.7 mile from the starting area/clubhouse.  There were significant changes made to the 40mi in 2015, so if you have run the race previously, please review this page carefully.  It is a technical course (as it has always been) that demands a full set of mountain running skills including some off-trail travel over talus and open sage terrain.

Possibly the most unique race you will ever enter.


STATS: 40 Miles, 10,000‘ Ascent, 10,000‘Descent

Start: 6:00 AM

Strict Cutoffs for 40mi: (distances measured by Topofusion mapping software)
1. Buckhorn (Outbound, 24.2mi) 3:30PM for 40M.  9hrs30min run time, 23;33 pace. Runners missing this cutoff must walk/run 2.6mi to Boulder to DNF.
2. Boulder Lakes Trailhead  31.2mi/50K: 6:00 PM, 12 Hours of Run Time, 23:04 pace.
3. Finish at Jug Mountain Ranch: 8:30 PM, 14 Hours 30 Minutes of Run Time. 39.1mi, 22:15 pace.


The Course...

The final summit of the day will be Buckhorn, not Kennally summit.  This will change the altitude profile very little.  See details of the change below.

JMR Singletrack
Begin on the main access road used to enter the JMR backcountry- called "Mainline."  After a few hundred yards, veer right onto a very narrow singletrack called Doubleshot.  (Do not ever go up or down this trail on foot except on raceday).  This trail was climbed at the beginning of the races in 2012 and is back by popular demand.  The climb starts steep and gets steeper.  This is a double black diamond mountain bike trail.  Banked turns and rocks will slow you to a crawl.  By the 1 mile mark (on top at the flagpole), you will have climbed over 600' vertical feet to your first summit.  Follow nice singletrack down to "Murphy Junction" then up a Forest Road a shorts way to Reservoir Junction.  This begins the new Upper Jug Reservoir Trail.  This wraps around the shore of the Reservoir for 1.25 gorgeous miles.
Rolling terrain over a shady ATV track brings you to Lower Jug Reservoir.  Turn right and climb steeply for 500 vertical feet for three-quarters of a mile to the quaint aid station at Jug Meadows Saddle.  From here, 10 milers will descend the hill you just climbed, then head for home.  20 and 40 milers will continue on into the hills.

Ladybug Peak and Jughandle Mountain
From the Jug Meadows Saddle Aid Station, climb Southeast on a steep ATV trail to Jug Meadows.  Turn left on the main Forest Road through Jug Meadows.  Go left again onto another Forest Road.  GO PAST THE TURNOFF TO JUG-A-LOU TRAIL (20Milers will turn left here).  Continue on the Forest Road as it narrows and becomes rougher for about 1.5 miles.  At this point, it is a rough ATV track and begins to climb at a ridiculous angle.  Over 1000' vertical in under a mile.  Straight up, no switchbacks to the summit of Ladybug Peak.

The final 500' vertical feet to the summit of the Ladybug exits the forest and continues over open country ridge line. 

Ladybug Summit.  Looking North towards the 1 mile x-country traverse to the summit of Jughandle Peak.  Two sub-summits along the way are skirted to the left/west before gaining the ridge line again at Jughandle Peak 8310'. 

Descending from Jughandle Peak, the route goes along a rocky ridge, then descends through roughly a quarter mile of talus, before reaching the rough and steep trail descending toward Louie Lake.

Descending from Jughandle Mountain toward Louie Lake.  Looking back towards the summit of Jughandle and the talus field right of the summit.

The descent from Jughandle to Louie Lake.  This is the end of the talus section.  The beginnings of the dirt trail can be seen in the lower left of the photo. The new Aid Station will be at the far end of the lake on the small dam.

Begin a x-country traverse through open ridge terrain staying mostly on the ridgeline leading about 1 mile to Jughandle Mountain 8310'.  Enjoy a truly special summit.  This is the summit I have always wanted to take this race to visit.  It has been hanging over our heads all along and we are finally on top.
Begin your descent with a gentle traverse over some talus and sparse trees.  DO NOT GO NEAR THE EDGE HERE.  IT IS A 600' GRANITE WALL DROPPING OVER THE NORTH FACE.  Soon the descent will be all talus (piled granite rocks).  Follow the flags and markers through here carefully.  They will lead you through the safest and best path.  As the trail exits the rocks, an old climber's trail will take you down into the forest very steeply.  At the bottom of this rough trail, go right on the Jug-A-Lou Trail and very soon you will reach the new Aid Station at Louie Lake.  Enjoy the amazing views of Jughandle Mountain you just climbed, fuel up and move along.

Louie Lake Aid Station location with Jughandle Mountain towering above.  The right skyline (NE Ridge) is the descent route over talus and steep trail.

Louie in September with the aspens in a golden blaze.
Louie Lake Loop

From the small earthen dam of Louie Lake (7004‘) take a rugged singletrack traversing the north shore of the lake before beginning an arduous 700‘ ascent past the Twin Peaks.  As you reach your lactic threshold, steal a quick glance at Jughandle Mountain behind you...ridiculous alpine slendor!  Finally you reach the saddle signaling the end of the climbing and the beginning of a long downhill into the Boulder Lakes drainage.  Down-down-down you go-quads-a-screaming-NO-NO-NO.  Reach a flat, forested trail traversing the south shore of the glacial Boulder Lake (6973') for about 1 mile.  Enjoy this flatness and stretch those legs out.  This is all the flat you get!  Drop past Boulder Lake’s small stone dam into the ultra-steep drainage of rushing Boulder Creek.   Switchbacks, big step downs and boulders bring you to the rocky shores of Boulder Meadows Reservoir (6269‘).  Reach the trailhead just under the Boulder Reservoir Dam, go west for a few hundred yards on the Boulder Lake Road and reunite with your crew  at the Boulder Lakes Trailhead Aid Station.

Shaw Twin Cutoff and Boulder Mountain Ascent

Climbing to the Summit of Boulder Mtn. 8377'
View to the North from Boulder Mtn. Summit
From the Louie Lake Trailhead Aid Station, head north on a rugged ATV track, climbing about 1000‘ feet over a few miles.   You will make 2 right turns as you climb onto cross-country terrain- actually ancient logging roads that are just game trails these days.

***PLEASE NOTE:  Major logging operations have transformed this area in the past few months.  The course will follow the same basic footprint as in past years, but its character has been transformed due to the heavy hand of man and machine.  This is Idaho Department of Lands property and they have a different mission than the Forest Service.  Revenues generated by logging these lands benefits Idaho Public Schools and universities.  We support a working forest and responsible use of its resources.  However, we hope they plan to restore this area a bit.  They logging has left it pretty messy.

A minimal Aid Station greets you at the top of the Shaw Twin Ridge, where the ATV track becomes a singletrack/alpine ridge.  Emerge from the forest, staying close to the ridge-top with 360 degree views including the Lick Creek Range to the east, the Seven Devils and the Salmon River to the north and Hell’s Canyon and the Wallowa Mountains to the west.  The Payette Lakes and McCall lie just below.  Climb the alpine ridge, heading east. Boulder Mountain (8377‘) is your highpoint for the day. You will find the remains of its burned ruins and a cairn marking the summit.  This is as good as mountain running gets- take it all in!  Descend switchbacks to the east heading for the high pass called Boulder Summit, then turn right and descend toward Boulder Lake.  (NOTE: LAKE FORK DRAINAGE IS NOT PART OF THE RACE FOR 2015).  At the bottom of the hill, at the 4 way junction just east of Boulder Lake there will be another new aid station:  Buckhorn Aid.

Buckhorn Summit
From this intersection with the Aid Station, turn LEFT and go 2.2 miles to Buckhorn Summit.  This is amazing backcountry terrain with a tiny ribbon of singletrack running under huge granite walls and through pristine meadows.  Pass along the shore of Summit Lake and continue upward to the pass at 7850'.  Turn around and descend 2.2 mi back to the Buckhorn Aid Station.  Continue along the shore of Boulder Lake (as you did earlier in the race) returning through the Boulder Creek Drainage and back to Boulder Lakes Trailhead Aid Station.  See your crew once more before the finish.

Climbing towards Buckhorn Summit with Boulder Lake in the background.  On raceday, this field is full of beautiful purple lupine flowers and red Indian paintbrushes, among many other wildflowers. 

Caption in lower left pf photo should read Buckhorn Summit.

Return to JMR (Minor changes in final 1.3 miles for 2019 to finish at Campsite area.)

Climb a steep singletrack for a half mile to reach the old Louie Lake Jeep Road.  GO LEFT on the Jeep Road for about 100 YARDS.  Make a RIGHT TURN into the forest and descend a tight singletrack trail for about a half mile.  At the bottom, the trail joins a wider trail as you veer right.  Follow this wider trail for about 1 mile.  Make a sharp left and cross the cool Louie Creek- about 10 feet across.  RACERS HAVE MISSED THIS TURN IN THE PAST.  You can finagle a way to keep the feet dry on logs, but by this point, you will probably like a quick soak.  Ascend very briefly to a fork- stay left- and within 200 yards reach the site of the Jug Meadows Saddle Aid Station (now an unmanned water only station).

From the Aid Station, descend the hill you just climbed. At the bottom, cross the dirt road and descend a short, steep embankment down to the Lower Jug Reservoir Dam.  Cross the dam on an ATV trail and enjoy rolling and shady trail through the deep timber.  A short descent will bring you back to the Upper Reservoir.  From here, enter the Vandelay Trail.  This 3+ mi trail has been used in the beginning of the races in past years.  This beautiful, shaded trail will test you with twists and turns with rocks and roots, while descending but still stinging you with short, painful uphills.  Vandelay flows nicely into Harper's Hollow Trail and deposits you at the Campsite area on Boulder Creek where the finish line party will be waiting.

You've earned it.  Now you are ready for this one...http://imtuf100.com/

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