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The Wild West Relay is held on public roads - there are no road closures, traffic control, or aid stations. All participants must understand that there will be vehicle traffic at all times and several of the Exchange Points are along busy roads. Also be warned that any road hazards along the course are NOT marked, the route goes through National Forests and other unpopulated areas where wildlife lives, and that there are cattle guards and areas of open range (livestock not fenced in) so caution is required from all runners and drivers.
The starting line for the Wild West Relay is in northeast Fort Collins at the Budweiser Tour Center, located just off I-25 and the Mountain Vista exit - about an hour 15-minute drive from Denver.
The route begins by heading north through rural Larimer County, alternating between paved and dirt roads, passing ranches and reservoirs outside of the city limits. The course then turns west over rolling hills, providing you with dramatic views of the Mummy Range.
After a very short section on the wide shoulder of Hwy 287, runners turn west on Red Feather Lakes Rd to the first van exchange in the small town of Livermore. Members of the Livermore Community Church will be waiting for you with picnic lunches (hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, homemade cookies) you can purchase.
The course continues west gradually climbing to the mountain town of Red Feather Lakes (restaurants, gas, supplies, lodging) and the second Van Exchange at the Chapel of the Pines. Just past Red Feather Lakes, the road forks and runners take Deadman Road entering Roosevelt National Forest - the inactive vans take an alternate route up the scenic Poudre Canyon so as to minimize dust on Deadmans Road. After crossing the summit of Sand Creek Pass (10,269 feet), the road descends to Laramie River Road, which parallels the Laramie River. Runners then enter Wyoming, passing through the tiny town of Jelm to the third Van Exchange at Woods Landing (restaurant, gas, supplies, cabins) who have prepared spaghetti dinners for runners.
The course then turns south, entering Medicine Bow National Forest as runners head back to Colorado, passing through the small border town of Wycolo (gas, supplies, restaurant). After a short stretch through the Colorado State Forest, the Relay enters North Park - with views of the Rocky Mountains off to the west - and the ranching town of Walden (restaurants, gas, supplies, lodging) and the fourth Van Exchange at the North Park High School .
The final stretch continues south through North Park - and the fifth Van Exchange in sage covered ranch land - before entering the Routt National Forest. Here the climb up Rabbit Ears Pass commences. Now Get Your Ass Over the Pass! - Rabbit Ears Pass - and the Continental Divide (9573 feet). After a fast descent, runners enter the outskirts of Steamboat Springs.
***Big News! We are super excited to announce we will be finishing at the Steamboat Resort in 2024! Please check all updated maps in the 2024 WWR Atlas Maps once they go live!