5km: Gently rolling, on a mix of wide dirt paths and single-track, with a long, gradual descent, and short steep climb in the middle.
½-Marathon: The first 2.5mi are shared with the 5km course (different start times), on gently rolling hills, with a long descent. The next 5mi follow twisty single-track up and down both sides of both Bear and Turkey Creeks, with a few short, punchy climbs. There are four significant hills from miles 7.5-11.5, leading to a fast finish. There will be a new and improved start for 2012.
Mud: If the park ranger determines the trails are too muddy (it's their decision, not mine), some or all of the course will be changed to use paved park roads and bike paths with as much climbing as possible.
Aid Stations: One on the 5km. Approximately 5-6 for the ½-marathon.
Rock by rock: The course will be extremely well marked for the race with lots of signs and accurately placed mile markers. I guarantee* that you won't get lost. See maps below. The courses are still tentative. Check back later for course changes and detailed descriptions.
*entry fee refunded (less $5)
Click image below for larger view
Both: There will be a new start for 2012 (no more out-and-back), tbd. The 5km starts on the E side of the fields at Coyote Crossing. Cross to the SW side of the field, head N on the trail, and loop back towards the W. Go left across the footbridge, then left on the service road.
Head W on the flat and gradual downhill. Cross the dry creek, then continue up towards the gate at Morrison Rd.
Go right around the gate, and head back NE on the trail, alongside Morrison Rd. Stay to the left, running along the N side of the hill. Continue past the first trail to the right, over the creek
Just past the creek, go right and head down the E side of the creek. This is a long flat and gradual descent, on single-track. Continue along the W side of the bluff, staying to the right.
At the bottom, the two courses split.
5km: Just before the paved road, make a sharp right, up the dirt entrance road to Coyote Crossing. Stay to the right side, and onto a single track. You'll loop counter-clockwise around the fields, and finish near the shelter.
½-Marathon: After the courses split, cross the paved road, cross the dirt lot, and onto the dirt path. Go right, and follow the path as it winds W along the N side of Bear Creek. ~1mi down, cross the footbridge to the left, then go right, continuing W, along the S side of the creek.
In ~¼mi, take two lefts, and climb up to the southern park road. Head back to the E, on the trail along the S side of the road. In ~½mi, at the next junction, go left, down the wide, sandy path. Go around the chain, then go right on the with path.
Take the next left onto a narrow single-track. In ~200m, take the next left, heading into the dense forest. Follow this trail as it winds along the S side of Bear Creek, for ~½mi. Cross a footbridge heading S, into the open.
In ~150m, take the next left. In another ~150m, veer right onto the trail heading up. Cross the plateau, cross the road, then onto a single-track heading SW.
Continue straight across a trail junction, and continue WSW. You'll climb a short, steep, rocky trail. Continue across the flat, wide top, then down the wide, sandy trail, following Turkey Creek upstream. Continue along the flat section following the creek, to the bike path. Go left on the bike path, cross the bridge, then take an immediate left, off the paved path, onto a single-track.
Follow the narrow, windy single-track back downstream, along the S side of the creek. After passing the footbridge (not crossing), the trail opens up, and continues W across a wide, open meadow.
Cross the paved service road, and start climbing up Mt. Carbon. The trail goes right first, back to the left, then curves right towards the top. The trail stays just to the N of the golf cart path at the top, the starts gradually down along the N side of Mt. Carbon. The trail winds around the N side, then gets a little steeper in spots. Continue winding down the N side. Cross a paved bike path, back onto a single track. There will be an aid station at the bottom, near the service building.
Cross the path again, and onto the single-track, along the W side of the service road, behind the dam. After ~½mi, the trail veers left, and starts a long, moderate climb. Cross the paved path, and back onto the single track on the other side.
At the top of the dam, stay outside the gate, then left onto a single-track. Follow the trail down as it parallels the road. The trail curves right at the bottom. Cross a bridge, then veer right, away from the road.
Stay right at the next trail junction, heading N, around the side of the mesa. At the NE corner of the mesa, take a sharp left, and climb a steep hill to the top of the mesa. Follow the trail to the W, along the N edge of the mesa. Stay straight at the next trail junction, and take the trail down the steep hill. Go right at the bottom, merging back onto and reversing the route you took at the start.
Go through the gate, and left at Morrison Road. Cross above the creek, then go left, splitting from the opening trail. Head S, along the W side of the creek. As the trail curves right, take a sharp right. This leads to the final climb, up the S face of the hill. Pass through the fence line at the top, then follow the trail down to the left.
At the bottom, merge back onto the opening trail, continue WSW. Go left, inside the gate, and head back to the E. At the footbridge, go right across, then right again. Loop around the W & S side of the fields, heading back E, and finishing near the shelter.
Driving & Parking: Please carpool to save money, gas and carbon.
Create your own map/directions and/or follow the directions below.
Bear Creek Lake Park is located at 15600 W. Morrison Rd, just E of the town of Morrison, Red Rocks Ampitheatre, and the Bandimere Speedway.
Take hwy C470 to the Morrison exit. Go E ½ mi to the park entrance. Turn R into the park. Proceed past the toll booth - racers and volunteers don't have to pay a fee on race day. Go left at the Y, stop sign, just past the toll booth. Continue another ~¾ mi to the start.
Parking: Please carpool to save money, gas and carbon. Follow race official instructions for parking when you arrive. The dirt lot next to the start/finish will be reserved for carpoolers, first-come, first-serve. Others will be directed to the Whitetail lot, ~¼ mi away. Late arrivals may be sent to Muskrat Meadows or Mountain View lots, ½ - 2/3 mi away. No race parking in the Fishermans Lot!
Carpool: Please carpool to save money, gas and carbon.
DenverTrail Runners - Post a message to the group.
BoulderTrailRunners - Post a message to the group.
Incline Club - Colo Springs area. Post a message on their message board.
You can also bike there via the Bear Creek path.