A Multi-Day Destination Running Retreat
Our 2018 journey to Stehekin was so amazing that we jokingly considered only ever running this trip. It’s that good. As it is we have two trips on the books for 2019! The first will be an “Open Registration” and the second an “All Women’s trip”. Stehekin, in terms of mileage and difficulty, is one of our most flexible trip options…runners have the full day to run/hike in and out of the valley…and having arrived at the Stehekin Valley Ranch, folks can choose to spend their days getting rad in the hills or lounging by the lake. BOTH are great options.
- Thursday through Sunday — 19-22 of September 2019
- Thursday through Sunday — 26-29 of September 2019 AN ALL WOMEN’S TRIP
Sequestered along the shores of Lake Chelan surrounded by the formidable peaks and crags of the North Cascades lies a valley of impressive beauty and simplicity. Stehekin is as much an ideal as it is a village set apart from the pace and “progress” of modernity. Inaccessible except by boat, plane or trail this community is a small enclave of gardens, artisans, ranchers, and others drawn to a life defined by mountains and a deep connection to place.
Thursday, Day 1: Meet in Burlington WA, Run into Stehekin
We meet runners at 8 am at Bob’s Burgers and Brews in Burlington WA. We divide our group in half and shuttle runners to trailheads at Cascade Pass and Rainy Pass respectively.
Cascade Pass: At the terminus of the Cascade River Road is remote trailhead leading to some of the most expansive and inspiring views of the North Cascades. A 4 mile climb of 2,000′. crests with epic views before dropping into the upper headwaters of the Stehekin River. From the pass the trail parallels the river for another 22 miles to the High Bridge Camp where runners meet a shuttle leading to the Stehekin Valley Ranch.
Rainy Pass: At Rainy Pass, the east-west divide of the Cascades, the Pacific Crest Trail serves as the most direct portal to Stehekin. Given the late season nature of this trip we are always meeting through hikers who are within days of finishing their epic journey. The trail follows the Bridge Creek drainage for 17 miles before connecting with the Stehekin Valley Road at the High Bridge Camp, here a shuttle takes in to the Stehekin Valley Ranch. Longer alternatives to this direct route include an additional 10 mile lollipop loop over Heather and Maple Pass or PCT variations that include McCalester Pass (19 miles) or a route between Bowan Mountain and Rainbow Lake (25 miles).
Friday/Saturday Day 2/3: Experience and Explore Stehekin
Once in the valley there are many options for trail running and peak bagging. One also has the option spending all or part of a day lakeside lounging, making the stop at the world famous Stehekin bakery, and exploring the many historical sites in the valley. We intentionally added a day to this trip to give runners the option to experience both the running and leisure elements of exploring the valley.
Sunday, Day 4: Run to Cascade or Rainy Pass. Shuttle Back to Burlington WA
After a last hearty breakfast we catch the 8am shuttle back to High Bridge Camp. Here our group re-divides for the second half of the “horseshoe” run out to Cascade or Rainy Pass. An Aspire shuttle will bring runners back to Burlington, WA. Generally arriving between 5-7pm.
For topographical route information, elevation profiles, and a downloadable GPX file of the routes, visit our Caltopo Stehekin Map.
This trip begins and ends in Burlington, WA. The running route is essentially a “horseshoe” style point to point with the Stehekin Valley Ranch in the middle. Aspire will run shuttles from to/from each trailhead. Once in Stehekin the National Park Service and the Stehekin Valley Ranch provide shuttles to specific trailheads. If we have sufficient demand from out of town runners we can organize a shuttle to and from the SeaTac Airport.
Running to Stehekin means hot showers, home cooked meals, and sleeping in comfortable beds. We’ve made great friends with the folks at the Stehekin Valley Ranch who provide our food and lodging. The Ranch offers home cooked meals and both furnished cabins and rustic tent cabins. For more info on accommodations check out the Ranch’s website here: Stehekin Valley Ranch.
Course Info Packet
For details about the trail, itinerary information, packing and gear lists, menu and dietary information, safety protocols, and trip policies please check out the 2018 Stehekin Info Packet. (Updates to the 2019 Course Info Packet will be available in January 1st)
Early Bird registration $1,100. Ends December 31
Regular registration $1,200. Ends March 31
Late Registration $1,300. Closes September 9
Every year we have at least one runner who due to injury, illness, or personal/familial circumstances can not participate in their registered trip. While registrations can be transferred, Aspire does not issue refunds. See our FAQ’s. We strongly encourage each runner to purchase 3rd party trip insurance that will reimburse the cost of registration in the event that you are unable to participate in the event.