Rocky Mountain Half & 5K
This is a challenging but scenic run just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. It starts and ends by the lake at the fairgrounds in historic Estes Park, Colorado, which means it has some killer mountain views!
With the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon, 5K, and Elk Double (Half Marathon + 5K) you can choose your own adventure!
July 29-30, 2022
Estes Park, CO
Expo & Bib Pickup
Friday, July 29, 2022
* Expo bib pickup is recommended. Limited bibs available race morning.
Terrain: This is a scenic loop on paved road with views of the Rockies and Estes Park.
Strollers allowed? Yes
Disability Friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? No
Travel to Estes Park, CO
2Hr drive to Estes Park, CO
Rocky Mountain National Park has a new timed entry system starting in 2021! Please plan accordingly as tickets are limited.
From the NORTH: If you're coming from Wyoming, the best way to get to the park would be to drive south on I-25 to Loveland then west on US-34 through the dramatic Big Thompson canyon to Estes Park.
From the SOUTH: If you're coming from the Denver area you have two options:
1) From the airport, the fastest route is to take I-470 to I-25. Go north on I-25 to Colorado 66, west on 66 to Lyons, continue west on US-36 to Estes Park.
2) Another route from Denver would be to take US-36 through Boulder to Estes rather than the I25 route above.
From the EAST: If you're coming from Nebraska, from the I-80 you may take I-76 to US-34 to Estes. If you're coming from Kansas on I-70 can use the I-25 - CO-66 - US-36 route.
From the WEST: You're in luck. Access from the west in the summertime is via US-34 through the National Park. That's the scenic Trail Ridge Road over the Continental Divide. It's not open in the winter, but in July it will be a beautiful drive. You could also come on I-70 from the west and take CO-6 east of Idaho Springs to the Peak to Peak National Scenic ByWay (119 to 72 to 7) that enters Estes from the south.
You can find some great lodging options in Estes Park here. Find more lodging options including hotels, motels, resorts, cabin rentals, bed & breakfasts, and camping!
We've also partnered with Booking.com to help you find lodging accommodations in Estes Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park
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 is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer.
While in the area we encourage you to continue the adventure and spend time in the parks!
If you've run any of our National Park half marathons before, you may be familiar with our "club hikes" and "trifecta" programs. The "Explorer Club" series is our new iteration of this idea! We want you to have as broad or as deep of an experience of our National Parks and their surrounding areas as oissible. We have created a scavenger hunt made up of all kinds of adventures and experiences you can have here.
The challenge consists of activities that fit into 6 categories: History, Hiking, Explore, Food/Dining, Education, and Stewardship.
Each activity is worth points towards a Rocky Mountain Explorer badge! They are worth a different number of points based on difficulty and you can choose which to tackle based on your interests. Whether you have an afternoon or a week at the park, you should be able to plan an amazing itinerary with these suggestions!
Here's how to become an Explorer:
- Install the free Spark Challenges app
- Sign-up using the same email address you used to register for the race
- Join the Explorer Club challenge for your park and start completing activities
- Earn at least 1,500 points within 7-days of the race and you’ll earn a special in-app achievement with a coupon code to claim your free Explorer badge
Note: You are responsible for your safety if you attempt to participate in any of these activities. Always check the weather before starting a hike, and speak with a park or forest ranger for updated information regarding trail conditions, closures, and permits.
Continental Divide Club
The Continental Divide Club is a salute the hardcore among us. To join the club, hike Hallett Peak, which just so happens to sit right on the Continental Divide. This is one the most classic hikes in the entire park, but it's super challenging.
Keep in mind, it may take you 5-6 hours to reach the summit and 2-3 hours to get back down. Bring lots of water! Hikers should leave early in the morning to avoid crowds and afternoon thunderstorms.
Chasm Lake Club
This year we're introducing a second club hike: The Chasm Lake Club. Chasm Lake is a beautiful crater lake along the Longs Peak trail. The hike is 8.4 miles roundtrip with a total elevation gain of 2,450 feet. Hikers should leave early in the morning to avoid crowds and afternoon thunderstorms.
Bear Lake is beautiful, and incredibly easy to get to. You drive to the Bear Lake parking lot and it is a 1/4 mile to a beautiful view of the lake and Hallett Peak. The hike around the lake is beautiful and easily can be done with children. Those attempting the Hallett Peak hike will start at Bear Lake.
The hike to Alberta Falls begins from the Glacier Gorge Trail head on Bear Lake Road, located almost 8 miles from the turn-off at Highway 36. Due to the extreme popularity of the Bear Lake Road area, you may want to consider using the free park shuttle to reach the trail head during the peak tourist season. It is 1.7 miles round-trip.
Trail Ridge Road
Trail Ridge Rd. is an incredible byway that goes from Estes Park to Grand Lake, crosses the continental divide, climbs above the tree line, and offers incredible views. Our challenge to you is to drive to the top of Trail Ridge Rd and to make the short hike to the tallest peak.
Register for a Rocky Mountain event!
Prices will increase with each registration period. Register now to get the best price!
Curious about our Doubles? Read more >>
Doubles Pricing Info
Get a feel for the terrain and landscape that await you out on the course!
Fundraise for your chosen race and your registration fee could be waived. All funds go to Wander Project to support efforts in and around the communities that host our events.
Volunteer with Us!
Our amazing volunteers help runners at the race expo, finish line, merch tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-4hr shift and earn a $50 or $100 credit towards a future race.
Pro-tip: Volunteer at the expo and run the next day OR ask a friend to volunteer and "gift" you the credit (or use it themselves!)
HOW TO PREPARE
Half Marathon Course Summary & Map
When: July 30th, 6:00 am (rolling wave start spaced a few minutes apart)
Where: Stanley Park (380 Community Drive, Estes Park, CO)
We'll begin the race on the corner of Community Drive and N St. Vrain Ave. (Highway 36). We'll run counter-clockwise around the lake along the paved trail. When we come to Mall Rd. we'll take a left until almost 1 mile where we'll turn left back onto the lake trail. At about mile 1.5 we'll cross Big Thompson Ave through the new tunnel there, and take an immediate left.
We'll turn right onto Dry Gulch and continue for approximately 3 miles. This will be a steady uphill grade. At the end of Dry Gulch we'll make a left onto Devil's Gulch. Devil's Gulch will have some rolling hills for the next few miles, but it will mostly be downhill.
Just after mile 8 we'll take a left onto MacGregor Ave. This will be a nice flat section of the course. We'll then take a left Wonderview Ave. We will run against traffic to SW Steamer Pkwy where we will take a left and then and immediate right onto Steamer Pkwy.
We'll run with traffic on Steamer Pkwy to Steamer Dr, where will will take another right. We will then run down Steamer Dr to Big Thompson Ave. We will run along Big Thompson until we get back to the tunnel, where we will cross Big Thompson again. We'll then jump back on the Lake Estes Trail and finish running counter clockwise around the lake to the finish line which will be at the same place that we started.
All runners will have 4 hours to finish the race. That is an 18 minute mile - plenty of time for walkers! If at anytime we deem it unsafe and need to pull a runner off the course we would hope for understanding and immediate cooperation. Failure to comply will result in being banned from future events.
Our course record holders receive a FREE RACE ENTRY every year that their time remains the course record!
The current course record holders are:
Male Overall: David Cardenas 1:14:53 (2021)
Female Overall: Kelsey Persyn 1:29:03 (2016)
Male Masters: Gerald Romera 1:26:59 (2015)
Female Masters: Ruby Bode 1:38:08 (2021)
The elevation is a little tough, but it will be worth it! Besides, downhill courses are for wimps. :)
Expect about 6 aid stations on the course at around mile 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12. A medic will be stationed typically at the aid station at or near mile 7. Keep in mind, the exact location of each aid station may vary from race to race. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly Hydrate, Honey Stinger gels, basic first aid supplies, and sometimes more.
All stations are cup-free so plan to bring your own hydration solution or request a free HydraPouch when you register.
You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packet including at the Race Expo, the start line, or we can mail it to you.
Option #1: Race Expo
Our expo is always held the Friday before a race. We’ll have our merchandise table set up, so be sure to stop by and say hi! Details below.
Option #2: Race Morning (not recommended)
We will have limited race morning bib and packet pickup on race morning at the start line. Get there early!
Option #3: Shipped Before the Race ($30)
You can add a shipped bib to your registration until one month before the race by logging into RunSignup, clicking Manage Registration, and Add Ons.
Refunds: Once your package is shipped, you are officially checked in to the race and no longer qualify for our refund, deferment, or transfer options.
All of our events are cup-free and bag-free to help us reduce waste! Please plan to bring a reusable hydration source or request a free HydraPouch at registration.
Date: July 29, 2022
Bib Pickup Hours: 11am - 5pm
Location: Stanley Park Ball Field in Estes Park, CO
We encourage you to attend the race expo on Friday. This is your chance to see the area, pick up your bib packet, and check out merchandise. See you there!
All weekend events are located at the Stanley Park ball field in Estes Park, CO
FRIDAY, July 29th
11:00 AM - Race expo & bib pickup begins
5:00 PM - Race expo & bib pickup ends
5:45 PM - Runners line up
6:00 PM - 5K & Fun Run Start!
7:00 PM - 5K Awards
SATURDAY, July 30th
4:00 AM - Parking lots open & morning bib pickup begins
5:15 AM - All runners should be parked
5:45 AM - Runners line up & last call for gear check
5:55 AM - National Anthem
6:00 AM - Half Marathon starts (rolling waves for all runners)
6:40 AM - Start line closes and last runners must begin race
8:15 AM - Overall & Masters Awards
9:00 AM - Age Group Awards
*ALL RUNNERS WILL HAVE 4 HOURS FROM THEIR START TIME TO COMPLETE THE RACE
We will have plenty of parking to accommodate all of our runners. There are three designated parking areas near the fairgrounds and park that are a short walk to both the start line and the finish line. To park - you will come down Highway 7 and turn East onto Manford Avenue towards the fairgrounds and will be directed to a specific parking area from there. These lots will be filled
in the following order:
1. Ball Fields
2. High School and Observatory
3. Fairgrounds (please only park in designated areas marked on the
If you are dropping a runner off, please go to the lime green area on the map. Enter the drop off area off of Manford Ave and quickly circle out of the parking lot to exit. This will help avoid any traffic jams near the parking lots.
We welcome spectators back to Rocky Mountain this year!
Spectators are welcome at the finish line and may park according to the main parking locations and schedule. The finish line is walking distance from town, which has many shops and restaurants to pass the time until your runner finishes! We encourage spectators to download and use the RaceJoy app so they can track their runner and head to the finish line only when they are close.
- Please only park in designated areas. There should be plenty of parking for everyone. Following this guideline allows us to continue putting on successful events compliant with local authorities.
- Once your runner has finished their race, please stay outside of the runner recovery area to avoid crowding.
- Finish line drinks, supplies, and the medical tent are there for runners only. Please respect this.
When: July 29th, 2022, 6:00 pm (rolling wave start spaced a few minutes apart)
Where: Stanley Park (380 Community Drive, near the ball fields)
During race weekend, we also offer the Rocky Mountain 5K & Fun Run (untimed). If you join the Fun Run, you’ll get the same shirt and finisher medal, but you won't be timed for the awards.
There will be one aid station on the course near the halfway point (mile 1.5). The aid station will have water, Gnarly, and bathrooms. Like the half marathon, this race will be cup-free!
Up for an extra challenge? Try the Elk Double! Run the 5K on Friday evening and the half marathon on Saturday morning and earn extra swag! You'll use the same bib for both events.
When: July 29-30, 2022
Where: Estes Park, CO
With an Elk Double registration, you'll earn:
Elk Double Registration
You MUST register for the Elk Double event, not separate races.
If you register for the races separately, you will need to transfer into the Elk Double in order to receive special swag and medals.
*if you deferred or transferred into this race your race credit will appear as $0. Contact us at email@example.com and we'll complete the upgrade for you!
As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Our goal is to send less than one bag of actual “trash” to the landfill after each event. We have managed to meet this goal at events with over 3,000 participants!
Here's how you can help us:
All Vacation Races events are "cup-free". Coolers of water and Gnarly Hydrate (electrolyte drink) are available at all aid stations, but cups will not be provided on course or at the finish line. In order to stay hydrated, we ask you to bring one of the following:
1. Reusable water bottle - you can fill these up at any aid station and at the start/finish
2. Hydrapouch - These handheld cups clip onto your clothes and are our recommended choice! We offer these free when you register, but they will also be available at the expo for $10.
3. Hydration pack - These are refillable backpacks meant for running that allow you to access fluid via a built-in straw.
ZERO WASTE CONTAINERS
You can help us reduce trash by sorting disposable items into the appropriate container.
You’ll notice three containers at our events:
Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.
When possible, we also use Great Outdoors Composting Portable Toilets which conserve water, eliminates the use of harmful chemicals, and create a nutrient rich soil amenity. It is the best pooping experience you will ever have. To learn more or to have them at your event visit GreatOutdoorsToilets.com or ask the race officials for more information.
Visit RunSignup for race results. Runner times are available ~20 minutes after you finish the race. Keep in mind, the results are not official until all runners have crossed the finish line, and have been reviewed by the event director. Because our age group winners are based on chip time, it is
possible to cross the finish line before someone else in your age group while still finishing with a slower time than them.
You can view past race results here.
Race photos are offered to our runners for FREE! Race photos are available the Friday following the week of the race via RunSignup. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album.
Exclusive Rocky Mountain Half & 5K merchandise is always available at our race expo and at the finish line! After a race, available merch will be listed in our online store (please allow time for merch to be added to the store).
Not PR ready? Join the email list.
We'll send you updates about registration opening, price jumps, and more to keep you on track!