If you've never been to Yellowstone National Park, get ready. It's going to blow your mind. There's nothing like it anywhere else in the world.
Pine trees. Geysers. Canyons. Waterfalls. Hot springs. Hot pots. Paint pots. Buffalo. Elk. Eagles. Wolves. Grizzly bears. Scenic overlooks. Hiking trails. Fresh air. Freedom.
This is what memories are made of!
While you're here, come enjoy this gorgeous half marathon.
The Yellowstone Half Marathon takes place in the town of West Yellowstone, MT, just outside the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It's a stunning course with breathtaking views of the Gallatin National Forest, huge gulps of crisp fresh air, and maybe even some wildlife.
The race starts at 7 AM sharp with cutoff at 11 AM. That provides runners (and even walkers) 4 full hours to take in the scenery and make your way to the finish line.
To be clear, this race doesn't take place inside the National Park. (It's difficult to get permission to conduct private business activities on national land, and rightly so.) Having said that, this is as close to the park as it gets.
Run the race. Then discover Yellowstone!
You can either fly or drive into West Yellowstone. The closest airport is the West Yellowstone airport (WYS) but it has very limited flight options. You'll probably end up getting a flight into Bozeman (BZN), Jackson (JAC), or Idaho Falls (IDA) and then getting a rental car and driving (about 2 hours).
The start line is a close walk to most local hotels and there will be plenty of parking available near the start line (beginning at 5 am) for those who need to drive in.
From 5:00-6:45 AM we'll have plenty of hot chocolate and coffee available, a prize raffle every 5 minutes, gear check, and last call for bib & packet pickup. Runners will line up at 6:45 am for final announcements, the National Anthem, and then we'll start the race at 7 am. A rewards ceremony will begin at 9:45 am near the finish line and the course will close at 11 am.
Spectators are welcome near the start and finish lines.
To help you make the most out of your visit to Yellowstone National Park, we've put together some recommended "Club Hikes". Do these with 72 hours after the race and you can earn free Vacation Races memorabilia.