“A highly runnable mountain race with views galore and 100% singletrack that will keep a smile on your face!”
— Grand Mesa Ultras
Race - Jul 27, 2019
Birding · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
An early morning ascent up Crag Crest gives way to some of the best views in Western Colorado! The technical lava rock trail along the crest makes for a fun, but challenging section as it lets loose for a fast descent. After completing the Crag Crest loop, the course runs along the edge of the Grand Mesa through both the forest and open meadows to the more remote Flowing Park/Indian Point loop before heading back to the finish. This course is run all on singletrack trail!
Need to Know
The Start/Finish at Mesa Top Trailhead is a large paved parking area with two vault toilets with two attached changing rooms. Craig Crest Aid is also a paved parking with a two-room vault toilet.
Section 1: Starting from Mesa Top AS (Start/Finish): Head east out of the parking lot onto a trail leading to the Grand Mesa Lodge (3.5 miles/gradual downhill). From the lodge, you'll cross Hwy 65 to the Crag Crest Trailhead and Crag Crest AS (0.5 miles). Run Crag Crest Trail counterclockwise and end back up at Crag Crest AS for the second time (10.5 miles/technical climbs and descent) Head back across the highway towards Grand Mesa Lodge, passing the lodge, running the trail to Mesa Top AS (Start/Finish Line with 4m/gradual uphill). This section is about 18.75 miles with 2196 ft. of ascent and 2196 ft. of descent.
Section 2: From the Mesa Top AS, racers will run south on the Mesa Top Trail and continue on for about 7.6 miles to Flowing Park AS. Check in here. This section is 7.6 miles with 160 ft. of ascent but 805 ft. of descent
Section 3: From Flowing Park AS, racers will continue south and run a clockwise lollipop loop towards Indian Point AS (9 miles from Flowing Park AS). After Indian Point AS, racers will run 5.4 miles back to Flowing Park AS (be sure to stay left at the intersection out in the meadow so you do not repeat the loop)! This section is 14.4 miles with 810 ft. of ascent and 810 ft. of descent
Section 4: After checking in at the Flowing Park AS, racers will return 7.6 miles on the Mesa Top Trail to the Finish at the Mesa Top Parking Lot! This section has 805 ft. ascent and 160 ft. of descent.
The high point for the course is 11,189 ft. atop of Crag Crest with the average elevation for the whole course above 10,500 ft.
Flora & Fauna
Deer, elk, bear, and porcupines are common wildlife to see. Amazing wildflowers in June and July! Beware of the mighty mosquito in the spring through mid July when they disappear! Yeah! Monsoons will begin appearing around August so be prepared.