Badwater 135 Race Route: 2014 Edition

Behold the new and improved 2014 edition of the Badwater 135, the world's toughest foot race!

The Badwater 135 is the most demanding and extreme running race offered anywhere on the planet. It covers 135 miles (217km) non-stop from Lone Pine, CA to the summit of Horseshoe Meadow (elev. 10,000 feet / 3048m), then across the Owens Valley to a 5,500 foot dirt road ascent to the ghost town of Cerro Gordo, followed by a trek to the entrance to Darwin, and then a final dramatic ascent to the highest paved point on Mt. Whitney, CA, The start line is at Lone Pine, CA, and the race finishes at Mt. Whitney Portal at 8,360’ (2530m). The Badwater course covers three mountain pass ascents for a total of over 17,000’ (5,800m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 12,700’ (4450m) of cumulative descent. Whitney Portal is the trailhead to the Mt. Whitney summit, the highest point in the contiguous United States.

Essential Race Route for 2014
Start in Lone Pine and run up Tuttle Creek
Run to the top of Horseshoe Meadow (23 miles uphill with 6500 feet of elevation gain)
Run back down to Lone Pine
Run southeast to Keeler on Hwy 136
Run up Yellow Grade Road to Cerro Gordo (7.5 miles uphill with 5500 feet of elevation gain)
Run back down Yellow Grade Road to Hwy 136
Run southeast on Hwy 136 / hwy 190 to the Darwin Turn-Off.
Turn around and run Hwy 190 / Hwy 136 back to Lone Pine
Finish by running from Lone Pine to Whitney Portal (13 miles uphill with 5000 feet of elevation gain)

Compared to the traditional route, the 2014 version has over 17,000’ (5,200m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 12,700’ (3900m) of cumulative descent, while the traditional Death Valley-based route has 13,000’ (3962m) of cumulative vertical ascent and 4,700’ (1433m) of cumulative descent. Though the 2014 edition does not start in Badwater and traverse Death Valley and Panamint Valley, the actual topography of the new route is significantly more challenging and very much worthy of the moniker, "world's toughest foot race."

Detailed Course Route Sheet with all landmarks, mileages, and elevations
Course Map, as below, but much larger and in Pdf format
Course Profile, as below, but larger
Garmin GPS Map and Elevation Profile of the Route
Description of the major ascents by 2014 entrant Josh Spector
Mile by Mile Images of the Horseshoe Meadows ascent from Mile 0 to Mile 23 by Ben Jones
More Images of the Horseshoe Meadows ascent from Mile 0 to Mile 23 by Ben Jones
Images of the Cerro Gordo ascent / descent from Mile 60 to Mile 75 by Ben Jones
while 2014 race entrant Josh Spector and his crew trained on that stretch of the route.
Images of the Cerro Gordo ascent / descent from Mile 60 to Mile 75 by Ben Jones
while 2014 race entrants Nathan Longcrier and Nicole Matera trained on that stretch of the route.
Read about Cerro Gordo, the Ghost Town. More. And More. Yet More.
Lone Pine Map and Services Guide: a very handy reference tool for Badwater runners and crews
Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce
Lone Pine weather
Lone Pine historical weather trend data
Information about the history (1977-2013) race route

Lone Pine, CA

Lone Pine is located at Mile 0, Mile 44, and Mile 122 of the 2014 Badwater 135 race route and is an important hub of activity before, during, and after the race. Located at 3727 feet (1136m) at the foot of Mt. Whitney and with a population of just over 2000 friendly people, it is a wonderful and appealing destination year-round and particularly important to the success of the Badwater 135.

Lone Pine meets every need, from great food to comfortable hotels, plus all enjoy the Post-Race Get-Together at the school, followed later by the traditional social hour(s) at Jake's Saloon. We hope you enjoy the town, spend lots of money there, and let everyone know how much you enjoy racing in their back yard!

Many Badwater runners and crews buy race equipment and supplies at True-Value Hardware or Whitney Portal Hostel and Store (which is an excellent outdoors shop and place to stay), groceries at Joseph's Bi-Rite, and purchase moderately priced gas in town or excellent coffee, snacks, and sandwiches at Lone Star Bistro, get an excellent meal at the newly opened The Grill or enjoy fine dining at Seasons Restaurant.

During the race, many secondary support vehicles will stop, or go into, town to pick up coffees, pizza from The Pizza Factory, To Go Food from The Grill, or to obtain fresh ice, water, and groceries. Most runners will have a motel room booked in Lone Pine throughout the race, so that the secondary crew members, or perhaps a weary runner, can get a nap and shower during the race as well as after finishing.

For our full Lone Pine Guide and Map (two-page Pdf), click here.