The course is an out-and-back course with the starting point of the 100 mile course on the Tongue River Canyon road approximately 1.25 miles from the Tongue River Canyon trailhead of trail #25 and approximately 3.5 miles from Dayton at the Tongue River fishing access parking area. Access to the start will be along the Tongue River Canyon road from Dayton. The runners will proceed westerly along the gravel Tongue River Canyon road to the Tongue River Canyon trailhead of trail #25. Participants will then ascend Tongue River Canyon on trail #25 to climb out of the canyon on an intersecting trail to Horse Creek Ridge. Runners will descend into the Sheep Creek drainage on trail crossing Sheep Creek to access 4-wheel drive Road #198. They will proceed westerly in the Sheep Creek drainage along trail and 4-wheel road #201 to access road #168 (Freeze Out Road) at the head of Camp Creek. Crossing road #168, they will descend the Camp Creek drainage on trail and gravel road #168 to the intersection of 4-wheel drive road #149 with road #168 (Head of the Dry Fork). The particpants will then descend the Dry Fork drainage along 4-wheel drive road #149 to its intersection with trail #4 (Dry Fork Trail) at Miller Creek. They will continue northerly on trail #4 to cross the Little Bighorn River footbridge at the intersection of trail #4 with trail #50 (Little Bighorn Trail). From that point (Little Bighorn River footbridge), the runners will ascend the Little Bighorn River drainage on trail #50 crossing road #14 (Devilís Canyon Road) and descend the Porcupine Creek drainage on trail to the turn-around point at Porcupine Ranger Station. The runners will subsequently return in the opposite direction on the same course to the starting point in the Tongue River Canyon. From that point, the runners will continue to descend the gravel Tongue River Canyon road to the finish at Scott Park in Dayton.
The elevation at the starting point of the Bighorn Trail 100 is approximately 4090 feet with the runners ascending the Tongue River drainage to Horse Creek Ridge at approximately 7225 feet at 7.5 miles (first 1.25 miles rough gravel road, then 6.25 miles trail). Runners then descend on trail to the upper Sheep Creek crossing at approximately 7450 feet at 8 miles. The course subsequently ascends in a rolling fashion (3 miles trail, 1.25 miles 4-wheel drive trail/road) to Camp Creek Ridge at approximately 7854 feet at 12.25 miles. Participants then descend (0.5 miles trail, 0.75 miles gravel road) to the first crew/drop bag aid station at approximately 7480 feet at the Freeze Out Road saddle of Dry Fork Ridge at 13.5 miles. Subsequently, the course descends the Dry Fork drainage on a primitive 4-wheel drive jeep trail in a rolling fashion to the Kernís Cow Camp at approximately 6600 feet at 19.5 miles. The course continues on the east face of the Dry Fork Canyon on a scenic, rolling trail to Bear Hunting Camp at approximately 6800 feet at 26.5 miles. Runners then descend on a steep trail into the Little Bighorn Canyon to cross the Little Bighorn River on a footbridge at approximately 4590 feet at 30 miles (a crew/drop bag aid station point). The course then ascends on trail through the scenic Little Bighorn Canyon passing by Leaky Mountain to Spring Marsh at approximately 6920 feet at 40 miles. Runners continue to ascend via trail through the Wagon Box Creek, Duncum Creek, and Willow Creek drainage to cross Devilís Canyon Road on the Bighorn Mountain divide at approximately 8951 feet at 47 miles. The course then descends the Porcupine Creek drainage (0.5 miles trail, 0.5 miles jeep trail) to turn around point at Porcupine Ranger Station (a crew/drop bag aid station) at approximately 8800 feet at 48 miles.
Runners return on the same course crossing the Bighorn Mountain divide at the trail crossing of Devilís Canyon Road at 49 miles, descending by Spring Marsh at 56 miles, and continuing to descend to the Little Bighorn River footbridge at 66 miles (a crew/drop bag aid station). The course then ascends the Dry Fork drainage going through Bear Hunting Camp at 69.5 miles, Kernís Cow Camp at 76.5 miles, and exits the Dry Fork Drainage at the Freeze Out Road saddle of Dry Fork Ridge (a crew/drop bag aid station) at 82.5 miles. Participants ascend to Camp Creek Ridge at 83.75 miles, descend the Sheep Creek drainage to the upper Sheep Creek crossing at 88 miles, and summit Horse Creek Ridge at 88.5 miles. The course then descends the Tongue River Canyon drainage to the Tongue River Canyon Road trailhead at 94.75 miles. Runners then descend the gravel Tongue River Canyon Road 1.25 miles going past the starting point of the race. Participants continue to descend on the Tongue River Canyon Road an additional 3.5 miles to Dayton crossing the Tongue River on a footbridge adjacent to U.S. Highway 14. They then cross U.S. Highway 14 in Dayton to finish 0.5 miles later at Scott Park in Dayton.
Trail markings will consist of frequent orange flagging tape attached to trees, bushes, and rock. Some orange flagging tape will be attached to wire flags in meadow areas. Lime arrows will be used at a few junctions on the course. Some of the orange flagging may have reflective tape applied to aid in visualization of the ribbon when traversing the course during the night. There will be occasional glow sticks used on the section of the course between Kernís Cow Camp and Porcupine Ranger Station. Elk have been known to devour the markings on sections of this course in the past within 48 hours of the markings having been placed despite the best efforts of race management. The race committee reserves the right to respond to potential safety contingencies posed by potentially adverse weather conditions or other course conditions to make "last minute" course changes. If any such course changes were required, they would be fully briefed at the Friday pre-race briefing.
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