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The Lake City Alpine 50 is an approximately fifty-mile endurance mountain/gravel race starting in historic Lake City, Colorado.  This lung-busting race will take you by the iconic Lake San Cristobal before the long climbs to the two of the highest passes in Colorado: Cinnamon Pass (12,640 feet) and Engineer Pass (12,800) feet.  The race will feature over 7,500 feet of climbing through some of the most incredible sections of the San Juan Mountains.  

Lake City sits nestled in the heart of the San Juan Mountains at 8,671 feet.  Lake City is named after the iconic nearby Lake San Cristobal, one of the largest natural lakes in Colorado.  Lake City is located in a valley formed by the convergence of Henson Creek and the headwaters of the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River.  Lake City has a year-round population of around 400 people but swells in the summer months as people flock to this beautiful town to play in the surrounding mountains.  Lake City has five prominent 14,000 peaks in near proximity to the town.  

Human Powered Endeavors LLC is a Colorado limited liability company formed by John Coy and Michael Fleishman.  Human Powered Endeavors, as the name aptly states, is focused on bringing human powered events to Lake City, Colorado. 

The Lake Fork Valley Conservancy’s mission is to facilitate long term environmental and economic sustainability in the headwaters of the Colorado River Basin, focusing on the Lake Fork of the Gunnison and Cebolla Creek valleys. The Conservancy supports and implements collaborations that foster land conservation, ecosystem health, and resilient communities.  The Lake Fork Valley Conservancy will be the inaugural Lake City Alpine 50 beneficiary. 

Registration for the Lake City Alpine 50 opened January 1, 2019. The Lake City Alpine 50 will be a USA Cycling sanctioned race. 

$75.00 until May 31, 2019

$80.00 until July 30, 2019

$85.00 from August 1, 2019 until August 24, 2019.  

Packet pick-up will take place in Lake City on Friday, August 23, 2018 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The packet pick-up will take place at the Confluence Restaurant and Bike Shop – 131 Gunnison Avenue.  We will have a nice happy hour and snacks throughout the day. 

While this is the inaugural Lake City Alpine 50 race, we suspect that the top riders will complete the race in between three and half hours and four hours.  At seven miles an hour for the entire race, you should likely finish in under eight hours.  At twelve miles an hour you will finish in just over four hours.  Near the top of Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass, as the elevation eclipses 12,000 feet, plan for very slow-paced climbing. 

If you do not reach the top of Cinnamon Pass (approximately 25.6 miles into the race) by 11:00 a.m., you will be asked to turn around and head back the same direction you came back to Lake City.  Obviously, if you do not think you can make it back to Lake City from the Pass, we will make provisions to get you back to town.   

Lake City is located at 8,671 feet.  The high temperature on August 24, 2018 was 73 degrees.  The low temperature was 44 degrees.  It did not rain on August 24, 2018.  The sun rises at 6:36 a.m. and the sun sets at 7:54 p.m.  The temperature at the start of the race will like be in the mid-forties. 

Given that you lose an average of 3.5º F for every 1,000 feet you go up in elevation, it will remain pretty cool the entire race, so dress accordingly (keep those toes and fingers and core warm).

Remember, this is Colorado and the weather can change and change quickly – especially in the high country.  So, it could rain, it could hail and it could even snow above tree line. It should be no surprise that lightning is hazardous, especially above the timberline where you are exposed.

Hypothermia can occur under the right set of circumstances – falling temperatures, wind, and precipitation.

You will riding above timberline in the alpine tundra.  Everyone’s body reacts differently in this zone, so you need to listen to your body.  Most importantly though, you need to hydrate along the way.  It will be a very slow grind (for most riders) up to the passes and breathing at 12,000 feet is really tough.  Take it easy and hydrate.

We strongly suggest you bring the following items:

  • Rain gear
  • Windbreaker (with hood)
  • Polypro or wool socks, hat, and gloves
  • Fuel (whatever you think you will need beyond what will be supplied)
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip protection

The race will start at 7:00 a.m. and leave from the Lake City Town Park (3rd Street and Silver Street). 

There will be three aid stations. 

The first aid station will be located at the Grizzly Gulch trailhead (approximately 19.3 miles into the race). 

The second aid station will be before you reach the top of 12,640-foot Cinnamon Pass (approximately 25.5 miles into the race). 

The third aid station will be right after you reach the top of 12,800-foot Engineer Pass (approximately 31.6 miles into the race). 

To keep the number of vehicles on the Alpine Loop to a minimum during the race, crewing will not be permitted.  The less vehicles on the route – the better things will be.

We will have well-stocked aid stations.  We will have hydration drink mix and various food options, including bars from Four Points, one of our sponsors.  No filled bottles will be handed out, so you will need to fill your bottles and bladders on your own.     

First off, every aid station will have really nice and supportive people.  The stations will also have plenty of water, Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel (mandarin flavor), Four Points energy bars, fruit, bagels, and even pickle juice if you like.  There will be no need for any “feed zones” for this race.  Please do not have friends and family on course to supply you.  We will NOT permit any outside support on course. 

The Lake City Chamber of Commerce has great information on Lake City accommodations.  From yurts to bed & breakfasts to camping, Lake City has a little bit of everything.  Please visit

Yes.  The minimum age to enter the race is fifteen (15) years old as of December 31, 2018.  All age categories will be as of December 31, 2018.

This event will not have any refunds.  You may freely transfer your entry to another participant.  This event will be held rain, sleet, snow or shine.  In the event of extreme weather, or some serious unforeseen event that could endanger participants or volunteers, the race may be shortened, postponed, or canceled. 

The Lake City Alpine 50 will only have one recognized race category for purposes of prizes/merchandise – the “Fastest Town” category.  When you register for the race, you will designate your residence town.  We will take the top three overall times for the women and the top three overall times for the men from each town and combine them.  The town with the fastest three times from the women and the men will be crowned the “Fastest Town” and will receive a prize. 

All other riders will simply race.  Results will be broken down between male and female times and by age groups.   

A good attorney would tell you – “It depends.”  The course has a small bit of single track and small bit of road.  Primarily, the course consists of backcountry roads.  Things will get a little choppy on the backsides of Cinnamon Pass and Engineer Pass.  From gravel bikes to hardtail 29ers, much will depend on your style of riding and what you are most comfortable on. 

We will have six cash and merchandise categories: (1) Fastest Man (Geared); (2) Fastest Woman (Geared); (3) Fastest Town – Women’s Category (top three combined times from the women); (4) Fastest Town – Men’s Category (top three combined times from the men); (5) Fastest Man (Single Speed); and (6) Fastest Woman (Single Speed).  Cash will only be awarded to the fastest overall times in the men’s and women’s categories.  Each rider will receive a unique commemorative participant item.

The award ceremony will take place at 2:00 p.m. in the Lake City town park.

Lake City has its own medical center – The Lake City Area Medical Center located at 700 North Henson.  (970) 944-2331.

Gunnison Valley Hospital – 711 North Taylor Street, Gunnison, Colorado 81230. (970) 641-1456.  Gunnison is located fifty-five miles to the north of Lake City. 

Again, this is a USA Cycling sanctioned race.  The rules may be accessed at this following link:

No.  This race is self-supported. No neutral support.  Choose your equipment wisely.  We will have some tubes and pumps at each of the four aid stations on the course. Otherwise, you are on your own. 

The course will be open to general traffic, including Jeeps and ATVs, so please be aware that you will not have the course to yourself.  That being said, because the race will start early, the amount of traffic will be reduced.  Many off-road vehicles will go down to Ouray or Silverton for lunch, which means that by the time you are making your way down from Engineer Pass (around mile 30) you will not encounter heavy traffic.  We are encouraging spectators to stay off the course throughout the race.  If you wish to watch from a great vantage point on the course, please try to stay there until all racers have passed before making your way back to town for the finish.