UPDATE, May 2021: The permit has been submitted to the Cle Elum Ranger Station. GOOD NEWS – it’s looking optimistic we will be approved to hold a in-person event October 9th, 2021 with Covid policies in place. We will have more information by mid-May 2021.
I love everything fall. The colors, pumpkins, hot soups, warm sweaters, etc. It was brought to my attention that there was a sweet but neglected loop near the top of Blewett Pass that had larches and loads of autumn color. A scouting trip mid-October 2019 to the Swauk Forest Discovery Loop confirmed the above – beautiful color and larches abound but down trees and overgrown bushes everywhere. I loved the idea of holding an event at Swauk in addition to doing trail work and donating money to Discover Your Northwest who will help update the educational signs along the loop. The Cle Elum Ranger Station is excited about the potential of The Golden 6 Hour serving as the steward of the Swauk Forest Discovery Loop for future years. Join us for the inaugural year on October 10, 2020!
Registration will open Wednesday November, 13 2019 on Ultrasignup. Included in your entry is a Territory Run Co. mug with an original larch design. Space is limit to 130 runners. Please note: no refunds
Results // King & Queen of Loops in the Larches
Results will be posted on Ultrasignup. Participants who run/hike all 6 hours will receive a Territory Run Co. beanie. The female and male who complete the most amount of loops in 6 hours will receive a Territory Run Co. hoodie with an original larch design. These will be sweet hoodies that will not be available for sale! If there is tie for most amount of loops, the runner who crosses the finish-line first will receive the hoodie.
Course // Aid Station
The Swauk Forest Discovery Trail is a 2.45 mile loop near the top of Blewett Pass. It’s all single-track that winds through a variety of woods, vegetation, and has mountain views.
Aid Station – BRING ON THE PUMPKIN PIE
I am not joking about the fall themed aid station. There will be hearty soups, hot apple cider, my favorite Halloween candy, Oktoberfest beer, apples with caramel dip, roasted pumpkin seeds, etc. For those who love baking, there will be a pumpkin pie contest. You will have a chance to win the same hoodie as the female and male winners!
Swauk Forest Discovery Loop – directions & lodging
From the WTA website: Heading west on Hwy 2, turn south onto Hwy 97 and proceed approximately 21 miles. Turn left at the Pipe Creek Sno-park parking. Follow NF-9716 uphill approximately a half-mile to Swauk Forest Discovery Trail parking area. Trail head is to the right of toilet facilities and information signs.Heading East from Ellensburg or Cle Elum on Hwy 97, follow Hwy 97 approximately 14 miles and turn right at the Pipe Creek Sno-park parking. Follow NF-9716 uphill approximately .5 miles to Swauk Forest Discovery Trail parking area. Trailhead is to the right of toilet facilities and information signs. Parking Pass/Entry Fee: Northwest Forest Pass
Lodging: There are a lot of fun options. Flying Horseshoe Ranch is 21 miles away, Leavenworth is 26 miles away, and Cle Elum is 27 miles away. Make it a weekend getaway! FYI – this is during Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest.
Saturday, October 10th, 2020
- 8:30am – check-in
- 9:45am – pre-run briefing
- 10:00am – run into the larches
- 4:00pm – course closes
- 4:15pm – awards for top female & male runners along with pumpkin pie contest winner
Q&A // Rules
- Are family and friends allowed to come? Yes! The more the merrier cheering on runners. There may be a scavenger hunt run for kids 12 & under -stay tuned!
- Are dogs welcome? Yes! Dogs must like people and other dogs. If dogs are running on course, they must be kept on leash the first loop and can be off leash once runners spread out.
- Can I camp at the Swauk Forest Discovery Loop parking lot Friday night or Saturday evening? No, hence the late start and early finish.
- Are there refunds? A 50% refund will be offer through May 13, 2020.
- Can I rollover my entry to the next year? No