Skyline 50k Logo and distorted view of Lake chabot - heading used for webpage - 24th Annual in Castro valley, CA on August 7, 2005
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Course Description

  Course Maps

Course Profile

Aid Stations

Running Directions

Running Directions

for the new course as established in 2003

Lake Chabot Marina to Grass Valley:  Start to the left of the Marina.  Follow the paved Westshore Trail for 1.75 miles across the dam.  Just past the dam (at 1.8 miles), take the first right onto Bass Cove Trail.  This immediately crosses another trail . . . stay straight.  After looping around a canyon with a pumphouse, the Bass Cove Trail contours just above the lake.  When the hill starts, you have just passed the last bathroom for several miles.  Stay straight on the Goldenrod Trail (Bass Cove splits off to the right).  At the top of the next rise, turn right.  Turn right onto the paved golf cart path.  We should be there before the golfers, but keep an eye out for golf carts speeding down the hill. After a short distance, the Goldenrod trail exits to the right of the golf cart path.  The Goldenrod Trail will gain the ridge, and after a few false tops, you pass a picnic table and water fountain.  The Grass Valley aid station is just ahead at the junction with the Jackson Grade.

Grass Valley to Bort Meadow:  Take the right turn downhill on the Jackson Grade.  The Stone Bridge is at the bottom of the hill, turn right and cross the Stone Bridge before turning left onto the Grass Valley Trail.  After a short distance you will pass through a cattle gate.  The cows in this valley see lots of people and will generally ignore you as you pass by.  Continue straight past where the Redtail Trail joins from the right.  As you near the aid station, you pass through another cattle gate.  Just past this gate, turn right on to the paved road and continue up the hill.  At the top, turn left into the Bort Meadow aid station.

Bort Meadow to Big Bear:  You will pass straight through the aid station and through the gate at the north end.  Ignore the side trail to the meadow below, and you will almost immediately pass through a cattle gate. When you are nearing the top of this 15-20 minute gradual climb, you will pass through yet another cattle gate.  At the top of the climb, bear right past the landbridge and begin the descent.  Soon a hairpin turn leads you down the canyon toward MacDonald Gate parking lot.  Cross the parking lot and pass through the gate at the far end and continue on the single-track section past the Big Bear Trail junction toward the Big Bear aid station at the Redwood Rd crossing.

Big Bear to Skyline Gate:  After crossing the road, you will enter a single track trail which will soon join with the Golden Spike Trail; turn right here. The Golden Spike Trail contours back above Redwood road until you come to the connector to the Westridge Trail.  Take the downhill trail to the right.  The Golden Spike Trail will pass the South Entrance to Redwood park, and the Fishway area, where there is a fish ladder for the native rainbow trout.  You will turn right and cross the Fishway Bridge and then take an immediate left on a small trail.  This trail parallels the paved park road and passes through a few parking lots before coming to the Canyon Meadow Staging Area.  We will run up the trail past the right hand side of the meadow to join the steep-uphill Canyon Trail.  The Canyon Trail climbs through a forest of bay, oak, and redwood trees, before coming into the open and intersecting with the Eastridge Trail.  This is not the top of the hill, as Eastridge continues climbing.  Soon the Eastridge Trail passes the intersection with East Bay Municipal Utility District's Redwood Trail. The Eastridge Trail is a fire road along the ridgeline, with many panoramic views.  Continue straight at the intersection with the Prince Road, and bear right at the junction with the Phillips Loop.  Stay straight at the top of the Eucalyptus Trail and again at the junction with the north end of Phillips Loop and the Eastbay Skyline Trail cutoff.  The Skyline Gate is visible ahead.  This is the site of the Skyline Gate aid station.

Skyline Gate to Big Bear:  Continue on the gentle uphill of Westridge Trail (right-most trail) for half a mile to the intersection with French Trail.  The French Trail starts with a rutted, rooty downhill through the poison oak.  After about half a mile as you enter the redwood forest.  Take a sharp left at the first junction on to the Tres Sendas trail.  The Tres Sendas Trail passes through the heart of the Redwood Park Redwoods, before dropping down to join the Starflower Trail. Cross this (hopefully dry) stream and head uphill to the right on the Starflower Trail. Take a hard left on the French Trail at the next intersection.  After the climb rounds a ridge, the Madrone Trail (otherwise known as the Woodmonster) continues straight up.  Fortunately, the course follows the French Trail off to the left and contours along the side of the canyon.  As you leave the redwood forest and the foliage turns to bay and oak, you will continue straight past the junction with the Mill Trail.   Continue straight past the downward Fern Trail and the upward Fern Trail.  There is a short section where the French Trail is shared with the Chown Trail,  Stay left at the first Chown Junction, and right at the second Chown Junction.  The French Trail continues in and out of the side canyons for another mile before ending at the Orchard Trail.  Turn right and head uphill on the Orchard trail for a nasty 2-minute climb to the Westridge Trail.  After a short section along the ridge on the Westridge Trail, the Toyon Trail splits off to the right.  The Toyon Trail is a narrow single track down a dry southern exposure with expansive views.  After a steep descent, the Toyon Trail levels off directly above the Golden Spike Trail you came up earlier.  After a short time, take a hard left onto the Golden Spike Trail, and shortly thereafter, bear right at the split to head toward the  Big Bear aid station at the Redwood Road crossing.

Big Bear to Bort Meadow:  After leaving the Big Bear aid station,  you will head back toward the MacDonald Gate Staging Area.  Pass through the parking lot, and climb back up the steep hill you came down a while earlier.  Stay on to the left on the Skyline Trail at the junction with the Bird Loop.  At the top of the climb, stay left on the Skyline Trail, rather than crossing the LandBridge (Parkridge).  Next is a long downhill back to the Bort Meadow aid station.  In case you were curious, this is the view from the promontory at the end of the Brittleleaf Trail.  This is clearly described on the signs at the trailheads as NOT being a rattlesnake.  At the end of this downhill stretch, you will approach the Bort Meadow aid station.

Bort Meadow to Honker Bay:  After Leaving the Bort Meadow Aid Station, you will run down the paved road to the center of the Grass Valley.  At the bottom of the hill, continue straight past the junction with the Grass Valley Trail, and across the middle of the valley.  Take the next left onto Brandon Trail, and get around the gate.  Bear left past the foot of the Horseshoe Trail, and continue straight past where the Redtail Trail joins.  This stretch of the Brandon Trail is a gradual downhill until you approach the Stone Bridge.  Enter the single-track Cascade Trail through the gate to the left of the bench.   After running on the flat Cascade Trail about a mile, continuing straight at this intersection puts you onto the Columbine Trail.  A steep downhill brings you to the point where the trail parallels a stream.  You will cross the stream once . . . twice . . . and after splitting off to the left (away from the Bass Cove trail), you will cross the stream a third time.  Here starts a climb up to where the single-track Columbine contours in and out of the side canyons above Lake Chabot.  Remain on Columbine (bear right) as you pass two junctions with the Two Rocks Trail.  Again, bear right at the intersection with the Lost Ridge Trail.   Next you will run into a deep side canyon for a final stream crossing.  The last real climb on the course brings you to another long, flat section of the Columbine Trail.  Soon, you will approach the Honker Bay aid station at the intersection with the Honker Bay Trail.

Honker Bay to Lake Chabot Marina: A right turn out of the aid station sends you downhill. The fire road winds down the hill to the lake, where you can view the last mile of the course. After passing the intersection with the Huck Trail, you can see that there is still a ways to go.  When you near the golf course, take a right turn at the intersection with the Live Oak Trail and head across the bridge.  At the far end of the bridge, turn right onto the Eastshore Trail.  After 0.1 mile, stay right onto the paved portion of the East Shore Trail, rather than climbing the Cameron loop. After 1.5 miles on the pavement, you will pass the Marina.  Take a right turn just past the last outhouse, and cross the bridge to the Finish.


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