“The Laurel Highlands Ultra is a perfect representation of the rugged eastern trail scene.”
— Kevin Ketchman
Race - Jun 8, 2019
Fall Colors · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The 70.5 mile Laurel Highlands Ultra takes runners from Ohiopyle to Johnstown, PA along the Laurel Highland Hiking Trail, which runs along mountain ridges. This race boasts an elevation gain of nearly 9,000 feet and overall change of 17,000 feet.
Need to Know
LHHT Ultra is a qualifying race for Western States Endurance Run (100-miler) and Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (2 points).
Rocks, boulders, roots, creek crossings, and changing weather make any stretch of this trail tough on the legs.
Starting in Ohiopyle the first 19 miles to checkpoint 1 can be considered the roughest section of the entire course with the large majority of climb coming in these early miles along with rocky and extremely technical terrain.
Between miles 19 and 45, the terrain remains undulating with rocks, roots, and mud patches aplenty. On the way to checkpoint 2, you'll pass through Seven Springs ski resort and near Hidden Valley ski resort. To give an idea of elevation, these are the largest ski resorts in the region. Between Checkpoint 2 and 3, you'll pass over the PA turnpike, but aside from that you're all alone.
From Checkpoint 3 to the end you can expect more of the same. One aspect of this trail is how it doesn't let up, pushing runners (a part of this race or out for a weekend run) to their limits. It's not until the final 10 miles that relief comes in the form of a downhill, that if you are lucky is not happening after the sun has set.
This course/trail is amazing.