Resurrection Pass Ultra Trail Races
Between Hope and Cooper Landing, Alaska
The Resurrection Pass 50 and 100 mile trail races are low key, relatively self-supported running races on a US Forest Service trail between Hope on the north and Cooper Landing on the south on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The Resurrection Pass Trail was part of a route used by early gold miners to get from Resurrection Bay near Seward, AK, to mining claims along Turnagain Arm. The trail is now a National Recreation Trail maintained by the USFS.
(A new race directing team has taken over for 2013. Details will be updated as available, so check back. There may or may not be changes relative to the way the race has been run in the past. As of April 10, it's looking like no major changes this year. )
Race dates: August 9-10, 2013
To sign up for the run, please contact the race directors at: firstname.lastname@example.org
100-mi race starts: Friday 3:00pm at Coeur d'Alene Campground on Palmer Creek Road near Hope. Meet at 2:00pm at Hope School (finish area) and carpool to the race start at the campground. (76mi USFS dirt trail, 24mi gravel road with 12mi at start and 12mi at finish).
50-mi race starts: Saturday, Aug 10, 6:00am at Cooper Landing Trailhead just off Sterling Highway. Meet at 5:00am at the trailhead. Point-to-point course, so may need to make arrangements for shuttling or carpooling. (38mi USFS dirt trail then 12mi gravel road)
Both races have unofficial cutoffs at 7:00pm on Saturday at Hope School (28hrs for 100milers, 13hrs for 50milers). All racers are free to continue on their own, but aid stations in the last 12 miles are closed.
Directions: To get to the start of the 50 Miler from Anchorage, take the New Seward Highway to Sterling Highway. Proceed on the Sterling Highway to Cooper Landing. After passing through Cooper Landing, cross over the bridge over the Kenai River, and the Resurrection Pass Trailhead will be on the right, just beyond a large gravel parking area. Turn right into the USFS parking area, which isn't visible from the road. It takes about 2 hours to drive from Anchorage to the start at legal speeds.
To get to the finish of the 50 Miler and the meeting place / finish of the 100 Miler, take the New Seward Highway to the Hope turnoff. Follow the Hope Highway almost to Hope then turn left onto Resurrection Road (toward Palmer Creek Road but don't go that far). The first left takes you to Hope School where the100mile racers meet and can leave their cars at the finish line. They then carpool up Palmer Creek Road to Couer d'Alene Campground for the start. Finish for both races is at the Hope School.
100-mi race: Begins at Coeur d'Alene Campground, and heads south very briefly, then turns north along the smooth gravel Palmer Creek Road, descends about 1400 ft over 8mi to Resurrection Road, turns a little west then south 4 mi to the Hope trailhead (12mi of gravel road). There is a small aid station with your drop bags where you can pick up your supplies for the next 38 miles along the Resurrection Pass Trail. There are no road crossings, and you will be on your own, getting water as needed from the streams (most people treat the stream water - lots of wildlife in the area). After an incredible journey, partly through the night, you'll arrive to the friendly greetings of the major aid station at 50 miles at the Cooper Landing trailhead. After you're warmed, have chowed down on food and beverages provided at the aid station, and resupplied your own gear, then you head back out into the dark for the return journey - 38mi by trail, 4mi mostly north and a little east by gravel road, then 4mi up the 1400-ft hill of Palmer Creek Road, then 4mi back down to the finish at Hope School and finish line camaraderie.
Aid stations / drop bags for 100-mi race: At Hope trailhead, mile 12, you can pick up your main supplies for the 38-mi journey to Cooper Landing trailhead. Fast runners arrive near midnight-ish. The 50-mi turnaround aid station for the 100milers usually has hot soup, salted potatoes, and the usual snack food assortment. On the return, there is aid at 88-mi, Hope trailhead and at mile 96 at top of hill on Palmer Creek Road, before dropping back down to the finish at Hope School.
There is an aid station at the trailhead where you can also resupply from your drop bag and enjoy aid station goodies and another aid station at top of hill on Palmer Creek Road, just before your descent back to the finish.
50-mi race: Begins at Cooper Landing Trailhead, traverses 38mi to Hope trailhead where there's an aid station where you can pick up your own supplies or get supplies from aid station. Then the 12 mi of gravel road to the finish. There is also an aid station at top of hill on Palmer Creek Road, about 4mi from finish.
Temperatures in early August in the Kenai Mountains can vary between 30s and 70s. It can be warm and sunny or cold, windy, and rainy. Prepare appropriately. Remember there's 38mi between trailheads and no roads.
Bears and moose have the right of way.
Assorted Trail Links:
Resurrection Pass Trail North
Resurrection Pass Trail South
Trail Monkey Virtual Resurrection Pass Trail
Trail Monkey Resurrection Pass
Resurrection Pass Trail description
Gold Rush Attractions and Historic Sites