River of No Return Endurance Runs 50k
ElevationAscent: 6,084' 1,855 m
Descent: -6,085' -1,855 m
High: 8,418' 2,566 m
Low: 5,011' 1,527 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 30% (17°)
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“River of No Return (RONR) Endurance Runs offer runners a unique opportunity to experience Idaho's remote beauty.”— Jeff Fullmer
Race - Jun 15, 2019
(Mapping provided via tracking from a Garmin Forerunner during the 2016 50k -Jeff Fullmer: Idaho Falls Trail Runners. Written summaries and course content obtained via the runchallis.com website.)
After leaving the START at the Challis City Park, you'll head south on the HWY 93 shoulder for several hundred yards until reaching the 4-wheeler trail next to the highway on the right. Follow the two track trail down for two miles to the Land of the Yankee Fork Interpretive Center. Cut through the parking lot and begin the Lombard Trail System, a two track trail that will lead you for quite some time. Stay on the Lombard Trail for a 4 mile climb, and up to a lower saddle where an informational placard will give you some geographic history of the surrounding area. Continue ~1.5 miles on the Lombard Trail (now cutting along Blue Mountain, side-hill) to the first Aid Station, BIRCH CREEK SADDLE.
BIRCH CREEK SADDLE to KEYSTONE (mile 12)
From BIRCH CREEK SADDLE, you'll continue on the Lombard Trail and head up a tough climb before reaching another placard which describes the Bighorn Sheep in the area and their habitat. You wanted some views? Well here they are: The Salmon River below you, the Twin Peaks and the River of No Return Wilderness off to your right, Mt. Borah (Idaho's tallest peak at 12,662') off to the south skyline, and some wild, wild country ahead of you in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. The Lombard Trail climbs up to 8300' now before descending sharply to an intersection where the aid station known as KEYSTONE will greet you. If you haven't seen a deer, elk, antelope, sheep, bear, wolf, hawk or eagle by now then you hopefully registered under the Legally Blind category for the race.
KEYSTONE to BAYHORSE TOWNSITE (mile 16)
From the intersection at KEYSTONE, pick up Road 052 (go left-south) and ascend briefly to a summit before a 3.5 mile downhill cruise to the mining Ghost Town, BAYHORSE. You'll pass by the abandoned Pacific Mine, outbuildings and rail car transport structures on your adventure to BAYHORSE. Watch for a fabled old miner in these parts, named Choppy. If you think you see him, run faster. As you approach BAYHORSE past the old hillside mill, your crew can watch for you on the hillside coming down to the aid station.
BAYHORSE TOWNSITE to KEYSTONE (mile 20)
Back up for 4 miles the way you came down. Now you can see just where you stand against the competition.
KEYSTONE to CUSTER MOTORWAY (MILE 26)
Leaving KEYSTONE, now to the north, a 3.5 mile descent down the 4WD road (RD 052) will offer some spectacular views and tie you into Garden Creek and the Garden Creek Road (RD 069). Continuing down Garden Creek Road for ~2 miles takes you to the tie-in of the CUSTER MOTORWAY and the aid station.
CUSTER MOTORWAY to FINISH (mile 31)
Departing the final aid station at the CUSTER MOTORWAY, you'll take off on the final, well-sloped downhill on a paved road which will lead you along Garden Creek, down Main Street Challis, and back to the FINISH at the Challis City Park.
If you want to make a vacation out of your race weekend, you'll find unparalleled fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rockhounding, wildlife viewing, mountaineering, river rafting, hunting, and off-highway trail riding. If you're a history buff, you'll be busy for days at the Land of the Yankee Fork Park, North Custer Museum, ghost towns of Custer, Bonanza, Bayhorse and the behemoth gold dredge on the Yankee Fork. Get off the beaten track and trace the trail where wagons carried food and necessary supplies from Challis to the Yankee Fork Mining District by driving the scenic Custer Motorway. Explore Challis by starting a downtown walking tour at the North Custer Museum.
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Local Club: Idaho Falls Trail Runners (IFTR)
Land Manager: USFS - Salmon-Challis National Forest Office