Welcome to the majestic Mt. Margaret Backcountry, rising from the ashes of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens! With its sapphire lakes, rugged, toothy peaks, and wildflower-blanketed slopes, the Mt. Margaret Backcountry provides an unforgettably unique and stunning trail race experience. The power and resilience of Mother Nature is truly on full display here in the backcountry.
The Backcountry Rise Trail Runs include three different challenging single-loop courses: a 50K, 20 mile and a half-marathon. All three race distances start and finish at the spectacular Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center, perched on the slopes above Coldwater Lake. Each race offers stunning ridgeline views of the surrounding Cascade volcanoes of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. Course highlights also include several serene mountain lakes, rushing creeks and abundant wildlife including resident mountain goats, elk, deer, cougar and many more.
Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center
The Backcountry Rise will have exclusive use of the MSH Science & Learning Center for race weekend, designed originally as an observatory! The Science & Learning Center staff have graciously allowed the race to offer car camping in their large parking lot for participants the night before the race. There is also walk-in field camping overlooking Coldwater Lake a short distance from the parking lot that has limited sites, which are first come, first served. The Science & Learning Center has plenty of indoor space, running water, flush toilets, a kitchen and indoor/outdoor dining area where post-race meals will be served.
Friday evening from 6pm-8pm we will host a spaghetti dinner for participants inside the Science & Learning Center!
Daybreak Racing loves to give back to the community and each of our races has a beneficiary. The Backcountry Rise beneficiary is the Mt. St. Helens Institute.
The 50K takes place on Saturday, Sept 9th, with a 7:00AM start time. The course consists of one epic clockwise loop on 99% backcountry singletrack, offering challenging climbs, rolling descents and breathtaking views in every direction along the entire route.
Total elevation gain is 7,500ft and loss is 7,500ft. This is a tough course with much of the route being very remote. Four full aid stations are offered.
The 20 miler takes place on Saturday, Sept 9th, with a 9:00AM start time. The course consists of one big clockwise loop, complete with breathtaking views along the entire route.
Total elevation gain is 4,800ft and loss is 4,800ft. Approximately 98% of the course is on single-track trails. This is a very challenging course with some sections being very remote. The course has three full aid stations.
The Half Marathon takes place on Saturday, September 9 with a 9:00AM Start alonside the 20 mile runners. The course consists of a clockwise loop around Coldwater Lake, offering breathtaking views along the entire course. The course involves 11.6 miles of single-track trails and 1.5 miles of pavement. Runners will be treated to incredible panoramic views of Coldwater Lake, a taste of the majestic Mt. Margaret Backcountry, as well as some fantastic views of Mt. St. Helens.
Local time: 1:44 PM
The course has two full aid stations. Expect elevation gain of 2,800ft and loss of 2,800ft.