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NW Ultras, a
Runners are a legitimate group of low impact trail users who can also become conservationists if they aren’t already. A low impact activity such as trail running can provide the opportunity for its participants to experience vast tracks of wilderness trails and lands. This experience most often leads to an appreciation for these wild lands and naturally results in the desire to protect and preserve it for future use and generations. It also in turn creates a growth and strengthening of the community of advocates and conservationists that will provide a voice and the critical support when these important areas come under the threat of development.
Doing The Run
The Big Dabrowski 50K route is a fine point-to-point 50k for experienced trail runners. Consider this a wilderness run and plan accordingly. One benefit of this course is that there is almost 100% cell phone coverage and should something go awry help is not far away. However, runners should still plan on being self-sufficient and have the minimum essentials for the outing. Recommended are the following (weather depending):
Green Trails is THE authority on trail maps in Washington. In this age of instant internet mapping, we need to continue to support the guys who make high quality and accurate maps specifically targetted at trail users. Green Trails sells the Issaquah Alps, Mt Si and Rattlesnake Lake maps as a Map Pack which you can find here:
If you really do only want Tiger and Cougar, you can buy them individually here:
If possible, please support Green Trails by purchasing directly online from them and avoiding the middlemen.
The Big Dabrowki 50K is a 50 kilometer (31.25 mile) point-to-point course running from the east side of
Detailed Course Description
The four sections of the course are described in detail in the attached file or click on the PDF box below to download a copy. Each section of the course is depicted on an individual topographical map which corresponds to the areas outlined on the overview map above. Due to the large area encompassed by
Safety & Integrity
Nothing is worth getting hurt for so safety comes first. Having a fun day comes second.
Getting lost on any of these mountains on a bad weather day can get serious fast. Common sense rules. Don't do anything dodgy.
Be low key and stay on the trails, absolutely no littering (no gel packets!) and be super-courteous to other trail users - no raucous behavior, slow down to a walk when passing and be friendly!
If thinking whether to being man's best friend on this run please research and conform to the rules and regulations of the various park areas which are governed by the WA DNR, King County Parks, WA State Parks and Bellevue Parks. Most require pets be leashed and that owners pick-up after their dogs. In addition, other trail users and runners should be taken into consideration as they might not feel as comfortable with animals about.
August 29The 2008 running of this event has been changed to a self-supported / self-guided trail run.
The start is in the Alpental ski-area parking lot and you head out on trail 1013 toward Snow Lake (This is not to be confused with the Kendall Catwalk PCT trailhead which is closer to I-90). The trail from Alpental to Snow Lake is popular and well maintained. In about 1.5m you reach the high point of the day on the saddle before descending toward Snow Lake. (There is a minor trail heading off left to Source Lake during your climb to the Snow Lake saddle. Ignore it.)
The descent takes you around the North shore of snow lake and after another 1.5 miles you arrive at one of the few trail intersections you'll encounter: Trail 1012 goes left toward "Gem Lake". You take a right, staying on 1013 and heading toward "Middle Fork Road".
Gateway Bridge is at a popular trailhead for the Middle Fork trail. This trailhead can be reached from Exit 34 off I-90 via the Middle Fork road (Road 56). It involves 9 miles of what is usually a nasty dirt road drive.
When you arrive in the parking lot, head straight through to the road and you'll find a well marked trailhead for the CCC extension trail on the opposite side of the main road at the entrance to the trailhead parking. Follow this trail for 3 miles. It is well constructed and super runnable. It ends abruptly, dumping you out on Road 56 (elevation 960 feet).
Turn right and follow Road 56 for less than 1/10th of a mile to an obvious blocked old road heading off to the right. There is room for a few cars here and you may see signs of ORV activity. This is the start of the CCC road and it will take you all the way to North Bend for the next 10 miles. The first 3 miles are scruffy and not well maintained but it is a road: how hard can it be? After a highpoint of 1500 feet you'll descend back to 1380 feet and exit on to the Bessemer Road.
Run downhill on the road and when you encounter the major left turn in the road at just less than 1/2 a mile, look for a blocked old road off to your right: that is the CCC trail. As the trail starts again, there is a significant creek and it makes a good final water stop. For a more aesthetic water stop, hold out for a mile or two: there are a few more reliable sources ahead in more open locations. This last 5 mile section of the CCC trail is popular and well maintained.
Arriving at a gate signals the end of the CCC trail and the start of residential roads: you now have 2+ miles of road running between you and the Mt Si Trailhead. Half of this is dirt and the rest is blacktop. All of it is downhill. For the dirt, simply follow the downhill option when confronted by an intersection: this will keep you on the correct and larger road. Once on the blacktop, follow your nose.