One of my favorite of our events is the Grand Canyon Ultras and Half! I love it for many reasons besides the big views of one of the natural wonders of the world. Grand Canyon is one of our more intimate events. Grand Canyon is also the most remote race that we host. It's an adventure just to get to the expo that includes a long drive, little if any cellular or data service and driving on dirt roads (usually in great condition but dirt nonetheless). Because of the challenge of just finding the race please do a little more prep than you normally would. Have the route planned out! Know mileage and estimated drive times, have a map or GPS app for your phone, etc. The forest roads that we use are, in general, well signed but it is still easy to get turned around! I ended up driving the wrong direction for about 20 minutes last year before realizing my error.
HOW TO GET TO CHECK-IN
Race staging, check-in, and the start/finish line are located at the historic Big Saddle Tank in the Kaibab National Forest. The last 20 miles of road to get here is a dirt road so plan in some extra time especially if you do not have a high-clearance vehicle. This open use area is about 1 mile from the breathtaking Crazy Jug viewpoint. There is no event parking at the expo, and start/finish line. Event parking is located about 1.5 miles north of Big Saddle where runners and spectators will be shuttled to and from the parking area to the expo and race. Shuttles will run non-stop from 1:30 pm-8:30 pm on Friday, and from 4:00 am-10:00pm on Saturday. Directions to Parking Area: https://goo.gl/VVSyhy .
Major junctions will be well signed but remember you will not have any data/cellular service for much of your drive, especially once you turn off from any main road. Plan accordingly! I have used a few GPS apps on my phone to navigate the Kaibab National Forest. I am going to try Avenza Maps this year. You can purchase a Kaibab National Forest map using this app that includes roads, trails, and landform like the big saddle tank where check in will be.
AVERAGE DRIVE TIMES
Remember these are average drive times. Much depends on your speed and comfort driving on forest service roads. We have found that map programs tend to estimate slower drive times.
- North Kaibab Lodge/Jacob Lake- 60-90 minutes
- Fredonia, Arizona- 90 minutes
-Kanab, Utah- 90+ minutes