Devil Mountain Ultra 50/50

50mile & 50k Ultras

2018 event cancelled


6:30am : 50k and 50mile


This remote and legendary classic Ultra brings runners together for two days in the pristine forest of the South San Juan Mountains around Pagosa Springs. 7,500’ of climbing, 10,000’ of elevation, bonfire party at the finish line and pancake awards breakfast combine to make this an authentic mountain ultra.  Big climbs, high elevations, mountain vistas and plenty of single track through some of the region’s most spectacular wooded trail.
The ultra off-road course visits several mountain areas to the west of Turkey Springs, Chris Mountain, Middle Mountain, Horse Mountain and Devil Mountain. The terrain is nothing short of spectacular. Run it if you can! Incredible views, single-track and changing fall colors.


50k and 50 mile aid stations are fully stocked and located every six miles or so, but we recommend that you run with a water bottle or camelback! It is dry here and can be warm. 50 mile runners: The section from the 50/50 split, aid station #4 at mile 23.5 to aid station #5 at mile 31.9 is remote, rugged and 8 miles long! Carry two bottles at least and or a full camelback. This section is extremely beautiful and extremely remote…. You will most likely be alone for very long stretches and should plan accordingly.

Event highlights:

Spectacular course run through rarely visited forests.
Breathtaking views.
Elevation gains 2,200 for the 1/2 more that 5,000′ of the 50k and more than 8,300′ for the 50 mile.
Fresh brewed coffee at the start of the 50/50 – thanks Higher Grounds Coffee
A course comprised of more than 80% single track.
Famous “GECKO” awards handmade by local students.
Awesome SWAG, food and festivities.
DSP and Pagosa Baking Company goods at the finish line.
Bonfire and SMORS.
Pancake breakfast Awards presentation on Sunday.
Course Maps; subject to change weather dependent:
50 Mile Elevation Profile (JPG 2015)
50 Kilometer Elevation Profile (JPG 2015)
50 Mile Course Map (JPG updated Aug 2015)
50k Course Map (JPG updated Aug 2015)
GECKO operates under a special use permit with the San Juan National Forest and is an equal opportunity provider.

**There is an unmanned aid station at the top of Chris Mountain (and you’ll hit it twice) so please make sure that you carry a water bottle or hydration pack to fill with either water or Clif (there won’t be cups or volunteers to help you).


There are  ‘Drop Bags’ option at aid 4/7 as well as 5/6. (aid 5/6 is 50 mile course only)

We have included a drop bag opportunity for aid station 5&6 for the 50 milers (Sally Point overlook out and back)…please leave these at the start/finish tent by the sign indicating that aid station on Saturday morning. Please make sure these are clearly marked with your name and have an identifying marker so that you can allocate it easily!

Each year we have issues with wait time and ID for returning Drop Bags. Please ensure either your bib # or name is clearly marked on your bag!!! Also know that these aid stations are remote and getting bags back to the finish line will not happen until late in the evening/night.

Also be advised to let the aid station crew know you are finished with your aid bags after your final pass through an aid station. We cannot pick up bags to return tothe start finish if we are not positive you have passed through the aid station. Nothing worse then us taking your bag down before you’ve gone through!!!

Cut Off Times.

Aid station 4. Mile 23.5 this is the cut off point for the 50 mile from the 50k. All 50 mile runners have the option here of dropping down to the 50k with no penalty. If you drop down you will be scored as a 50k finisher. If you drop down it is your responsibility to let the aid station support at this location know your intention and you must declare you are dropping to the 50k.

Any 50 mile runner reaching aid 4 after 1:30pm (7hours) will be REQUIRED to drop to the 50k.

Aid station 6 mile 35.8 (50 mile course only) cut off time  is 10.5 hours at (5:00pm). This is a challenging run! The out and back section of the 50-mile course is incredibly beautiful and incredibly remote and tough (especially the climb coming back to aid 7). For these reasons we will have a strict cut-off for runners departing aid 6. Adjustments may be made due to weather. We reserve the right to shorten cut-off times before or during the race due to weather and or safety concerns.

The approximately 20 mile out and back from aid station 4 back to aid 7 takes in some of the most remote back country trails and very steep terrain. If you get to aid 4 and are not certain of your ability to finish, use this opportunity to play it safe.

Trail Marking

All of you will be following new bright Pink ribbon, almost 100% attached to wooden clothes pins. US Forestry Service has a number of different colored ribbons in the area, please only follow the plain luminous pink ribbon tape, on wooden clothes pins. th ere are some pin flags in mostly the same pink (with potentionally a couple of red ones).

This will be a well marked course but it is the runner’s responsibility to know the course map. Please print it off and carry it with you if you’re unsure, particularly for the longer distances. THE REMOTENESS OF OUT AND BACK SECTION OF THE 50 MILE COURSE IS WHAT MAKES THIS RACE TRULY SPECIAL. THAT SAID IT IS A REMOTE TRAIL, RARELY USED AND SOMETIMES DIFFICULT TO SEE. PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE COURSE MARKINGS AND CARRY YOUR MAP~

Saturday September 9th Schedule Summary.

530am Mandatory check in of all runners. MANDATORY CHIP PICK UP SATURDAY MORNING. Leave marked items at the drop bags station

615am Mandatory Race Briefing

630am Start 50Mile 50K


RACE START/FINISH AREA: Directions and Parking

If you have attended this race in past years, please note that we have moved the start/finish 2 miles further down Turkey Springs Road, to the Brockover Trail Head.

US Forestry have given us strict guidelines for parking on only ONE side of Turkey Springs Road in single file, all the way back to the Chris Mountain parking lot. There is no parking allowed down Brockover Road. It’s only a short walk from the corner of Turkey Springs, down Brockover to the actual start. Please follow instructions from our parking attendants to ensure the safety of our race permit.We do encourage the use of car-pooling where practical. We also suggest you leave yuorself a little extra time to park and walk and to the start.

Access to the Start/Finish line area is via CO Rd 600/Piedra Rd. Head North West along CO Rd 600/Piedra Rd for 6.4 miles. Turn left onto Co Rd 146/Forest Service Rd 629/Turkey Springs Rd for 4.2 miles. You can also access Piedra Road (turning left) from North Pagosa Blvd.

Here’s a link to the Start/Finish area.

This is the easiest and safest route – the majority of navigational systems will direct you a longer, more arduous and potentially more “vehicle wrecking “ route.

Ultra 50/50 Sign up

There is No DAY BEFORE or DAY OF sign up. We will close online registration  midday Thursday 7th Sept. so if you know someone still thinking of registering please let him or her know this.

Bib / Packet Pick up

BIB / Packet Pick up will be held on Friday, September 8th at the Start/Finish line area from 4pm to 9pm. ID will be required for pick up.THERE WILL BE NO REGISTRATION FOR 50 MILERS OR 50 K’ERS ON THE MORNING OF THE RACE. Please do all you can to arrive for packet pick up Friday night. If you can’t make it you can pick up Saturday morning but please help us by coming Friday night!

Race Start and Briefing times/Mandatory Check-in

For safety reasons there is a mandatory check in on Saturday morning before the 50/50. ALL ULTRA RUNNERS must check in before 6:15am on race morning and pick up your timing chips at this time.

The 50mile and 50k race will start at 6:30am sharp on Saturday September 9th. The race briefing will be held at 6:15am at the Start/Finish area.

We reserve the right to shorten cut-off times before or during the race due to weather and or safety concerns.

Drop Bags

Drop bags will be allowed for 50/50 runners only. A drop bag section will be available at the Start/Finish area. You will access your drop bags at aid stations 4 and 7 (you return to the same aid station twice in a loop).

All drop bags need to be placed in this area between 5:30 – 6:15am on Saturday morning.


This is an iPod friendly race. However, because this is a public trail with other trail users (runners, horse riders, mountain bikers, etc) we ask that you use these devices responsibly.

Head Lamps & Weather Gear

Ultra runners – you may need a head lamp for the morning and the evening, please make sure you have these with you and pack them in your drop bags. Think carefully about warm/weather gear you may need as well, particularly for the mornings and evenings, weather in the mountains can change quickly. Monsoonal rains are typically in the afternoons in late summer. Be prepared for hot weather and cold weather in the same race.

On Course Fuel & Nutrition

Thanks to Clif Company for supplying on course fuel for this race (lemon/lime and raspberry shot, blocks, a variety of gels, protein and energy bars). We’ll also have a variety of sweet and salty runners snacks and water at every aid station. Only 50/50 ultra runners will be able to use a drop bag. Aid stations locations and distances will be clearly marked on the new map (and are marked on the existing Demons of Dust map already).

Timing Chips

All runners will receive a plastic electronic timing chip with a neoprene/velcro ankle strap at registration/packet pick up. The number on your timing chip will correlate with the number on your race bib.

It is important that for accurate timing and results the chip is fixed to the outside of your right ankle using the neoprene/velcro strap. Timing chips will be removed and collected as soon as you cross the finish line and any damaged, broken or missing chips will incur a fee of $20.00.


Crew can get to aid 4 (please NO DOGS ALLOWED HERE), approx mile 21.5. It is a 6 mile drive on dirt road and then a 3/4 of a mile hike on closed dirt road, mellow but uphill all the way. For 50 milers this is also aid 7 at qpprox mile 43. Crew can also get to aid 5/6 mile 29 and 32ish. but it is a long way (hour or so) on dirt road. Drop bags will be collected at the start/finish onthemorning of the race for these two locations. We STRONGLY recommend the 50 milers have a light in aid 4/7 as many of you will finish in the dark. And, if you are slow but steady you would want a light at aid 5/6 (someone spent the night out there a couple of years ago, and we’d prefer to avoid that this year.) We suggest warm clothing for after dark as well.

The start/finish line is far from any shops or amenities so please have your family and friends crewing or spectating bring weather proof clothing, deck chairs or blankets and any picnic food and drink they may need for the day. There are no vendors at the start/finish and the aid stations are for athletes. Turkey Springs is a beautiful place to spend the day but it’s far from town.

Finish Line Celebrations

As ultra runners finish late into the night we encourage finishers and spectators to help cheer them in. We will have a bonfire and smors, so bring your campfire chairs and rug up warm. Sierra Nevada kindly offers a celebratory beer to finishers over 21yo, and we’ll have those cold and in coolers waiting for you!

Awards Presentation for 50k and 50 mile and Sunday Breakfast.

The pancake breakfast will start at 8am on Sunday morning with the Awards Presentation & Swag giveaway at 9am. We’d love to see as many of you there as possible. It is free to athletes and volunteers, so bring your family and friends.


We are pleased to have Elite Recycling sponsor this eventproviding receptacles for trash that will be sorted and recycled.


There is primitive/bush camping near the start/finish area (it is National Forest) and you are welcome to camp out with the GECKO team on Friday and Saturday night. PLEASE make sure that you are camped off the actual race trail and parking lot at the trail head – we will try to designate camping areas.

There are no ablution facilities (besides the porta-potties provided for the race) and no water or showers. GECKO has number of accommodation partners with great discounts for those with race bibs.As an added incentive to book the Quality Inn or Quality Resort during your stay, there is a generous discount of 20% off.

The Hub Bike Shopalso has nutrition, hydration and running gear for any last minuterequirements, and ask for 10% off as a GECKO racer. If you’re in town early and you’re looking for good fare Higher Grounds Coffee (uptown) and Pagosa Baking Company (downtown) make the best coffee and have delicious breakfast, lunch, snacks or cakes all day.



See you in the dirt!

If you didn’t already know, all proceeds from this event go to GECKO (Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors), a local 501c3 Charity raising funds to get kids off the couch, unplugged and outside! We want to thank you for choosing a GECKO race and we hope you feel good that by racing you are also paying it forward. Look out for the GECKO Scholars at the event, out on the course and helping, they will have just returned from their GECKO/NOLS summer adventures in July.