Los Pinos 50k Course Info

 

  • Blue Jay to Lazy W (Mile 12)

  • The first 12 miles you are on your own, however, temperatures will still be cool and fresh. Plan accordingly! 

  • Your journey begins by leaving the Blue Jay Campground, and running 0.8 miles before hopping onto the San Juan trail. This trail is VERY technical so please be careful going down! At the 2.4 mile mark, a small trail joins in from the right. DO NOT TAKE THIS! Continue straight and follow the ribbons. You will eventually reach a 4-way intersection, but again, follow the ribbons. At mile 3.2  you once again reach a split in the trail, but, yep, you guessed it, JUST FOLLOW THE RIBBONS!

  • You will continue downhill with some slight inclines here and there until you reach a series of switchbacks going downhill. Follow the switchbacks, and eventually you will end up in a parking lot

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  • Lazy W Ranch (Mile 12) to The Black Hole (Mile 16.5)

  • Make sure you hydrate well before leaving Lazy W and use your drop bag to pull out any extra handhelds or hydration packs. We cannot stress enough how critical it is that you carry enough fluids for what awaits you on the next 8 miles. In addition, if you are thinking about dropping, THIS IS THE SPOT because you are about to embark on the most difficult section of the race, the Los Pinos trail.

  • The aid station captain here has the right to sit you down for a few minutes and keep you from advancing if he feels you are a mess and may need a moment to recuperate. Also, if he feels you do not have sufficient fluids for Los Pinos, you will not be allowed to continue unless you can get an extra handheld or pack, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Don't even bother trying to argue with him! ALL THE MORE REASON TO USE A DROP BAG.

  • Once you leave the aid station, you will continue for a mile on pavement before coming to the Lazy W Ranch gate. Take a left to jump back on the small trail. This trail will take you to a flight of stairs with the infamous Los Pinos trail sign.

  • After a few switchbacks, you will begin a series of up and down climbs. This is where your race truly begins and where it will take a strong heart and determination to grind through Los Pinos. 

  • Some of the climbs and drops are extremely steep so be constantly aware of your footing. Keep in mind that the Los Pinos trail is 98% exposed. This, combined with many false summits, is what crushes people's souls and forces many DNFs.

  • After 4 miles, you will reach an oasis in the form of The Black Hole aid station.

  • The Black Hole (Mile 16.5) to Trabuco (Mile 20.5) 

  • After leaving the Black Hole, you will begin a long and steep stretch that winds uphill. Once, you have cleared this, a really steep drop awaits, but in the distance, you may be able to see the Los Pinos peak. At the bottom of the steep drop, you are ready for the final series of hills and the final push to escape Los Pinos! When it seems like the hills will never end, you will see race photographer, Ivan Buzik. Smile! Smile not only for your pictures, but because you have reached the Los Pinos peak and the hills are all DONE. Continue for less than a mile and you will reach the Trabuco aid station. Here is where you can decide to drop out of the race or continue onward. 

  • Trabuco (Mile 20.5) to Horsethief (Mile 25.5)

  • If you are still in the race, utilize your drop bag if you have one here, top off supplies and begin the descend down Trabuco trail.  After 3 miles, the trail ends at a "T" intersection. REMEMBER TO TAKE A RIGHT HERE TO JUMP ONTO HORSETHIEF! Follow the ribbons!

  • AFTER TAKING A RIGHT TURN ONTO HORSETHIEF, you will begin ascending the final backbreaking climb, Horsetheif. Horsethief has about 1,000 ft of gain in a span of a mile and a half. The good news is, once you reach the top, you will be at the Horsethief aid station and all of the soul-crushing climbs are behind you.

  • Horsethief (Mile 2.5) to Trabuco (Mile 29)

  • When you leave Horsethief, all the major climbing is behind you. However, as Lambert Timmermans' once said, "Even the downhill seems like it's up!" You will continue North on the Main Divide trail until you arrive back at Trabuco. Almost done!

  • Trabuco (Mile 29) to FINISH

  • This is it! The home stretch! You will run back downhill on Main Divide, until you reach the gate and make a hard right which will place you on back on the road. Follow the ribbons along the road and 1/4 of a mile down the road, you will turn onto the Falcon Campground. A few feet after turning into the Falcon Campground, look to your left for the ribbons to place you onto the Falcon trail.  The Falcon trail is less than a mile and is the absolute final stretch to the finish line. You will be able to hear the finish line environment as you approach the end of the trail. Once it ends, you will pop back out on the road to the finish line. Remember to look good running in! Once you have reached the finish line, you will have completed Southern California's toughest 50k ultra marathon and earned the respect of ultramarathoners everywhere!