"Not all those who wander are lost." – J.R.R. Tolkien

Caldera 250 – 9.18.15

Mark your calendars for the 2015 Grand Depart – Friday, September 18th, 2015 @ 7am

Registration will open on July 15th, 2015 – follow our blog (sign up box to the right) or join our Google Email Group to get updates.

What is the “Caldera 250”?

  • Simply put, it’s a shorter version of the “Fully Monty” Caldera 500.  It utilizes the same route as the first half of the 500.  It departs from the 500 route after the Glass Mountain Traverse, heading west.  It rejoins the 500 route near Obsidian Dome and continues south to the finish in Mammoth Lakes.  It’s just over 250 miles and ~30k climbing.
  • This is a 100% self-supported, multi-day, grassroots bikepacking adventure in the spirit of the Tour Divide.  This is NOT a sanctioned or organized event.  We simply offer the tools to help riders have a successful adventure and keep track of results for bragging rights.
  • Yes, this is roughly half the mileage and climbing of the 500 mile route.   Don’t kid yourself.  This is still a very challenging route through very remote areas, and it will test your mental and physical grit, no doubt.  It’s perfect for riders that would like to do the 500, but maybe have time constraints, or who want to work their way up to it.


  • This is an individual time trial (ITT) that can be done any time you want – but our suggested “Grand Depart” will be alongside the Caldera 500 riders at 7am on Friday, September 18th, 2015.  


The start/finish will be in Mammoth Lakes, CA – location TBD.  There are lots of lodging and camping options available in the area.

How much does it cost?

There is no entry fee.  No prizes.  No awards.  Just bragging rights.  This is grassroots.

What are the rules?

  • The guiding principles are simple: self-support and equal opportunity.
  • Complete the route under only your own power.
  • Do it without pre-arranged support from others.
  • No caching.
  • Don’t break the law.
  • Leave no trace.
  • Detailed rules: Caldera Rules Page 
    • This type of format is not for everyone.  If you want to “tour” this route, ride parts of it, have support, etc – We still encourage you to get out there and ride your bike.  You will not be part of this adventure, but please contact us for route info, etc.

How do I register or make sure I get event updates?

  • You must follow our blog to get event updates and communication (a sign up box is to the right).  As the grand depart gets closer, we’ll post a registration form.

Is the course marked?

  • No.  Since this is not a sanctioned event, we will never “mark” a course.  You should carry a GPS, cue sheet, and maps.  We will make a gpx track and cue sheets available in the upcoming months.

How are results tabulated?

  • All riders with SPOT Trackers (mandatory for all Grand Depart participants) will have their results tabulated.  SPOT rentals will be available for the GD if you don’t own one.  If you do own one, you’ll have to pay a nominal fee to have your unit registered on the  Trackleaders.com website.  Live tracking will be up for the GD, so friends and family can follow along.  We will also post results here on the website.

Can you describe the route, in a nutshell?

  • Here’s a super general description:  Start in Mammoth Lakes.  Head south through Tom’s Place and down Lower Rock Creek through Round Valley.  Climb Horton Creek, sneak around the backside of the Tungsten Hills and ascend into Coyote Flats.  Descend to Big Pine, cross into the Northern Inyo Mountains.  Traverse into the White Mountains and descend Redding Canyon to Bishop.  Head north through the Volcanic Tablelands around Casa Diablo Mountain ,and climb through the Glass Mountains, looping around past Obsidian Dome and Inyo Craters back to Mammoth.

Cue Sheet:

  • Coming soon

GPX Files:

  • Coming soon


Any more resources or advice?

  • Read the Caldera Rules Page.
  • Prepare your body, gear, and mind.  This route is no joke.
  • Ask questions in the comments of this page.

Check out the Bikepacking.net Caldera 500 Forum Thread

Consider riding these other self-supported events:

One response

  1. Pingback: Caldera 500 Update – Throwing a 250 Option in the Mix |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 105 other followers