Yellowstone Half Marathon & 5K

Yellowstone Half Marathon & 5K

June 9-10, 2023 |  west Yellowstone, MT

June 9-10, 2023 |  West yellowstone, MT

  • Quick Info

  • Travel & Lodging

  • Explore The Park

  • Register to run

A stunning trail race with views of the Gallatin National Forest. You'll climb into the forest, where you may spot local wildlife that call this area home!

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Half Marathon

5K Race

Expo & Bib Pickup

Quick Info
  • Bozeman Airport (BZN) and additional options
  • 67° / 35° F
  • Technical dirt trail & loose rocks
  • No wheelchairs or strollers
Race Raves logo icon

Race Raves: 4.5/5

Read more reviews from runners like you!

Get to Know Your Half Marathon Course

  • Loop Dirt Trail
  • Rough, rocky terrain
  • Elevation Gain: 582 ft.
  • Max Elevation: 6,990 ft.

Maps & Elevation

Yellowstone 2021map
yellowstone elevation
Course Description

Yellowstone Course Mile-by-mile!

  • The first three miles will be a loop, partially through town, and partially on trail just outside of town.
  • Miles 3-4 are pretty flat and straight as you head towards the hills.
  • At mile 5 is where it really starts to get pretty, and challenging. You run over a beautiful bridge that crosses the South Fork Madison River and really start to enter the forest.
  • Mile 6 is the most challenging section. You will start running uphill and in the 6th mile you will gain about 200 feet in elevation. Thick forest on either side. If you have to use bear spray it will be in this section (just kidding, but not really). You then start to flatten out and then enter a downhill.
  • The course gets more technical around mile 7 with some rocks and a less defined path. The course will be clearly marked, but those in the front will feel like you are running through some weeds.
  • Mile 8 is real fast down hill. Continues to be technical and weedy.
  • Mile 9-10 is downhill for bit an then starts to flatten out a bit as you enter some really beautiful area.
  • At mile 11 there is a slight hill that will feel big if you are not ready for it. Its only a 40-50 foot gain, but it's later in the race.
  • Mile 12 to the finish will be slightly downhill or flat.
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Dirt Trail

This course is on a technically difficult dirt trail - expect loose rocks and uneven ground! We recommend training on trail before the event.

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Trail Shoes

We recommend wearing trail shoes for this event. They will provide better support and protection on rough terrain.

Aid Stations (Bring your own cup!)

image of a blue foldable cup with the Nathan brand name on it

All aid stations are cup-free so remember to bring your own hydration solution or request a FREE Nathan reusable cup when you register.

Expect about 6 aid stations on the course near mile 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12 (Exact locations vary). A medic will be stationed typically at the aid station at or near mile 9. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly Hydrate, Honey Stinger gels, basic first aid supplies, and sometimes more. Cups are not provided on course to help reduce waste.

Additional Details

Interested in running a Double or Quad by combining the half marathon with other races? Click here!

GET INVOLVED

Wander Project Final Logo color

Support Our

Park Communities

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.

Learn more about Wander Project >>

New this year, YOU choose whether the funds you raise support a WP community partner or an organization that matters to you!

Volunteer with Us

Our volunteers help runners at the race expo, finish line, merchandise tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-4hr shift and earn a $50 or $100 credit towards a future race (credits can be gifted!) 


HOW TO PREPARE

FREE custom Training Plan for each event!

No matter what your skill level, when you're pushing your limits it's nice to have a little guidance! We're excited to offer FREE training programs for all levels.

training landscape

Know Your Guidelines

- Read your race details! Following event rules helps us to put on safe, sustainable events.

- We are a zero-waste event. Please stick to reusable water bottles and avoid bringing disposable items to the race.

- Be courteous towards fellow runners on and off the course.

Join the Community

Vacation Races is honored to have a community of runners who actively support one another! We highly recommend joining one our Facebook groups to get input from other runners, share stories, and learn about the latest updates.

Yellowstone Race Logistics

Come here to prepare for your race! 

Race Expo & Bib Pickup

Bib Pickup Options

You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packet including at the race expo or we can mail it to you. When you register, we ask you to indicate when you plan to pick up your bib. If you plans change, don’t worry about it. We only ask to help us plan in terms of numbers.

Option #1: Race Expo (recommended)
Race expos are held the Friday before the race. They typically run 5-7 hours, allowing you to get your bib at your convenience. 

Option #2: Race Morning (not recommended)
We will have limited race morning packet pickup near the start line. We do not recommend waiting until the morning, but if it cannot be avoided - we understand.

Option #3: Shipped Before the Race
There is a cost of $30 if you want to have your bib and shirt mailed to you. We do this as a convenience for runners not wanting to drive to the area early. 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.

Race Expo

Location: Old Airport Road lot (off Iris Street)

Date: Friday, June 9th

Hours: TBD morning to afternoon


This is a great opportunity to pick up your bib, check out the area, and meet fellow runners.

We’ll have our merchandise table set up, so be sure to stop by and say hi! We have a variety of swag from shirts and tanks to our favorite Hydro Flasks and everything in-between.

Bring Your Own Bag
In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste during our races, our expos are bagless events. We encourage you to BYOB (bring your own bag) to hold your bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up from the race expo!

Race Weekend Schedule

The race starts at 6:30 am (MT) sharp at the Old Airport Road lot! We do not start our races late so please get to the start line early. Runners will have 4 hours to finish the race. That is a 18 minute mile- plenty of time for walkers!

Friday (June 9)

TBD - Race expo & bib pickup opens

TBD - Race expo closes

*Bib pickup will be available until the 5K start


5:15 pm - 5K runners must be parked

5:45 pm - 5K runners line up

6:00 pm - 5K starts!

6:45 pm - 5K Awards Ceremony

Saturday (June 10)

4:30 am - Parking lot opens

4:45 am - Bib pickup opens near the start line

5:45 am - All cars should be parked

6:15 am - Runners line up & last call for gear check

6:25 am - National Anthem

6:30 am - Yellowstone Half Marathon starts!

9:15 am - Awards Ceremony (near the finish line)

Arrive early & get ready with us

We encourage runners to arrive early on race morning. Find a parking spot, grab some Summit Coffee or hot chocolate, and listen for updates from our race announcer (they're the one with the megaphone and early-bird energy)!

Parking & Staging

Parking

Parking: Opens at 4:30 am

Location: Old Airport Road Lot off Iris Street in West Yellowstone

We will have plenty of parking to accommodate all of our runners, but please arrive early to avoid congestion. Most hotels are a short walk from the start line if you are staying in town and feel like walking. 


Camping is not allowed in the parking lot.

2022 Yellowstone staging map

Click image to expand

Runner Drop-off 

If you are dropping a runner off, please enter the parking area and drop your runner off just past the parking lot exit. This will allow cars parking to enter the parking area and avoid any traffic jams from runners being dropped off.

Spectators

We welcome spectators at the Yellowstone Half Marathon! 

You may park at Old Airport Road along with the runners and meet your runner at the finish line. Once your runner has crossed the finish line, please exit the runner recovery area to avoid crowding. The beverages, supplies, and medical tent at the finish line are for runner use only - thank you!

We recommend downloading the RaceJoy app to track your runner's progress and send them cheers along the way. Spend your morning in town and head to the finish line when they're close!

Yellowstone 5K
medal design for the Yellowstone 5K

Yellowstone 5K

Date: Friday, June 9th

Start Time: 6:00 pm (MT)

Location: Old Airport Road lot (off of Iris Street)

The Course
This is a beautiful course to give you a chance to work your legs out and enjoy a run with friends and family. The race begins from the expo location on Old Airport Rd with the first mile running through town. Runners will then jump onto the forest service roads and run through the woods before returning to the finish line. 


Stroller Friendly? No
Disability Friendly? No

yellow5k map

Click for an interactive map

yellow5k elevation

Aid Station
There will be one aid station on the course near the half way point (mile 1.5). The aid station will have water, Gnarly, and bathrooms. Like the half marathon, this race will be cupless!

Bib Pickup
5K runners can pick up their bibs at the race expo until just before the start of the race. Please plan to come early to avoid a last minute rush. 

Doubles & Grand Quad
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What are the Doubles & Quad?

During the month of June we host four races on back-to-back weekends:

Weekend 1: Grand Teton Half Marathon + Grand Teton 5K (June 2-3, 2023)

Weekend 2: Yellowstone Half Marathon + Yellowstone 5K (June 9-10, 2023)


These races showcase the incredible beauty of Wyoming and Montana AND they are driving distance to each other! To give our runners an extra challenge (and an opportunity to keep exploring the parks), we've created a series of combination events. Our intrepid Double and Quad runners commit to running either a 5K + Half Marathon, 2 Half Marathons, or all 4 races in the span of one week!

Bison Double

Races:

Yellowstone 5K

Yellowstone Half Marathon

Two races, one weekend! You'll run both Yellowstone races within the span of 24 hours. Pretty hard, core right?

Check in before the 5K and use this bib for both races.

bison double

With a Bison Double registration, you'll earn: 

  • One standard race shirt for Yellowstone
  • ONE special Bison Double swag item - during registration, you’ll choose between a hat, pint glass, campers mug, t-shirt, tank top, or beach hoodie and you’ll pick it up at the race expo. Additional items can be purchased at the end of the second race.
  • Two finisher medals - one for each race
  • One Bison Double medal

Grizzly Double

grizzly double

Races:

Grand Teton Half Marathon

Yellowstone Half Marathon

Two half marathons, two Saturdays, and one week of exploring in some of the most incredible places in the United States!

Check in at Grand Teton and use this bib for both races.

With a Grizzly Double registration, you'll earn: 

  • Two standard race shirts - one for Grand Teton and one for Yellowstone
  • ONE special Grizzly Double swag item - during registration, you’ll choose between a hat, pint glass, campers mug, t-shirt, tank top, or beach hoodie and you’ll pick it up at the race expo. Additional items can be purchased at the end of the second race.
  • Two finisher medals - one for each race
  • One Grizzly Double medal

Grand Quad

Grand Quad Design

Races:

Grand Teton 5K

Grand Teton Half Marathon

Yellowstone 5K

Yellowstone Half Marathon

We initially thought this would be too intense, but for you champions - the demand was there! You'll run four races over two weekends, with tons of time for hiking the National Parks in-between. We're pretty sure this one of the most hardcore vacations we can imagine!

Check in at Grand Teton and use this bib for all four races.

With a Grand Quad registration, you'll earn: 

  • Two standard race shirts - one for Grand Teton and one for Yellowstone
  • ONE special Grand Quad swag item - during registration, you’ll choose between a hat, pint glass, campers mug, t-shirt, tank top, or beach hoodie and you’ll pick it up at the race expo. Additional items can be purchased at the end of the fourth race.
  • Four finisher medals - one for each race
  • Three double medals - Grizzly Double, Moose Double, and Bison Double
  • One Grand Quad medal
Double & Quad Registration

You MUST register for your specific Double or Quad, not separate races. 


If you register for the races separately, you will need to upgrade into the correct Double/Quad in order to receive special swag and medals.

Need to upgrade to a Double or Quad?


This is considered an event transfer. You can transfer into a Double or Quad via your account on Run Signup.


*if you deferred or transferred into this race your race credit will appear as $0. Contact us at info@vacationraces.com and we'll complete the upgrade for you!

Zero Waste

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:

CUP-FREE RACING

Single-use plastic is a huge source of waste at any public event. We have reduced that impact by making our events "cup-free". 

What does that mean for you?

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

2. Nathan reusable cup - These light-weight cups fold into a pocket or waistband. Request one when you sign up to run!

3. Hydration pack - These are refillable backpacks meant for running that allow you to access fluid via a built-in straw.

image of the foldable Nathan cup next to a person folding the cup into their waistbag

Stay hydrated on course with a reusable cup!

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:

  • Compostables: Organic goods like banana peels and most food items (without the wrapper please!)
  • Recyclables: Paper, aluminum, cardboard, steel, and glass. Please dump out any liquids into the compost bin BEFORE recycling the container.
  • Everything Else: Non-recyclable food wrappers like from used gel packets and styrofoam. Please dump out any food matter BEFORE throwing away the container.

Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.

Race Results and Photos
Race Results

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. 

Top Finisher but missed the awards ceremony? You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!

Got questions about your placement? please email timing@runsum.com.


Half Marathon Photos

Half marathon race photos are typically available for FREE via RunSignup the Friday following the week of the race. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album. Currently, we do not offer race photos for the 5K.

Past races are available via the link, with the exception of our 2016 & 2017 races. They can be accessed for a fee.

Share your experiences with us! 
Be sure to use #YellowstoneHalf in any photos you post from the race or your adventures exploring the park so we can share in the fun with you!

Race Merchandise

Exclusive Yellowstone Marathon merchandise will be available both at the race expo and near the finish line! When possible, we'll have race merch for sale in our online store after the race is over. Please allow time for us to add items online.

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