For 2021 the Vapor Trail 125 course will route over Hancock Pass as opposed to the “standard” route that went over the Alpine Tunnel in the first years.
The Vapor Trail 125 course is a backcountry experience like no other that draws a large circle through some of the highest mountains in North America. Starting at 7,000 feet elevation and hitting multiple high points near or above 12,000 feet, the route doesn’t drop back below 9,000 feet until the last 8 miles. There are six long sustained climbs that each can take 2 hours or more to complete, and roughly 17,000 feet (~5,200 meters) of cumulative climbing (accuracy confirmed by Strava) over the 125-mile route. Short story long: it’s a biggun.
A GPX file of the 2021 course using Hancock Pass can be downloaded here: (vapor2016route.gpx). If you’d like some really good instructions on how to load data to GPS units, go to http://topofusion.com/tutorials/uploading-tracks.php courtesy of TopoFusion, the premier mapping/GPS software in the world, and the official mapping software of the Vapor Trail 125.
A written 7-stage description of the sequence of events–course milestones between aid stations can be read here.
We’ve broken up the very large, dispersed, rugged and beautiful Vapor Trail 125 race course for 2021 into 9 sections so that you can analyze and think about them, visit them, or plan for your own ride. Each has topo, elevation profile, and narrative description, linked below.
- Section One, Start to Colorado Trail
- Section Two, Colorado Trail: Blank’s Cabin to Chalk Creek
- Section Three, Chalk Creek to Hancock Pass
- Section Four, Hancock Pass to Aid Station 2
- Section Five, Aid Station 2 to Old Monarch Pass
- Section Six, Old Monarch Pass to Marshall Pass (Aid 4)
- Section Seven, Starvation Loop and Silver Creek Trail
- Section Eight, The Rainbow Trail from Silver Creek to 285
- Section Nine, 285 down to Poncha Springs, then CR120 to Finish