Crystal Mountain, WA

Avg Temps f.


Gain/Loss in ft


ft/mile gain


Highest Elev.






Time Limit

14 hours



Furthest Aid

7.8 miles


Summary: In its 26th year, this is a classic Pacific Northwest ultra that attracts lots of talent, both local and among ultrarunners around the country, White River 50 is a favorite for first time ultrarunners to perennial runners that keep coming back to this beautiful course and its welcoming group of race directors, runners, and spectators. Over the 50-mile distance the course gains 8,700 feet (total elevation change: 17,400 feet), featuring rolling terrain, ridge tops, northwest forest, several sections of technical trails, and several long climbs and descents.

Race Details

See detailed course description on race website

Lessons Learned from Race Reports

  1. Don’t push the first big downhill too hard or your legs will be shot for the second half
  2. The climbs feel very, very long, thus it feels like a long time between aid station 1 and 2 on the first climb
  3. The race goes to single track fairly quickly, so if you want to be up front, be aware of that, but if you’re cool going a slower pace at first, know that it will feel bunched up until at least the first climb
  4. If it’s a sunny day, the second climb up to Suntop can feel very hot, as it’s fairly exposed
  5. The last 6 miles along Skookum Flats are anything but flat. The miles are rolling and are gradually going uphill all the way until you pop out on the gravel road into the finish.
  6. Practice lots of power hiking for the two big hills, but then also being able to have your legs under you for fast, long descents
  7. Micro manage the course as much as you can, in terms of running when possible, power hiking when necessary, and being able to switch quickly between the two while still taking care of fueling and hydration
  8. Weather is typically warm and sunny and feels hotter as you climb up from the start/finish area
  9. Dispersed, dry camping at the start/finish at Ranger Creek, makes for a very easy morning. There are pit toilets but no running water, so bring camping gear, plenty of water, and toilet paper
  10. Lots of sustained ups and sustained downs, so the more you can practice either on the course or simulating long climbs and descents, the better
  11. Take advantage of the organized course preview runs if you live in Seattle or close to the course
  12. Have enough legs left for that final downhill and Skookum flats (last ~6.5 miles), or it will feel like forever until you’re finished, with tons of walking on “easier” terrain
  13. Use the aid stations and creeks to cool off (should definitely be creeks on the second climb when you’re really feeling the heat)


Total gain/loss: 8700/8700

Ft/mile gain: 174

Total climbs: 2 big ones (2800 and 2900 feet) with false summits

Longest climb: 2800ft/8.5 miles

Steepest climb: 2900 feet in 6 miles

Course Map / Elevation profile

Aid stations

Total aid stations: 8

Furthest distance apart: 7.8 miles

Locations: Miles 3.9, 11.7 (water only), 16.9, 22.1 (water only), 27.2, 31.7, 37.0, 43.4

Crew access

Access Locations: Access at miles 3.9, 27.2, 43.4, and start/finish

Crew instructions/directions: See directions on website



Race qualifiers


Race reports

Alison Gillespie’s 2018 race report

Jeff K’s 2017 race report

Alan V’s 2017 race report

Stephen D’s 2017 race report

Strava activities and GPX files

Race Website