2017 Course description (high water detour) – 30K & 50K

Hi!  We had hoped to be able to use our normal crossing of Crystal Creek at the campground and aid station and waited until the last minute (Friday!) hoping it would go down but it is still to high and fast at that location so we’ve had to use the detour route.  The only real downside is that it makes both courses about 1KM longer.  The upside is nobody getting washed down the rapids and over the waterfall.

We strongly encourage you to print and carry your description in a baggie.  Or you can carry it in your phone if you prefer.  Several areas on the course are quite confusing and not easy to clearly mark and occastionally course markings are changed or stolen.  Having a description you can look at when in doubt may save you valuable time!

We apologize for any inconvenience but it has been the wettest winter on record and April has been well above normal also.  Some risks aren’t worth taking.

Detour Course Description: Waterfalls 30K (50K below)

Start by leaving the parking area at Carr Powerhouse and turn right on the paved road, continue about 1/3 mile and turn left onto the Clear Creek Vista Trail.  In about 1.5 miles you will come to a power line road.  Do NOT take the single track that cuts sharply right, go down the power line road instead.  When you cross Mill Creek turn left onto Mill Creek trail.  This 2 mile trail crosses the creek about 20 times, be careful! (the rocks can be slippery or not, stable or not).

At the top of the trail you will come to an abandoned dirt road, turn right.  In 1/2 mile turn right onto the single track Crystal Creek trail.  Follow this for 2 miles until you come to a creek crossing.  Cross carefully!  Continue up the trail and you will quickly come to the James K Carr trail cutting sharply uphill to your left.  Follow this  uphill for 1.2 miles to Whiskeytown Falls where your bib # will be recorded (this trail is not flagged).  Return via the James K Carr trail, when you come to the end turn left and continue 1/2 mile uphill to the parking lot.  Turn right on the paved road and downhill for 3/4 mile, make a sharp right hand turn (well-marked) and downhill 1/10 mile to the aid station.

Leave the aid station and follow the flagged trail (a good trail, but unmapped and unsigned) for almost 1 mile.  The last 1/4 mile is a bit tricky so be careful and just keep following the creek and falls downstream until you come to the volunteers who will record your bib#.  Return to the aid station the same way you came.

Go back uphill on the road the way you came, turn left through the parking lot for Whiskeytown Falls and continue downhill on the trail for 1km (do NOT take the turnoff to the falls- you’ve already been there!).  Cross the creek carefully again and immediately veer left and follow the course you took out back in for 2 miles until it ends at the abandoned road, turn left and retrace your steps back 1/2 mile to the Mill Creek TH (signed) but do NOT take it, STAY on the old dirt road for another mile to the aid station.

From Whiskeytown Falls return the way you came, turning right in one mile at the end of the James K Carr trail, then cross the creek again and immediately turn left on the unsigned trail you were on before and back to the 3-way junction for a third time, and veer right.

From the aid station follow the Boulder Creek trail 1 mile to a 1/10 mile spur trail to Boulder Creek Falls.  After getting your bib# recorded, follow the spur trail back out to the Boulder Creek trail and turn RIGHT, first uphill and then mostly downhill for 2/3 mile to the junction with the Papoose Pass trail.  THIS IS WHERE THE 30K AND 50K COURSES DIVERGE.

30K runners go left and mostly downhill for 1 mile.  There are three significant creek crossings in this stretch, one of them in particular is running a bit high (about 30” deep in the middle on Thursday, be very careful!)  After 1 mile you will come to a power line road on the left.  Follow it up and then steeply down and in 1.5 miles come to a gate and turn left on the road.  Follow this for 1/2 mile (first gravel, then paved) as it curves to the finish.

Detour Course: Waterfalls 50K

Start by leaving the parking area at Carr Powerhouse and turn right on the paved road, continue about 1/3 mile and turn left onto the Clear Creek Vista Trail.  In about 1.5 miles you will come to a power line road.  Do NOT take the single track that cuts sharply right, go down the power line road instead.  When you cross Mill Creek turn left onto Mill Creek trail.  This 2 mile trail crosses the creek about 20 times, be careful! (the rocks can be slippery or not, stable or not).

At the top of the trail you will come to an abandoned dirt road, turn right.  In 1/2 mile turn right onto the single track Crystal Creek trail.  Follow this for 2 miles until you come to a creek crossing.  Cross carefully!  Continue up the trail and you will quickly come to the James K Carr trail cutting sharply uphill to your left.  Follow this  uphill for 1.2 miles to Whiskeytown Falls where your bib # will be recorded (this trail is not flagged).  Return via the James K Carr trail, when you come to the end turn left and continue 1/2 mile uphill to the parking lot.  Turn right on the paved road and downhill for 3/4 mile, make a sharp right hand turn (well-marked) and downhill 1/10 mile to the aid station.

Leave the aid station and follow the flagged trail (a good trail, but unmapped and unsigned) for almost 1 mile.  The last 1/4 mile is a bit tricky so be careful and just keep following the creek and falls downstream until you come to the volunteers who will record your bib#.  Return to the aid station the same way you came.

Go back uphill on the road the way you came, turn left through the parking lot for Whiskeytown Falls and continue downhill on the trail for 1km (do NOT take the turnoff to the falls- you’ve already been there!).  Cross the creek carefully again and immediately veer left and follow the course you took out back in for 2 miles until it ends at the abandoned road, turn left and retrace your steps back 1/2 mile to the Mill Creek TH (signed) but do NOT take it, STAY on the old dirt road for another mile to the aid station.

From Whiskeytown Falls return the way you came, turning right in one mile at the end of the James K Carr trail, then cross the creek again and immediately turn left on the unsigned trail you were on before and back to the 3-way junction for a third time, and veer right.

From the aid station follow the Boulder Creek trail 1 mile to a 1/10 mile spur trail to Boulder Creek Falls.  After getting your bib# recorded, follow the spur trail back out to the Boulder Creek trail and turn RIGHT, first uphill and then mostly downhill for 2/3 mile to the junction with the Papoose Pass trail.  THIS IS WHERE THE 30K AND 50K COURSES DIVERGE.

50K runners turn right and take the Papoose Pass trail for about 4.5 miles (veering left at the only junction, at the top of the pass) to the aid station at Sheep Camp.  Continue 1/4 mile on the paved road, as soon as you cross the bridge over Brandy Creek turn right up the Brandy Creek trail.  In about 1/3 mile come to a paved road and turn right.  Quickly come to a parking lot and follow the Brandy Creek trail uphill for about 1 mile and get your bib# recorded at Brandy Creek Falls.  Return to the Sheep Camp aid station by the same route.

From Sheep Camp do NOT take the Papoose Trail but go uphill the steep dirt and gravel Shasta Bally Road for just over 1 mile and take the signed trail to the right.  In 1/4 mile you will turn left back onto the Papoose Pass trail and continue mostly downhill for a little over 2 miles until you return to the Boulder Creek trail where you split off from the 30K runners.

Veer right and continue mostly downhill for 1 mile.  There are three significant creek crossings in this stretch, one of them in particular is running a bit high (about 30” deep in the middle on Thursday, be very careful!)  After 1 mile you will come to a power line road on the left.  Follow it up and then steeply down and in 1.5 miles come to a gate and turn left on the road.  Follow this for 1/2 mile (first gravel, then paved) as it curves to the finish.

The crossing at its normal height.  Not this year though!