Race Preview: 2021 Elkhorn Crest 50 (Sumpter)


On the race calendar for July 31, Elkhorn Crest 50 is a true mountain ultra. There are two “fifties” to choose from: a slightly-longer-than-usual 53M and a 50K. 

The courses largely follow the Elkhorn Crest Trail, with varied terrain from smooth single track to rocky, technical sections and some forest service roads. This beautiful race will take you across sub-alpine forests and grasslands, showcasing views over the Wallowas, the Blue Mountains, and Baker Valley.

The staging area is at Sumpter Fairgrounds, providing runners with free tent camping or paid RV camping for the weekend (bookable at registration). Showers are also available (paid).

On race morning, runners are shuttled from the fairgrounds to the start in Bourne. Once on the course, you’ll be running at an average elevation of over 7,000 ft. The 53-miler has some serious climbs to contend with as well: in all, it dishes out 11,000 ft of elevation gain and 11,700 ft of loss. 

This is a mountain race, and as such has strict gear requirements. Every runner must have the ability to carry 1.5 liters of fluid, and a powerful headlamp with extra batteries. Required for the 53M (and recommended for the 50K) are also a jacket and an emergency blanket. Note also that this is a cupless event.

Elkhorn Crest is a UTMB qualifier, with 4 points for the 53M and 2 points for the 50K. 


Elkhorn Crest 53M/50K 

When: Saturday, July 31

  • 5:30am – 53M (shuttle leaves 4:45)
  • 7:00am – 50K (shuttle leaves 6:15)

Where: Sumpter Fairgrounds, Sumpter, OR 97877


  • 53M: $175
  • 50K: $150
  • Included with your registration: Shuttle to the start, post-race meal, finishers award, free tent camping. Race shirts are available for purchase during checkout and at the race.

Register online 

Registration closes July 17, 11:59pm

About Heini Tallent (12 Articles)
I'm a sports massage therapist, running coach, and owner of Elements Running Education. I ran track in my native Finland in my teens, but focused on basketball until at age 34, I picked up a couch to 5K plan. It snowballed pretty quickly: 10Ks and half marathons, a couple of marathons (LA & Nashville), multiple coaching certifications... I've been a runner ever since, and enjoy long, slow trail runs and fast 10Ks equally. Via England and California, our family landed in Oregon in 2018. I love all the outdoor adventures in the PNW!
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