The Scout Mountain Ultra Trail will take the competitors on a very challenging tour of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest outside of Pocatello, Idaho. It should be noted that this is an mountain running event taking place in the spring-time, in Idaho. Translated this means potentially very tough course conditions, and very unpredictable weather as was proven in 2010. Approach this course and the area with respect and come prepared for just about anything. This isn’t your typical 100 km trail run…..
The full 100 km solo race will consists of running three consecutive “legs”. We will also be hosting a 60 km (legs 2 and 3), as well as a 35 km (21 mile) (leg 3) option. All three of these categories will be run solo. For the truly “hardcore” runner, the entire 100 km course is for you. This is a serious test of endurance as runners navigate this challenging course with ~12,500 ft of vertical gain.
For the slightly less masochistic runner the 60 km course is sure to provide an incredible challenge. With over 8,000′ of vertical gain and the potential for very snowy and muddy conditions, this 60 km course takes runners through it all.
Our favorite section of the course is the last leg, which is exactly why we settled on it as the shortest (21 mile) option. A glorious loop from the Mink Creek Pavilion up and over Scout Mountain and back. With over 5,500′ of gain and the best single track of the whole event, this is one incredible loop. This leg will most certainly have some snow. With a strong winter, this leg could be mostly snow-covered.
See the course tab for further information. In 2011, we ran an alternate third leg due to snow. Moving forward we anticipate running the same full course.
Weather and Conditions
You might ask, “A trail race in spring, are the race directors crazy, won’t it be snowy?” And our answer would be, “Yes we’re a bit crazy, and Yes hope there is snow”. If Pocatello gets a “normal” amount of snow this winter, the course could have some of the finest glissading around in early June. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy you can opt for a parallel, but far less efficient, route down the neighboring hillside. We liken it to the terrain on parts of the Lake City 50. If the conditions pose any real danger, appropriate provisions will be made to ensure the safety of all runners. In 2009 we strung up 700′ of rope, but hardly anyone used it. Most either skied down it on their feed or sat on their butts and slid down. No special equipment should be needed for the glissade, but if you want to bring something (like heavy duty visqueen or plastic sheets that are cut into squares as one runner is consider) go right ahead!
Some history: Two weeks before the 2009 race you could have skied the last half of the course, one week before the 2009 race Pocatello saw record high temperatures in the high 90s. Race day in 2009 was near perfect. The 2010 race brought one of the most intense storms on record in May and the race was cancelled for safety reasons. 2011 was dubbed the snow course and the course had to be altered due to a very deep snow pack, and 2013 returned to the full original course in great, sunny weather. In short, you really must come prepared for the anything, but hope for the best. We don’t want to have to cancel another race, but much of that hinges on runners being prepared and ready for the conditions. Come race day, it is the prerogative of the aid station captains as to whether runners are allows to proceed or not. If you are ill-prepared you will likely not be allowed to continue.
The start times will differ for the different races as described below. See the Google map here for directions to key locations of the race. You can create your own maps and directions for wherever you are coming from. Once in Pocatello, use the following .pdf document for directions to the start/finish area (Mink Creek Pavillion).
- The 100 km race will start at 5:00 AM sharp at the Mink Creek Pavilion.
- Sunrise – just before 6AM ; Sunset – just after 9PM
- The 60 km race will start at 8:30 AM sharp at the City Creek Trail-head
- A bus shuttle will be offered from the finish line to the start of the 50km race. It will depart at 7:30 AM sharp!
- The 21 mile race will start at 11:00 AM sharp at the Mink Creek Pavilion.
100 km : Check-in will be held from 2:00 to 4:30 PM at the Mink Creek Group Site Campground (start/finish area) on Friday, June 3th, 2016. If you can’t make this check-in, you may also check-in after the pre-race meeting (see below), also at the start/finish area, until 7PM Friday night. If you can’t make either of these, you can check-in on the morning of the race, from 4:15 AM until 4:45 AM. If you have not checked in by 4:45 AM we will consider that you are NOT running.
60 Km : We strongly encourage you to check-in at the opportunities described above for the 100 km race. However, you will have a last minute check-in option between 7:45 AM and 8:15 AM at the City Creek Aid Station. If you have not checked in by 8:15 AM we will consider that you are NOT running.
35 km (21 Mile) : We strongly encourage you to check-in at the opportunities described for the 100km race. However, you will have a last minute check-in option between 10:15 AM and 10:45 AM at the Mink Creek Pavilion. If you have not checked in by 10:45 AM we will consider that you are NOT running.
Pre-race briefing will be held between 5:00 and 6:00PM on Friday, June 3rd, also at the Mink Creek Group Site . Questions regarding the course will be answered and final instructions will be given at this time. Runners should have their drop bags completely prepared, marked, and ready for pick-up at the pre-race briefing.
100 km Race Morning
At the start-line you’ll need to inform race officials by 4:45 AM that you have shown up and are ready to run. 60 km runners will need to have checked in by 8:15 at the City Creek Trailhead, 21 mile runners by 10:45 at the Mink Creek Pavilion.
See section below
Post Race Dinner and Awards Ceremony
Dinner will be served at the finish line and is included as part of your entry fee. Dinner will be ready upon the first runner crossing the finish line and will be available through sunset. We will be serving baked Idaho potatoes with a host of toppings as well as salad and a variety of deserts. If you anticipate having support/family/crew members that would like to participate in dinner, consider making a donation (during registration) to cover their food costs.
This event is extremely demanding and should only be undertaken by athletes in excellent physical condition. All entrants should be familiar with basic first-aid, and know the symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude sickness. Some course sections between aid stations are nearly 9 miles. Runners should be well equipped to care for themselves and effect self-rescue if necessary.
Cut-off times will be enforced. For the 100 km runners, there is a cut-off time of 12:00 pm at City Creek (mile 25). For the 100km and 60 km runners there is also a cut-off of 5:00 PM at the Mink Creek Rd Aid Station (mile 42/16), if you arrive at this aid station after 4:00 PM we recommending leaving with a headlamp. This provides 12 hours from the start to this point (for the 100 km runners), which equates to 3.4 mph. If any runner reaches the South Scout or Big Fir Aid Station (mile 57) after 7:00 PM they must have a headlamp to continue on for the remaining miles. The Big Fir Aid Station has a cut-off time of 10:00 PM. If you feel that this is a even a remote possibility for you, please leave a headlamp in your Big Fir AS drop bag. The finish line will close at 12:00 am, any runners arriving after 12:00 am will be considered DNF, please plan accordingly.
The major aid stations will have water, hydration drink, fruit, salty items (pretzls, chips, etc.), sandwiches, etc. The “minor” aid stations will have water and basic food. If you have any specialty food or beverage needs, they should be placed in your drop bags or provided by your crew.
Drop bag service will be offered at City Creek (25), Mink Creek (42), Big Fir (57). We encourage the Big Fir drop bag to be used what you would need and basic night-running items (headlamp, jacket, gloves, etc.) if you feel you’ll be running final miles in the dark. Runners using drop bags must ensure that their bags are securely tied and clearly marked, with name, race number, and aid station. We are considering adding a headlamp only drop bag service for the remote South Scout aid station, if you would like to see that please send an email or leave a comment. All drop bags left over after the race will be donated to Goodwill the Friday after the race if arrangements to pick them up have not been made.
Pacers are not allowed unless permission is granted by the race directors. Please contact us if you have any special circumstances.
Where can your crew see you? Most of the race is on remote trails that are difficult or impossible to access in a car (which is why we like trail running right?). Crews can see runners at the following aid stations:
- City Creek – Please park in the church parking lot adjacent to the trailhead
- Mink Creek – Please park in the Corral Creek parking lot, 3/4 mile up the canyon and walk the short distance down to Mink Creek).
- South Scout – If crew members are up for a short hike of they can park in the Scout Mountain Campground and hike out the East Fork Trail (at the very top of the campground) for 1.25 miles to see their runners.
- Big Fir – We aren’t going to disallow crew here, but we also don’t encourage it given that there is extremely limited parking.
In 2016 we are planning on making a custom item for all racers. Shirts will be available for purchase prior to the event.
The Item and Design are coming soon!
In previous years, 1st place men and women received a limited edition, hand thrown piece of pottery, specifically commissioned for the Pocatello 50. Second and third place men and women also received a customized piece of hand thrown pottery from local artists Dwight and Regina Masak. This will feature similarly unique prizes.
Every finisher will take home a small prize in rememberence of their great achievement.
Where to Stay
Your best option (in our opinion) is to take advantage of the free camping at the start/finish line, which is the Mink Creek Group Site Campground Pavilion It is incredibly convenient, a great location, should be a fun atmosphere of exciting people, and it’s free for you and your crew/family. If camping is just not your thing, then we suggest that you look in and around Pocatello for other accommodations. We do not have any special arrangements with any local hotels so you’re on your own if you go this route.
Okay, should you decide to stay at the start finish we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO CARPOOL! Last year we had ample tent area, but the parking became a bit of a mess. This year will be different, more organized, but will limit what type of vehicle and the number of them that we let in. We will dedicate about 70% of our parking area to cars/trucks and the remainder to small RVs (like this size and smaller), pop-up campers, or similar. If you have anything larger than the small RV shown above, everyone would appreciate it if you find other arrangements, such as driving up to the Scout Mountain campground (about a 10-15 minute drive drom the Start/Finish). Another option is to drive past the start/finish pavilion between 1 to 2 miles where there are several pullouts that might work for you.
So, carpooling with friends and staying in your car/truck or a tent are the best options. The camping is a free-for all, there are no designated “sites”, rather it is a large grassy field. You do not need to email us to let us know what your plans are or ask permission to camp or park your Winnebago, please just follow our suggestions above. Below is a rough layout of the start/finish area.