Drive east along Highway 78 past the old California mining town of Julian until you find a place called Pinyon Wash (call-box number 78-810 at elevation 1,100 ft); which is on the side of the highway in the middle of nowhere in the Anza Borrego State Park. Step out of your car, grab a water bottle, and set out on foot. Run along the dirt roads, through desert washes, and the open desert floor for several miles. When the trail runs out keep moving through the desert without trail. When you come upon the dry waterfalls do what any reasonable nomad would do – climb up and over them. Continue heading west until you bump into the base of the Laguna Mountain range.
Make the 3,000 foot ascent into the mountains via the steep canyons known as Oriflamme and Chariot. Once on top weave through the single-track runnable trails across grassy fields and panoramic view of the remaining 16 miles of your adventure.
Look for the tallest peak in the area (Cuyamaca Peak at 6,512 ft) and of course head directly for it and climb it. On your way there pass the dormant Stonewall Goldmine and enjoy the canopy and smells of the tall pine trees. If the sky is clear you will see the Pacific Ocean from the peak.
Finally turn your attention to Cuyamaca Lake which is within your view below. Head downhill over rocky technical trail and dirt roads. Aim for the west shore of the lake where some food, friends, and a chair awaits you.
Do all of this in under 14 hours wearing a bib and with the support of aid stations and you will have completed the Lost Boys 50 Mile Trail Run.
The LB50 was first run in 1991 and had four finishers (Mike Suter, Tom Waddell, Bud Willis, and Wes Barrett). The rare race has been loved ever since and has been run 8 times in the last 24 years.
As two-time winner and course record holder Ben Hian put it: “I am so excited this race is coming back. There is something primitive about running from the desert to the mountains.”
Registration for the April 25, 2015 running of the Lost Boys 50 Mile Trail Run opens on November 1, 2014 at 8PM. The course will be well marked with orange surveyors ribbon, especially the desert stretch. We at Cliffs and Meadows LLC are thrilled to again “Find the Lost Boys”.
See you on the trails.