Another factor that contributed to the decision to change the course was that the mayor of Apple Valley was not excited about runners passing through the streets of their town with headlamps all night long and was hoping that we’d bypass them by going up onto Little Creek Mesa.
The decision to make the course changes was made easier by the fact that there are so many options for expanding it. While we’ll be losing a beautiful section of rugged trail, the new course enables us to explore two new areas that we wanted to include into the course but couldn’t fit in before- the Yellow Man petroglyphs area and Little Creek Mesa. While most 100 mile runners will be passing through these areas in the dark, the change will make it possible to run more of Gooseberry during the daylight hours.
So now the 100 milers will be adding a third mesa to the run- Little Creek. This will add more elevation and a technical downhill section that is nearly as steep and rugged as the ascents onto Gooseberry and Smith mesas. The climb onto Little Creek Mesa is gradual. The total elevation gain for the 100 mile course is 15,439.
The rest of the course stays the same.
The 50 mile route will now be a single loop course that shadows the 2nd half of the 100 mile course for the most part. It varies in that it accesses the Gooseberry climb via a more direct road, does not go into the Yellow Man petroglyphs area, and takes the more direct Jem trail back to Virgin instead of the Hurricane Rim trail. The total elevation gain for the 50 miler is 7,034.
Both maps have been updated and all info in the FAQ section.