RACE COURSE DESCRIPTION
Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race Course
The course of 100 miles is within the beautiful, high altitude mountains and valleys of Leadville, Colorado. The race is an out-and-back course; 50 miles out to the highest point on the course, the Columbine Mine Aid Station at 12,600 feet. The majority is on back-country dirt roads with some short sections of paved road. The entire course is above 9,000 ft with six well-supplied aid stations.
The Start is at 6th and Harrison, Leadville’s only stop light. Riders will have a police escort at controlled low speed via 6th St. to Turquoise Lake Road to County Road 9 to Leadville Junction, then ride across the railroad tracks, across the river to Forest Service Road 103. Here the police escort ends and the race begins (Note - the return route from this point back to the finish is entirely different as explained later). Ride Forest Service Rd. 103 about 5.1 miles up and over the St. Kevin Mining District. This road ends at the Bear Lake Road (FS Rd 107). Across this road and to the right is a FS green gate. Go around the gate (open race day), then approximately 2 miles to the Turquoise Lake Rd. Right turn following the paved road 4.4 miles around the west side of the lake to the Hagerman Pass dirt road (FS 105-dirt). Turn right, then 1.5 miles to FS 105A. A hard left turn begins the route up and over Sugarloaf Pass. The descent has steep grades, sharp turns and a creek crossing at the bottom.
A short distance after the water crossing, turn right on the paved road. Racers continue on the paved road (SH 300) for 2.2 miles to the Halfmoon Road (FS 110). Turn right at this road and follow the road 1.1 miles staying left on FS 160, going between the gravel pits, until the road intersects with the conduit road. Located here is the Pipeline Aid Station at 24 miles. This is a pipeline cut connecting Turquoise and Twin Lakes. Turn left, following the pipeline south. This is a two track dirt road. Approximately 1/2 mile beyond Sage Draw Road, turn left. This old 4 wheel drive road has a sharp descent and steep ascent and will soon take the rider down a very, very steep ridge to CR 10. Turn right, staying on this road until it intersects with SH 82. Proceed directly and carefully across the highway (traffic control by CO State Patrol) to the dirt road and turn left. A fence section will be removed for race day. Follow this road, then trail, across the dam to the Twin Lakes Aid Station located at the south end of the dam. Due to National Security, crossing the dam is permitted race day only!
Follow the road south through the FS gate. This part of the course crosses private land. The ranch owner is extremely generous with his permission to cross. Please show every courtesy and respect in return. It is about 1.5 miles across the ranch. The route is marked and will take riders to Chaffee County Rd. 398A. Turn right and begin the long climb to the top of the mountain. The road surface is good, although very steep in places and with many switchbacks. In the final two miles to the Columbine Mine Aid Station and the 50 mile mark, the road abruptly changes to a very rough, rocky, rutted two track climb to the 12,600 foot turnaround. Enjoy the magnificent view, then carefully and safely come down the mountain retracing the course exactly back to Leadville Junction. At that point (Leadville Junction), continue south on the dirt road beside the railroad tracks. This is a public road through private property. This will turn up a short, steep grade and riders will be 3.5 miles from the finish. This dirt road known locally as the Boulevard, takes the riders up to McWethy Drive. Then it is a left and a quick right onto 6th street and on to the glorious finish.
CRITICAL: Riders coming down the mountain after the turnaround must stay on the right half of the vary narrow road and must stay in control. Riders will be coming up and both must treat their half of the road as single track. Uphill riders will have the right of way. Your safety is our number one concern. STAY IN CONTROL!
50 mile out and back? Hey, maybe one day?! How hard can it be?