“A tough course with very steep ascents and descents but great views when you're on the ridge
— Tad Davis
Race - Apr 22, 2018
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
A classic Rainshadow Running event that sells out, along with the 50k the day before, every year. This is one of the few, if not only, trail running races around Ellensburg/Yakima, WA and provides runners from the PNW a completely different experience to their locals trails. Driving over the Cascade range from the west, the sheltering rainforest disappears and is replaced with open, dry, desert-like vistas. This out and back race is a big climb, followed by 3 miles of ridge running and then a big descent where you turnaround and do it again back to the start.
Don't venture off the trail and watch for Rattlesnakes.
Begin between the Umtanum Recreation Area campground and the river on private land. Run south with the river on your right a short while. Take the first left and then another hard left when you hit the gravel Umtanum Recreation Area road. Follow the road to the end loop and cross the footbridge. Continue by ducking under the railroad bridge. Immediately turn left (straight or right will take you on a trail along the creek) and then turn right after a short 20 meters or so.
This trail will climb gradually at first but soon steeply. After about 2.5 miles you'll reach the Umtanum Ridge Jeep Rd
, turn left on the jeep road. Follow the jeep road for 3 miles as it undulates but overall is downhill in this direction. You'll have great views of the surrounding Cascade mountains including Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams and potentially Mt. Baker as well. Towards the end you'll also have views of the Yakima river below.
Turn right onto the Roza Creek Umtanum Ridge
trail which is steep and gets even steeper at the end. This trail is faint at times and requires concentration to not lose course. At the bottom the trail curves to the left. The turnaround is about 200 meters down the trail.
Turnaround and retrace your steps to the start. Now continue running straight until the road ends and you'll have reached the finish line in the shade of some trees. Go lay in the river, you earned it!
Flora & Fauna
Various wildflowers, snakes, deer and possibly bighorn sheep.