Race Preview: 2017 Ochoco Trail Runs (Prineville)

One of our newest featured races comes courtesy of Crux Ridge Running, which is putting on a few Oregon events, as well as one in Tennessee, this summer. The Ochoco Trail Runs are coming to Walton Sno Park (about 45 minutes from Prineville) on July 22, 2017, and features three distances – for the ultramarathoner as well as a great and challenging trail race for middle distance runners.

The 100k/50k is a large loop (two loops for the longer distance) around some of Eastern Oregon’s prettiest areas. I probably can’t do the course justice, so I will let the race do the talking:

The Ochoco Trail Runs offer spectacular views of the Cascade Range. The trail winds through mixed conifer forest, old growth ponderosa pine, and many open meadows. During the Spring and Summer months there is an abundance of wildflowers in the meadows along the course. Wildlife include wild horses, elk, deer, and coyotes.

The terrain is compromised of 80% single track trails with a mix of two track and dirt road. The course begins with a gentle downhill out of Walton Sno Park then moves onto single track through forest and meadows. 10 miles in, you will begin a 7.5 mile climb up to the summit of Lookout Mountain followed by a fun descent through forested switchbacks. The course then takes you up and over Round Mountain as you make your way to the finish at Walton Sno Park. There is over 6000 feet of elevation gain. The 100k consists of two loops of the 50K course with over 12000 feet of climbing.

50k and 100k course

I recommend reading the distance page to get a full insight into the course.

The 10.5 miler is an out-and-back that turns around at the crest of Round Mountain – making the second half of the race essentially a long downhill to the finish. This will be a much welcome reprieve after covering over 1000 vertical feet in just under 2 miles. The terrain will feature about 2/3 single track and 1/3 dirt road, and complete 1900 total feet of elevation gain.

10.5 miler

All races are cupless, so definitely come prepared with hydration plans along the route.Packet pick-up is DOR starting at 5am.

Prineville is pretty far to drive the morning of a race this distance, so if you aren’t already slotted into a stay in Bend, there is a discounted room rate available for July 21-23 at the Best Western Prineville Inn (a 45 minute drive) by calling 541-447-8080 (tell them you are with Ochoco Trail runs to receive the discount). There are also options to camp at the Walton Lake campground or other nearby sites as well – though don’t delay on getting this taken care of.

The race will benefit the Crook County High School cross-country and track team. If you aren’t quite prepared to put in these distances this year, it is recommended that you check out how to volunteer. In addition to motivation for subsequent years and a sense of amazement as peers plow through the course, volunteers will also gain a shirt, post-race beverage and food and race credit towards a future Crux Ridge Running races. And really – why wouldn’t you eventually want to run this…

Ochoco Trail Runs (Prineville/Walton Sno Park)

When: July 22, 2017

  • 6:00 am -100k
  • 7:00 am – 50k 
  • 7:30 am – 10.5 mile

Where: Walton Sno Park – Ochoco Mountains

Register: Online here;

  • 50k
    • $110 
  • 100k
    • $180  
  • 10.5 miler
    • $55  
About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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