A challenging, scenic run through the southern Utah desert adjacent to Zion National Park. 4 distances are offered- a Half Marathon, 50k, 100k, and a 100 miler. The 100 miler and 100k will be run on Friday, with the half marathon and 50k on Saturday. The 100 mile course includes 4 steep climbs onto mesas that offer incredible views of the varied geological features of the area.
100 Mile- This course starts out with a steep climb up the Flying Monkey trail up onto the mesa, where you'll find an aid station. You'll do a six mile loop at the top and then come back down the way you came up before heading east towards the Dalton Wash aid station. There is a small stream crossing around mile 13.5, but if you cross it in the right place, your feet should stay dry.
After hitting the Dalton Wash aid station for the first time, you'll climb over the hill on a single track trail for a mile, then head up the dirt road 4 miles to the top of the mesa where the Guacamole trail begins. There is an aid station near the beginning of the 7.5 mile loop that you'll pass through on your way out and back, then you'll head back down to the Dalton Wash aid station for the second time (mile 30ish).
You'll then cross the highway and start across the desert towards the looming Gooseberry Mesa. You'll scramble up a 1,500ft ascent to the Goosebump Aid Station and then head out towards Gooseberry Point. A half mile from the overlook point will be an aid station that you'll pass through on your way out and back from the overlook (mile 40). You'll then hug the south rim of the mesa for a mile or so before heading inland, angling back towards the Goosebump aid station, which you'll hit a second time around mile 47.
From here, you'll take a dirt road just over six miles to the Grafton Mesa aid station. You'll then run north to the end of Grafton Mesa, where you'll drop down off the mesa to an aid station at the bottom of a wash near the ghost town's cemetery (mile 57.5). You'll then head back up the mesa and will work your way back to the Grafton Mesa aid station for the second time, then back to the Goosebump aid station for a third time (mile 68.5)
You'll now go back down the steep trail to the bottom of the mesa, then you'll follow a faint doubletrack west along the foot of the mesa over to the Virgin Desert aid station. You'll do three different loops on the smooth singletrack of this trail system before bringing it home.
100K- This route follows the 100 mile route until the second pass through the Goosebump aid station at mile 47.
From here, the 100K drops off of Gooseberry Mesa and heads west, passing through the Virgin Dam Aid station before traversing the desert to the finish line.
50K- This route begins by heading straight towards and then up onto Gooseberry Mesa, then does the 12 mile loop on top. After dropping back off the mesa, the trail heads west to the Virgin Dam aid station and then to the finish.
Half Marathon- This rugged and scenic route climbs over 1,500ft up onto Smith Mesa via the Flying Monkey trail, then does a six mile loop on top of the mesa, hitting the aid station twice before coming back down to the finish line.
2-7pm- 100 mile and 100K check in at the start/finish line, located two miles north of Virgin, Utah. Non-camping cars will be shuttled to the start line from the event parking lot (a BMX track parking area approx. 2 miles from the start/finish area). 50K and Half Marathon runners can check in at this time or on Friday from 2-7pm.
5am- Last minute check ins
6am- The 100 mile and 100K races begin.
2pm-7pm- Half Marathon and 50K check in.
5am- Last minute check ins
6am- 50k race begins.
7am- Half Marathon begins
100 mile, Overall cutoff- 34 hours
100K, Overall cutoff- 20 hours
50K, Overall cutoff- 10 hours
Half Marathon cutoff- 4 hours
Aid Station Info:
You must also use the following guidelines:
-All bags must be labeled with name, bib # (in large print), aid station, and race distance. Optional, but a good idea if your label comes off, is a card inside with the same information and contact information. Please label your bags the day before the race on your own or at check in.
-All drop bags must be left in designated drop off location by 7PM the night before race day.
-No valuables or fragile items in your drop bags. We are not responsible for any lost/stolen items.
-Watch the weather forecast. If there is any chance of rain, place your items in zip lock bags inside of your drop bag.
-Minimum size: Gallon size freezer zip lock. No grocery store plastic bags or garbage bags..
-Maximum size: Shoe box size for single pass and daytime aid stations. Small duffel or small carry on for multiple pass aid stations.
Getting your drop bag back: Generally all bags come back about 1 hour after the aid station closes. At Goosebump and Virgin Desert aid stations, there will be a "Return to Finish Line" area where you can place your drop bag after you no longer need it and we will try to get it back early if possible. You must place the bag in this area. Crew or volunteers cannot sort through them in order to reduce the risk of a drop bag inadvertently being returned to the start line.
The 100 miler has 13 fully stocked aid stations, the 100K has 11, the 50K has 4, and the Half Marathon has 2.
Aid stations will be stocked with: water, an electrolyte, fresh cut fruit, several salty items and several sweet items, and soda. Aid stations later in the race will also have real food that may include boiled potatoes, tortillas w/ Nutella, PB&J, turkey sandwiches, dill pickles, chips, a variety of candies, anti chafing agent, sunscreen, first aid supplies. We will have a limited supply of gels, salt caps, and electrolyte caps.
Pacers & Crew:
For 100 milers pacers start at Grafton, for 100K pacers start at second pass through Dalton Wash or Virgin Desert.
Click here for driving directions to Grafton Mesa Aid Station (Road between Rockville and Grafton Mesa is usually in horrible condition. Unless you have experience driving on extreme rutted roads and have high clearance/4wd if you drive it we suggest avoiding it). Otherwise take the longer approach using Hwy 59.)
You are responsible for the actions of your crew and pacers. If their behavior is deemed inappropriate by race staff, you will be disqualified. Please let them know this and only choose crew members that will treat our volunteers and staff with respect while you are out on the course.
Due to the remote location of this race, we will not be able to provide live updates for your friends/family to follow you from home. We do have satellite phones and/or radios at the aid stations so that we can account for runners on the course and keep communication lines open among our staff members, but we do not have the ability to communicate runner whereabouts to your loved ones during the event. If you would like to let friends and family know your status on the course, you have a couple of options. 1) You can text them from the areas of the course with cell service (there are many points on the course where reception is good enough to get a text out, but it can be difficult to get a phone call out. If you're worried about your cell phone battery, you can turn it off after sending a text, leave it in airplane mode, or carry a small battery backup device. 2) Use a tracking app such as Endomondo which will automatically update your whereabouts when you come into a reception area. (These apps tend to drain your cell phone battery and the use of a battery backup device will be necessary if you plan on leaving it on for the duration of the event.)
RULES AND GUIDELINES
For course marking all distances/courses will be marked with pink flags and ribbons. 100 mile course includes 3 loops in the Virgin River desert starting at mile 76.5. The order of the markings and loops will be Red, then White, then Blue. These loops will be signed and marked with Red, White, Blue flagging and markers. Any tricky junctions will be marked well with signs and flour arrows. A piece of highly reflective tape is attached to each trail marker that may be encountered at night.
It is the responsibility of the runner to check in at each aid station (coming in only, no need to check out of the aid station.) Seek out the aid station worker wearing the fluorescent orange vest and give them your bib number. Failure to check in at an aid station can result in disqualification. If you drop out of the race YOU MUST TURN IN YOUR BIB TO THE NEAREST AID STATION CAPTAIN. If you fail to do this, you will be responsible for all related search party costs.
Zero Waste Event:
All UA events are zero waste, with less than 1% of the trash produced at the event going to the landfill (and no portapotty chemical sludge being sent to the wastewater treatment facilities.) Our aid stations run on solar power, as are the majority of our staging area energy needs. Please place trash in the appropriate container. Littering on the course will get you disqualified.
Lodging / Camping:
There will be camping available near the start and finish line Click Here for directions to the start/finish line parking area. Those paying for camping can continue to the start/finish area found here. These campsites are limited. And should fill up fast. A link for site reservations can be found HERE. **CAMPING AT THE START/FINISH IS SOLD OUT*** BE ADVISED THIS IS DIRT CAMPING! THERE ARE NO HOOKUPS, ELECTRICITY, RUNNING WATER, ETC. WE WILL HAVE COMPOST TOILETS AVAILABLE FOR USE.
Virgin is located right in the middle of Hurricane and Springdale, about a 15 min. drive to either of them. We highly recommend staying in Springdale if you can- hotel prices are higher than Hurricane or St. George, but the proximity to the park and the ambiance of the town are worth it.
Follow this link for more lodging options around Springdale. (Links to lodging in the Hurricane and St. George areas are also available through this same website.)
Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort - Welcome to beautiful Zion country! From tents to luxury vacation homes, Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort has something for everyone. We invite you to come experience our 4,000 acre ranch resort on the edge of Zion National Park. We offer a variety of lodging options to suite your taste. We offer cabins, cabin suites, tents, RV parking and vacation homes. We are pleased to offer runners 10% off booking when you mention “Zion ultra”. You can book by phone by calling 800-293-5444. We look forward to hosting you!
Zion River Resort is offering 15% off to participants. Just mention that you’re with the “Zion 100″ for the discount. RV and camping is available.
There are many beautiful dry camping spots near the start/finish line which can be rented out for $20 for a weekend pass. First come first serve until all sites are gone. Lots of shade trees, next to the river, and walk to and from the start/finish line. Non campers will need to be shutttled in one mile from the BMX parking area.
There are many home rental options near the start/finish line which can be found on vrbo.com and airbnb.com
The Zion Outfitter is an outdoor rental and retail shop conveniently located right next to the main entrance to the national park. Bring your race bib to receive 10% off rentals and retail. Don't miss out on the Zion Narrows while you are here; we rent out all the equipment you'll need for this amazing hike! Stop by and let our friendly staff get you the information and gear you need to make the most of your time here in Zion! Enjoy 10% off a new pack, outdoor apparel, shoe, t-shirts, and much more in your favorite outdoor brands!
Awards & SHWAG:
The belt buckles (awarded for the 100 miler finishers only) are each hand crafted using organic materials gathered on the course and preserved in resin. A variety of locally and custom made awards will be provided to the finishers of the other distances.. Each of our awards is unique- you can choose the one that speaks to you. Special awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female finishers for each distance as well.
We hope that you will join us at the finish line for as long as you’d like to welcome home the other finishers. One of our goals this year is to create a welcoming environment for you to hang out with old and new friends. To make this possible, we will have the following amenities present at the finish line to keep you comfortable- shade, seating, pizza, heated tents, drinks, and recovery area.
Here are some mountain biking YouTube videos that show sections of the course you'll be running:
- Flying Monkey trail
- Smith Mesa
- Jem trail
- Hurricane Rim trail
- Gooseberry Mesa
- Guacamole trail
- Grafton Mesa trail
- Carrie Brant’s Race Report
If you are unable to attend the race after registering, we are happy to rollover your race credit towards any future Ultra Adventures' event within 2 years of the original race date. The amount credited will be determined by how much advanced notice you give us, since many costs involved with the race are incurred early. If you notify us prior to 60 days before the race, you are eligible for a 100% rollover towards any Ultra Adventures event. If you notify us prior to 30 days before the race- a 75% rollover or will be issued. If you let us know up to 7 days prior to the event- a 50% rollover can be applied. Within 7 days of the event- no rollovers will be issued. Any changes to runner registrations will incur a $10 processing fee.
THE GRAND CIRCLE TRAIL SERIES places to see CHALLENGE
We realize that the races in this series are out of the way for most runners, and it may be the only time that you visit these breathtaking areas. One of our biggest desires at Ultra Adventures is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer. Even a 100 mile course can only capture a portion of these unique areas. We want you to get into and explore the heart of the national park, walk through that remote slot canyon, see that incredible overlook that is not part of the course. Most often, these spectacular areas are protected as part of a national park, monument, or wilderness area where races are not permitted as part of the management plan. These are often the areas most frequented by tourists, but are nevertheless places that we feel you must see while you’re visiting. It is our hope that through a more in depth exploration of the area, you will become more connected to the local landscape, thus creating more stakeholders in its preservation. We would love to see your pics and even share them on our social media platforms! If you are ok with this email them to firstname.lastname@example.org or use #ultraadventuresbucketlist for a chance to be featured.
THE ZION BUCKET LIST:
1) Angels Landing- This popular hike offers spectacular views of the main canyon from 1,500ft above the valley floor. Click here for trail description If you have any energy left and you are looking for more miles after making it to the overlook, we would encourage you to continue up the amazing West Rim trail, which you will be using to access the Angel’s Landing spur trail.
2) The Narrows/Riverside Walk- This is a “must see” while you are here if the spring runoff is in your favor. Your feet will get wet on this one, and other than the approach on the paved river trail, there will not be much running involved. Click here for a trail description of the Narrows. ***April runoff can make it difficult to get very far up into the narrows. If that is the case, you can substitute this hike with an exploration of Hidden Canyon. Click here for Hidden Canyon trail description.
3) Observation Point- This trail will take you to an overlook that peers down into the main canyon from the top of the cliffs 2,100ft above the valley floor. Click here for trail description
***Other amazing options (which can replace any of the above trifecta legs but are not required due to price and/or distance):
- Taylor Creek- This would be an easy and beautiful warm up run that you can check off if you're coming from the north on I-15. It's a stunning and scenic 2.5 miles in (5 miles round trip) w little elevation gain. It is less than 5 minutes from I-15 to the trailhead via the Kolob Canyons entrance to Zion National Park. (It has always amazed me how little use the trails in this area of the park get when they are so close to the freeway. They are tucked away and well hidden from view from I-15 although very accessible.)
- Kolob Arch- This trail can substitute any of the 3 legs of the Trifecta that you’ve done before if you’d like to try something new. There are two ways to access the arch, both are beautiful and about the same distance (about 7 miles each way). You can take either the Hop Valley trail or LaVerkin Creek trail.
- Parunaweap- An out and back down to the river via the Checkerboard Mesa Escape Route requires some route finding skills (I probably put in an extra mile when I did it). This canyon is pristine and seldom seen and well worth the effort.
- Eagle Crags- This is one of the BLM trails located in the Mt. Canaan wilderness area adjacent to the park that is every bit as scenic as trails located within the park boundaries. Beautiful views into Lower Parunaweap Canyon from the overlook.
- Water Canyon-Squirrel Canyon- If you’ve seen it all in Zion or want to get into the rarely visited outreaches of the backcountry, this 11 mile loop is one of my favorites of all time.
- Trans Zion (Zion Traverse)- Anyone crazy enough to do this epic route within a week from race day would not need to do any of the other Trifecta legs. 30% off your next event if you have the legs to pull it off. Take a pic in Hop Valley, one from the top of the West Rim trail and one from the top of the East Rim.
- The Subway- If you are one of the lucky ones to obtain one of the 80 daily issued permits to hike the Left Fork of North Creek, don’t pass up the opportunity.
- Pine Creek- You’ll need a wetsuit, rappelling gear, and a permit for this one but oh man is it amazing.