The Telluride 100 is a top-level endurance mountain bike race that is a part of the National Ultra Endurance Race Series (NUE), taking place in the incredibly scenic Telluride, Colorado. The pictures speak for themselves on this course, and some of the best views and single-track that Colorado and the United States offer are combined for this classy event, even if a lot of suffering is involved. At Strambecco, we consider the Telluride 100 to be one of the Best Mountain Bike Events in Colorado and the Rockies.
Riders have two length options: the 50-mile version and the 100 mile. The courses are the same as have been run the past three years, and it is a 50-mile mega-loop, so the ultra-endurance 100-mile racers will complete two entire course loops with some slight variation. The 2023 course offers two loops with varying elevation profiles. The total elevation gain for the 100-mile route is 13,740 feet, while the 50-mile route includes 6,914 feet of gain during Loop 1. The race starts and finishes at an elevation of 8,750 feet. During Loop 1, the highest point is at the peak of Prospect Loop, reaching an elevation of 11,182 feet. The lowest point is at the entrance to Vance Junction Trail, which sits at 8,095 feet. Loop 2 features Last Dollar Pass as the highest point, reaching 10,676 feet. The lowest point in Loop 2 is at the intersection of 58P and Hwy. 145 in Sawpit, which sits at 7,596 feet.
There is a terrific amount of aid stations along the course, which gives some rest and assurance, knowing there will always be some fuel nearby if you are crashing. The 100 mile has a total of 9 aid stations, while the 50 mile course has 5 stations. It is also important to remember that this race caps out at over 12,000 feet in altitude, so if you are coming from sea level, it is ideal that you have at least four days at altitude to get your red blood cell counts up or unnecessary suffering is a guarantee 😉
It is a very popular time to visit Telluride, so it is important to book your accommodations in a timely manner. Event partners include Telluride Ski Resort, Alpine Lodging Telluride, and Mountain Village which are all offering discounts to participants. Nearby towns to check out include: Rico, Ridgeway, Dolores, and Norwood. There are also plenty of vacation rentals available at a variety of price points. For those who prefer to camp, Matterhorn, Sunshine & Mary E are nearby campgrounds that are managed by the National Forest, as well as Ridgeway State Park – but they do fill up early in the season.
While in town, you must take advantage of all of the outdoor activities available to enjoy. Telluride is surrounded by breathtaking mountainous terrain and pristine wilderness, making it a hiker’s paradise. Popular trails include Bear Creek Trail, Jud Wiebe Trail, and Blue Lakes Trail, offering stunning vistas, wildflowers, and opportunities to explore the rugged beauty of the San Juan Mountains. Also, the nearby San Miguel River and other nearby waterways offer thrilling opportunities for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Adventure seekers can enjoy navigating the rapids and experiencing the adrenaline rush of the river. Various outfitters in the area provide guided rafting trips suitable for different skill levels, ensuring a memorable water adventure.
Telluride 100 is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to hosting bicycle events and races while also contributing to local non-profit initiatives. The race actively supports various area non-profits, including Telluride Mountain Club, which is involved in trail construction and maintenance, and San Miguel County Search & Rescue. Through generous donations, Telluride 100 aids these organizations in their valuable work, benefiting the community and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The event is produced by Jennifer & Tobin Behling, veteran cycling event organizers/officiants, and they came up with the idea for the Telluride 100 as they were skiing slopes at the Telluride Ski Resort during the Winter of 2011. After several years of planning the race was finally launched in July 2014 and going on it’s 10th year.
Due to its level of challenge and quality of production, Telluride 100 is included in the National Ultra Endurance Race Series (NUE), which includes some of the best mountain biking events in the country. NUE comprises an Epic Series, 100-mile events, and a Marathon series, which includes 50-mile and 75k length events.
- True Grit 100/50
- Cohutta 100 – Big Frog 65
- Mohican MTB 100
- Wilderness 101k
- Telluride 100/50
- Shenandoah 100
- Marji Gesick 100/50
- Ring of Fire 100
- Big Grizzly 100/75
- Carrabassett 100
- Pierre’s Hole 100
Below there is a Veloviewer interactive map of a previous full lap course. You can drag and play around with both the map and the profile. And if you want even more nerdy details about everything there is to know about the course, you can click on the link to view further information.