|Avg Temps f.
|Gain/Loss in ft
Single track and dirt service roads
1:38:47 (Keith Laverty)
1:59:24 (Jodee Adams-Moore)
5:13am / 8:24pm
800ft gain over 2.7 miles
Summary: The Sun Mountain 25k (about 15.5 miles) is a fun, scenic race about a 3 hour drive from Seattle. It consists of mostly runnable single track and dirt service roads, and has moderate elevation gain/loss for the distance. It has a classic Rainshadow party feel with post race pizza, local beer, and festivities included.
- From the start you are quickly funneled onto single track, so make your move quickly if you’re going to. You’ll have mostly flat or downhill running around Patterson Lake until a little past 2 miles, where you’ll start the longest climb of the day. The track will also begin to widen as you come to this point.
- From mile 2.5 to 5ish you’ll climb about 800ft on gradual single track.
- From mile 5 to 8ish you’ll be on rolling terrain, before starting the second big climb of the day.
- You’ll come across the one and only aid station of the course part way up this climb, and will then continue, with the steepest section of the day at the top (hands-on-knees hill).
- After the steep hill you’ll start back down at almost the same grade, losing 500ft in just .6 miles, before coming up to your last climb of the day. Luckily this last climb isn’t especially long or steep, at only 200ft over about half a mile.
- From there it’s all downhill to the finish, other than a small 50ft hill around mile 13.
Lessons Learned from Race Reports
- Don’t underestimate the climbs. While they are runnable, they can also feel long. Also, the end of the second big climb around 9.5 miles has a steep section of about 20% grade.
- The start quickly turns into single track, and if you’re not up front you can get stuck in stop and go traffic. If you’re looking for a good time, it may be worth a harder effort up front to get a good position before settling in.
Total gain/loss: 2400/2400
Total climbs: 4
Longest climb: 800ft gain over 2.7 miles
Steepest climb:190ft in .1 miles (about 20% grade)
Total aid stations: 1 @ 8.6 miles (Thompson Ridge)
Furthest distance apart: 8.6
Drop bags are available
Furthest distance apart: 8.6
Crew instructions/directions: Crew access available at Thompson Ridge, but there is limited parking.
Strava activities and GPX files
Sun Mountain Chicadee Trailhead prior to the race start
The start/finish is at Sun Mountain Resort’s Chickadee Trailhead. Give yourself 20-25 minutes if you’re coming from Winthrop, or 25-30 minutes if you’re coming from Twisp. You can also find driving directions here to the start/finish.
Race start and cutoff times
8am start, and noon cutoff (note the change from a 10am start in years past)
There is no camping at the start/finish area, but there are campgrounds nearby. There’s also plenty of lodging/Air BNB options in Winthrop and Twisp, which are both 20-30 minutes from the Chickadee trailhead. Check out one of our race sponsors, The North Cascades Mountain Hostel for affordable, high quality rooms!