2019 Yosemite Half Marathon Details
May 11, 2019 | Bass Lake, CA
We are pleased to share a FREE half marathon training program customized for this course to help you prepare. We've teamed up with Active at Altitude as the Official Training Partner to offer 2 levels of training:
These programs are free and are sent via e-newsletter every 4 weeks.
Where to Fly
Fresno Yosemite Int'l Airport (FAT)
Fresno Yosemite International Airport (FAT) is going to be your best option for flying as you travel to the Bass Lake area. It’s serviced by most major airlines and has plenty of in-terminal car rental options. Once you land and pick up your car rental, you’ll have an hour drive up CA-41 to Oakhurst and Bass Lake.
Sacramento Int'l Airport (SMF)
If you can’t find a flight into Fresno, you can also fly into Sacramento International Airport (SMF) This will mean a three and a half hour drive once you land. Take CA-99 South until you hit Merced. From there, you’ll take CA-140 East to to Mariposa where you’ll jump onto CA-49. That will take you to Oakhurst and Bass Lake.
Where to Stay
Vacation Races Campground
The most convenient (and most fun) place to stay during race weekend is our Vacation Races Campground! It is located at Recreation Point, where our finish line and race expo will be. You can sleep in your car, tent, hammock, an RV (no hookups), or rent a tent from us for an additional charge. Whichever you choose, you still have to reserve a spot. Campsites do not include cots, sleeping bags, pillows, headlamps, cooking stoves and supplies, or firewood.
Campsite Only (bring your own tent)
Campsite + 4 Person Tent Rental
Campsite + 6 Person Tent Rental
Reservation Period: (Your reservation covers from 3pm Thursday through 9am Sunday, even if you don’t stay for the duration)
You can make a reservation as part of your race registration!
Additional Hotel Options
We've partnered with Booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area. Check them out below!
There are plenty of hotels, cabins, and other camping options in the area. The Madera County tourism site has some awesome tools to help you plan your trip and find the perfect lodging for you!
Bib & Packet Pickup
You have 3 options for picking up your bib:
1. Race Expo (recommended)
We encourage you to attend the race expo which will be on May 10 at Recreation Point Campground in Bass Lake (the same place as the finish line). The expo will be from 10am-6pm, but you can pickup your packet until 7pm. See you there!
2. Race Morning
We will have limited race morning packet pickup. If it can be avoided, please do not pick your packet up the morning of the race. Bib pickup on race morning will be right next to the starting line. The first heat starts at 6:00 am and the second heat starts at 7:30 am sharp! Please get there EARLY.
3. Shipped to You ($20)
There is a cost of $20 if you want to have your bib and shirt mailed to you. We do this as a convenience for runners not wanting to drive out to Yosemite early.
- Only available before the final price jump
- Not available for addresses outside the US
- Bibs will be mailed priority approximately 2 weeks before the race.
Note: Once your package is shipped, you're officially checked into the race and no longer qualify for a refund, deferment, or transfer
Bring Your Own Bag
In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste we encourage you to bring your own bag to hold you bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up at the race exp.
If you're unhappy with the fit of your race shirt, or couldn't order the size you wanted we'll host a shirt exchange at the finish line on race day. Note that sizes and quantities will be limited.
Race Day Schedule
3:45 AM - Parking lot opens for runners
4:30 AM - Last shuttle leaves to start line
5:30 AM - Last call for race day bib pickup
5:45 AM - Runners line up/ Last day for bib pickup
5:50 AM - National Anthem
6:00 AM - RACE START
5:00 AM - Parking lot opens for runners
5:45 AM - Last shuttle leaves to start line
7:00 AM - Last call for race day bib pickup
7:15 AM - Runners line up/ Last day for bib pickup
7:20 AM - National Anthem
7:30 AM - RACE START
10:15 AM - Awards Ceremony
10:45 AM - Mile 10 cutoff. All runners must be at or past mile 10 to finish the race.
11:30 AM - All runners must be finished with the race
Spectators and runners are welcome around the finish line to cheer on runners. Spectators are to use the following parking areas (see purple markers on map below):
-The corner lot of Rd 274 and Rd 222
-The same lots that runners will use in Oakhurst
-Near the finish line in the designated day-use parking
Shuttles will begin taking spectators to and from the finish at 8:00 am. If their runner will finish before that time, it is advised the spectators park at the closer locations and walk to the finish. Aside from the spectator parking in Oakhurst, the parking areas are all less than a mile from the finish line.
Parking, Shuttles & Runner Drop-off
We will have plenty of parking to accommodate all of our runners. However, please note that there will be no runner parking at the finish line or start line. We will have event parking and shuttles from a few locations in Oakhurst, CA.
THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO PARKING OR DROP OFF AT THE START LINE.
All runners will need to be shuttled to the start. Parking for the first heat will open at 3:45 am. Runners should park at the lot next to Oakhurst Elementary School (49495 High School Rd, Oakhurst, CA 93644) and walk over to the shuttle loading area in front of the Sierra Star (RD 426, Crane Valley Rd). The first heat’s last shuttle will leave at 4:30 am.
Parking for the second heat will open at 5:00 am. Runners should park at the lot along High School Rd or at the Oakhurst LDS Church or Oakhurst Evangelical Free Church and walk over to the shuttle loading area near Yosemite High School (50200 High School Rd). The second heat’s last shuttle will leave at 5:45 am.
If you are dropping a runner off, please drop them off in the front driveway of Oakhurst Elementary School (first heat), or at the Jehovah’s Witness parking lot: 50031 High School Rd, Oakhurst, CA (second heat). Runners will then walk over to the shuttle loading area.
We’ll do two heats for this race with two different start times. The first heat will start the race at 6:00 am and the second will start at 7:30 am.
You'll be assigned a heat based on your projected finish time which asked when you registered for the race. If for some reason you are not assigned to a wave, you will be placed in the second heat.
You'll have 4 hours to finish the race. That's an 18 minute mile, so walkers are welcome!
Why are there 2 heats?
We love the Yosemite Half Marathon course, but logistically it’s hard to get the amount of runners we have to the start line. Having two heats and two start times not only allows us to get runners to the start faster, but also prevent congestion at the parking lots.
What if I want to be in the other heat?
We plan our shuttles and event parking around having about half of our runners in each heat. That being said, we will not be policing the heats, so if you really need to switch heats you can. You don’t need to notify us, but please consider all other options before switching heats. If you are competing for an overall or masters award you must be in the first heat since those awards are based on gun time.
The first 5 miles of our course will start on Fire Rd. and is on a rough terrain trail. There is no steep uphill or downhill here, but it’s not exactly flat either.
The last 8.1 miles are identical to our inaugural course. Miles 6-10 are a fast downhill descent on a beautiful paved road. Then after crossing RD-274 (Malum Ridge Rd) you will turn right on N Shore Road. You will run on N Shore Road around Bass Lake until about mile 12.25. From there you will take a left on S Shore Rd.
The race will finish at Recreation Point. Check out thew time lapse video below for a rough idea of what the course will look like. Any questions or concerns? Here's how we chose the course.
Like all of our courses, the Yosemite Half Marathon course is Cup Free! While we will have plenty of water and electrolyte drink on course, we do not have cups on course. Learn more about this policy and your options here.
We want to help you make the most out of your vacation. Here are some helpful links to some of our sponsors as well as general information. We’ll be updating the links below as we get closer to race day.
Half Marathon Aid Stations
At our road half marathons our aid stations typically start at mile 3 and are every other mile after that with a bonus aid station around mile 12. They are not always right at the mile marker so check your race guide to find out where they will be exactly. Our 5K races typically have a single aid station midway through the race.
You can find toilets, water, Go Gnarly electrolyte drink and Honey Stinger gels at every aid station. Usually around mile 7 and 11 we'll have cut fruit and bananas.
At every aid station we'll have basic first aid supplies, and we normally station our EMT's near mile 7.
Our road half marathons and 5Ks are cup-free. That means we will not have disposable cups available for you to use. When you register you will have the option to receive a free hydrapouch with your registration or you can use you own hydration system.
Things To Do
Get oriented with Bass Lake, Oakhurst, Yosemite National Park, and the surrounding area where the race will take place.
Where to Eat
We will have host restaurants to share with you as we get closer to the race!
To help you make the most out of your visit to Yosemite 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.
Yosemite Falls Club
The hike to Upper Yosemite Falls will grant you panoramic views of the valley. The chance to walk through spray from upper Yosemite Falls, and see both Yosemite Falls and Half Dome in the same camera frame is a treat. If it’s been a rainy season, the falls will be gushing! This hike is coined the mother of all stairmaster workouts, but with one-of-a-kind payoffs you won’t get in a gym. It’s a long, steep climb from the valley floor to the valley rim. Imagine climbing the stairs all the way to the top of the Empire State Building. In this hike, you’ll essentially be doing it twice! Take your submission photo at the top of the fall.
Nevada Falls Club
Nevada Fall is at the top of the Mist Trail. This is Yosemite’s signature hike. While many of Yosemite’s trails are popular due to having a single spectacular destination, the Mist Trail has fabulous views scattered all along it, beginning at the bridge overlook, progressing to two unforgettable waterfalls that fall a combined total of more than 900 feet (270 meters), and ending with perhaps the most striking of all: The view of Nevada Fall, Liberty Cap, and the back of Half Dome from the Muir Trail return segment. We recommend you go up the Mist Trail and then take the John Muir trail back down for some different views. The trail will then join back into the Mist Trail towards the bottom.
Half Dome Club
The hike to Half Dome is easily the most iconic hike in the park. But since 2012, hikers are required to have a permit to hike. The permit application period is closed, but if you still want to try your luck there are a few permits set aside for daily lotteries. The daily lotteries will have an application period two days prior to the hiking date with a notification late that night. There are a few different trails that lead to Half Dome, but the shortest and most popular is via the Mist Trail. The route via the John Muir trail is 1.5 miles longer round-trip but is a little easier on the knees. Both trails meet up at the top of Nevada Fall. The closest parking spot is the trail head parking lot past Curry Village. If the trail head lot is full, you can park at Curry Village.
The chains for Half Dome may not be up on race weekend. If that's the case, we won't accept entries to the Half Dome Club.
Ready for some switchbacks? This is a strenuous hike and you’ll climb a thousand feet in the form of switchbacks about 1.5 miles into it. Pace yourself and pack plenty of fluids. The destination is so rewarding with 360-degree views. If the clouds aren’t forming you’ll be able to see any number of Yosemite landmarks, including Tenaya Lake, Half Dome, Mt. Hoffman, Sentinel Dome, North Dome, and bits of Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan, plus Merced Lake and dozens of peaks you probably won’t be able to name. Take your submission photo at the top with the valley behind you. For your safety, please avoid this hike when snow can be seen on top of the mountain or when thunderstorms are nearby. Also, springtime historically has higher water flow. Though it’s not far from the start of the trailhead, you may have to ford across the Tenaya Lake outlet.
Depending on snowfall and the weather near race weekend, Clouds Rest may not be accessible after the race. If so, we won't accept entries to the Clouds Club.
Club Hike Prizes & Requirements
Any runners that take the challenge and complete one of the designated hikes within 72 hours of running the race will officially join the club, and receive a commemorative medallion! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself at the designated location which includes:
- A clear view of your face
- Your bib with bib numbers clearly visible
- Your finisher medal in plain view
- Clear background showing where you are
For those looking for something less strenuous, we have the Yosemite Trifecta! The Trifecta is comprised of 3 different activities. You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. The Trifecta is meant to be challenging, but less strenuous. These are iconic activities inside the park that should be experienced, but are doable with children. The 3 activities that makeup the Trifecta are:
We want you to see a Giant Sequoia tree! There are a few places where you can accomplish this: Nelder Grove (technically outside of Yosemite National Park in Sierra National Forest), Merced Grove (the smallest of Yosemite’s 3 Giant Sequoia groves), and Tuolumne Grove (the grove contains a couple dozen mature Giant Sequoias, including one you can walk through). *There is a difference between a California Redwood and a Sequoia- Make sure your photo is with a Sequoia.
Lower Yosemite Falls
Part of North America’s tallest waterfall, Lower Yosemite Falls is the final 320-foot (98-meter) drop. This short, easy walk rewards with spectacular views of both Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls. This paved loop trail offers different vantage points of Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Creek, and you can stop at the many exhibits to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the area.
Glacier Point is an overlook with an INCREDIBLE view of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite’s high country. From the Glacier Point parking and tour unloading area, a short, paved, wheelchair-accessible trail takes you to an exhilarating (some might say unnerving) point 3,214 feet above Curry Village, on the floor of Yosemite Valley.
Trifecta Prizes & Requirements
You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta. Same rules apply: take your picture at each of the 3 with your bib and finisher medal and send them to us* 72 hours after finishing the race. Those who complete the Trifecta will receive a commemorative pin!