Ryan Spitz is accustomed to being on the remote trails of Northern California. As the owner of Shasta Trail Runs, he spends much of his time mapping out new courses, before trying the trail out for himself.
On Friday, June 6th, Spitz is heading out to attempt the largest course he’s created thus far – a 330-mile trail from Arcata to Mount Shasta, aptly named the California Untamed.
“I wanted to be the inspiration for people to dream bigger and do hard things,” said Spitz, who will average roughly 56 miles per day on his quest to arrive at Bunny Flat on Mt. Shasta on June 12th.
The trail, mapped out by Spitz himself, will gain over 50k feet in elevation and have him traversing through the Six Rivers, Klamath National and Shasta Trinity National Forests. He will be followed closely by documentary crew Nigel Skeet and Eric Leslie, who will follow him in a Jeep to provide any aid or supplies he may need. The documentary will be used to highlight the area and promote a competitive trail run event he hopes to host on the trail in 2020.
“It will be the longest point to point endurance event in the U.S.,” said Spitz.
Along with being a motivator for his community and mapping out a giant endurance event, he hopes to use his monumental run to promote the area. Spitz is also the Managing Partner of California Adventure District, with the goal of promoting Northern California as a hub for outdoor adventurers around the world.
An Untamed Route
After meticulously mapping out the run, Spitz has every single mile planned on his journey across some of the most remote areas NorCal has to offer. Each night he will spend camping and leave at the first glimpse of sunlight in the morning. During the day he will run, constantly.
The longest leg of his journey is set for Day 1, which is a 77-mile run from Redwood Park in Eureka to Willow Creek. From there on out, the plan is to run between 58 to 65 miles everyday between June 8-11th. On his final night, Spitz will camp at Lake Siskiyou, with a shorter 20-mile trek to finish his trip to Mt. Shasta’s Bunny Flat.
The route includes six lookout towers, including Big Hill Lookout, Blue Ridge Lookout and Eddy Gulch Lookout. It will also include passing through the beautiful the Marble Mountain, Trinity Alps, Castle Crags and Mt. Shasta Wildernesses.
Spitz’s most arduous task on the journey may lie on Mt. Eddy, which fis reported to still have 5-6 feet of snow on the ground. His snowshoes will help get him over the peak, but it could possibly slow him down in the process.
“I’m just praying the sun melts as much snow as possible,” said Spitz with a chuckle.
Although it will be a long and arduous journey, Spitz will see some of the most pristine wilderness NorCal has to offer.
An Inspirational Journey
The run that Spitz is setting out to do is the first of its kind – a task that only a few people would ever imagine. And as he continuously pounds his feet into the rarely touched dirt of the wilderness, he hopes to be the catalyst for others to do big things.
“I want to show people what it looks to dream big and draw up the routes to complete it,” said Spitz. “I want to show people what it’s like to do crazy things.”
While the task of running 330-miles in just six days is hard enough, Spitz will also have to deal with the elements. Weather in high-elevation areas is always a factor and wildlife run-ins are also a possibility, including with bears, rattlesnakes or mountain lions. Who knows – Bigfoot may even be in his path on the way to completing his journey.
For a man crazy and inspired enough to complete the first ever California Untamed, Spitz is ready for anything in his way.
Spitz is carrying a tracking device that will allow people to see his live updates. To track his journey during the week, go here. You can follow along on his progress at CaliforniaUntamed.com and you can even congratulate him at the end of his journey at Bunny Flat on June 12th.
Zach O’Brien is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Active NorCal