Avg Temps f.

69/44 (much hotter in the canyons)

Gain/Loss in ft


Furthest Aid

7.3 (twice)

Highest Elev.


Time Limit

18 hours




Single track trail

Course Record

9:20:22 (Rob Krar)

Magdalena Boulet (10:58:03)



Longest Climb

2400ft/5 miles



Quick Summary: The Canyons 100K is a double out-and-back course based in Foresthill CA with a start-finish-village at the old Foresthill Elementary School. It is run mostly on single-track, on the historical Western States Trail, running scenic and challenging sections of trail along familiar WS100 course highlights like Swinging Bridge and Rucky Chuck River. New for 2017 are additional distances to the 100k, including 50k, 25k, and 10k.

Race Details

Detailed course description:

  1. Starting out on the road from Foresthill, runners pick up single track at 1.5 miles as they drop into Volcano Canyon.
  2. Then runners have a sharp climb followed by rollers to Michigan Bluff at mile 6.2
  3. Next is a nearly 3 mile, 1800 ft drop down El Dorado Canyon at mile 9.
  4. The biggest climb of 2500 feet is next until mile 13.5.
  5. After passing by Devil’s Thumb runners will plunge down the extremely steep and twisting descent of 1700 feet in 1.5 miles to the Swinging Bridge at the turn around.
  6. Turn around and head back the same way to Foresthill.
  7. From Foresthill runners are on another short road section before getting on single track again. A steep descent and several creek crossings lead up to mile 35.5.
  8. The trail rolls until hitting a very steep “elevator shaft” descent prior to Cal2 at mile 40.5. Runners should fill up here, as it’s almost 8 miles to Rucky Chucky and the turn around at mile 47.8 in what is likely the heat of the day.
  9. Cal Street to Rucky Chucky is the fastest 16-mile section of the WS Trail, but runners need to save energy for the climb back to the finish after turning around at Rucky Chucky.

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

-It gets very hot in the canyons and as the day progresses, especially on the long sections without aid

-Use the creek crossings and the river to cool off

-The first 50k has more, steeper climbs and more technical terrain than the second 50k (and has 9,000 feet of gain vs. 5000 in the second half)

-First creek crossing is in the dark

-Quads tend to get beat up by the downhills in the first half of the race

-Tough climbing in the darkness once the sun sets

-Poison oak on the course

-Trekking poles can be really helpful in the first half of the race

-Weather is typically hot but also need to be ready for cool and rainy, which could drastically change gear and nutrition choices along the way


Total gain/loss: 15,000/15,000

Total climbs:



Countless rollers and 100-500 ft gains

Aid stations

Total aid stations: 12

Furthest distance apart: 7.3 (twice)

Locations: 6.2, 9, 13.5, 18.5, 23, 25.8, 32, 35.5, 40.5, 47.8, 55.1, 60.1

What’s available: Aid stations will be stocked with GU gels and chews, Gu Roctane Summit Tea energy drink, water, Trail Butter and jelly sandwiches, Nature’s Bakery Fig bars, Coke, fresh fruit, salt, candy, and chips. If it’s a hot day, it can get very hot in the canyons, and the race recommends that you carry a minimum of 2 water bottles or a hydration pack.

Crew access

Allowed at Foresthill, which is the start, finish, and the halfway point (miles 0, 32, and 63.6), and at Rucky Chucky (47.8). There is a day-use fee collected by State Parks at Rucky Chucky.

Drop Bags:

Allowed at Foresthill, which is the start, finish, and the halfway point (miles 0, 32, and 63.6), and at Rucky Chucky (47.8). Runners should bring drop bags to the start/finish at Forest Hill Elementary School on the morning of the race. Drop bags will be returned to Foresthill by 9pm and be available for pickup until 10am Sunday.


Runners leaving Rucky Chucky (mile 47.8) after 6pm may have a safety runner.

Race Qualifiers

UTMB – 5 points

Western States (finish under 18 hours)

Race reports

Jeff K’s Race Report

Strava activities and GPX files


Packet pickup

Thursday, April 27, 12pm-7pm at Auburn Running Company

Friday, April 28, 11am to 5pm at Auburn Running Company

Friday, April 28, 6pm-9pm at the Start/Finish in Foresthill

Race morning, Saturday, April 29, from 4:00 am to 6:15 am at the Start/Finish in Foresthill


You will need a car to reach Foresthill Elementary School.

Race start and cutoff times


Mile 32: 3:00pm (9.5 hours)

Mile 47.8: 7:00pm (13.5 hours)

Mile 55.1: 9:00pm (15.5 hours)

Mile 60.1: 10:30pm (17 hours)

Race Website


Through ultrasignup:


Start/Finish is at Foresthill Elementary School, located 17 miles East of Auburn, CA on Foresthill Rd.

From Sacramento or the Bay Area take I-80 East to Auburn, exit Foresthill Rd and turn right, go 17 miles to Foresthill and the elementary school will be on the right.

From Truckee/Tahoe take I-80 West to Auburn, exit Foresthill Rd and turn left, go 17 miles to Foresthill and the elementary school will be on the right.


Closest airport is Sacramento (60 miles), followed by Reno (120 miles), Oakland (145 miles), San Francisco (150 miles), and San Jose (170 miles).


Several hotel options are available in Auburn, approximately 17 miles from the start in Foresthill, including discounted rates at the Holiday Inn in Auburn. Camping is available at the school through the race registration.

Leave a Reply

WordPress Anti Spam by WP-SpamShield