THE 2023 EVENT HAS PASSED
Zion Half Marathon
March 4, 2023
Here are our recommendations for airports. You may also fly into Salt Lake City, but this is a 5 hour drive to the race location.
St. George Regional Airport (SGU)
This is the closest airport by far (40 min. drive), but it’s a regional airport so tickets can be more expensive. Delta services St. George and the airport is new so if possible, definitely fly in to St. George.
Cedar City Regional Airport (CDC)
Cedar City is a similar option to St. George Regional Airport. Delta also services Cedar City. It will take you just under an hour to drive to Virgin.
McCarran International Airport (LAS)
This is the next closest at about 2.5 hours away in Las Vegas. It’s an interesting drive through the desert and then a beautiful drive through the Virgin River Gorge. Just follow the driving directions from Southern Nevada above. Most major airlines fly into Las Vegas so finding a good car rental deal should be simple here...
Lodging & Camping
Visit the A to Zion website before you visit to find lodging, dining, and activities near Zion and the greater St. George Area. They are a comprehensive resource to help you make your travel plans.
We want to help you make the most out of your vacation. Here is some general information as well as some links to our sponsors.
There are many hotel options in the area, but please plan accordingly for travel time to the start line on race morning! The race start is located in Virgin, UT. There are numerous hotels near the south entrance of Zion National Park.
We recommend looking for lodging in the following towns:
- Virgin (closest)
- La Verkin
- Springdale (Cable Mountain Lodge and Cliffrose Lodge & Gardens are close to the finish line)
- St George (furthest)
If camping is more your style you can find dispersed camping in the area around the race on the BLM website, here.
Range RV Campground
Range RV is a new, family owned and operated, RV campground located in Apple Valley, UT. Park your rig and enjoy scenic views of high desert landscapes and the summit of Zion's West Temple. Enjoy easy access to trails, wide open spaces, and national parks. Whether you're looking to hike, bike, or 4x4, our campground serves as the perfect base camp for exploring Southern Utah.
ZION RIVER RESORT
If you’re looking for less-primitive camping or RV hookups, Zion River Resort is a great option, and its a pretty short walk to the start line! Zion River Resort has a pool, restrooms, laundromat, and more on site.
WATCHMAN & SOUTH CAMPGROUNDS
If you’re fine with about a 25 minute drive to the start line, these campgrounds are excellent options! A plus is that your campground is near the finish line. These campgrounds are immediately inside the park on the South entrance. Reservations need to be made 6 months before your arrival date. Make a reservation for Watchman. South Campground is available on a first come first served basis and is more primitive with no hook-ups at all.
Nested in the mountains west of Zion, try a unique experience with Under Canvas. Enjoy stunning night skies, beautiful landscapes, gourmet restaurant and a luxurious private tent with comfortable beds and furnishings.
Zion Ponderosa Ranch
From vacation rentals and cabin suites–to deluxe glamping or conventional tents, Zion Ponderosa Ranch offers a variety of lodging options and more. Zion Ponderosa Ranch also has plenty of activities fun for all including a climbing wall, horseback riding, and Jeep tours. There's something for everybody.
Booking.com Hotel Options
We've partnered with Booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area.
Outdoorsy RV Rental
Rent an RV, motorhome, trailer, or campervan from Outdoorsy for your next adventure.
Zion 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!
Recommended Hikes & Activities
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.
The Zion Bucket List
Angels Landing: This popular hike offers spectacular views of the main canyon from 1,500ft above the valley floor. Click here for trail description.
Note: Angels Landing hikers need to get a permit ahead of time. Learn about how to apply and about the hike on the NPS website: go.nps.gov/AngelsLanding
The Narrows/Riverside Walk: This is a “must see” while you are here if the spring runoff is in your favor. Your feet will get wet on this one, and other than the approach on the paved river trail, there will not be much running involved. Click here for a trail description of the Narrows.
*April runoff can make it difficult to get very far up into the narrows.
Taylor Creek: This would be an easy and beautiful warm up run that you can check off if you're coming from the north on I-15. It's a stunning and scenic 2.5 miles in (5 miles round trip) w/ little elevation gain. It is less than 5 minutes from I-15 to the trailhead via the Kolob Canyons entrance to Zion National Park. (It has always amazed me how little use the trails in this area of the park get when they are so close to the freeway. They are tucked away and well hidden from view from I-15 although very accessible.)
Kolob Arch: There are two ways to access the arch, both are beautiful and about the same distance (about 7 miles each way). You can take either the Hop Valley trail or LaVerkin Creek trail.
Parunaweap: An out and back down to the river via the Checkerboard Mesa Escape This is a technical route and with require some advance planning and way-finding skills. This canyon is pristine and seldom seen and well worth the effort.
Feb 2023 Note: Parunaweap is currently closed for a research study.
Eagle Crags: This is one of the BLM trails located in the Mt. Canaan wilderness area adjacent to the park that is every bit as scenic as trails located within the park boundaries. Beautiful views into Lower Parunaweap Canyon from the overlook.
Water Canyon–Squirrel Canyon: If you’ve seen it all in Zion or want to get into the rarely visited outreaches of the backcountry, this 11 mile loop is one of my favorites of all time.
The Subway: If you're one of the lucky ones to obtain one of the 80 daily issued permits to hike the Left Fork of North Creek, don’t pass up the opportunity.
Where to Eat
These restaurants are always popular with our runners:
If you're staying La Verkin or Hurricane, don’t forget to stop and get the best coffee in the world at River Rock Roasting Company!
Finally, you can always trust Yelp.
Other Things to Do
Whether you're hiking the Narrows, tubing the Virgin River, or biking the Pa’rus, Zion Outfitter can make your journey an experience of a lifetime. They have the latest information on trail conditions and have all the gear you would need to have a simple and enjoyable adventure inside Zion National Park.
Run With Us in 2024!
We'll confirm 2024 event information and registration opening soon. Sign up for emails and we'll send event dates straight to your inbox.
Zion Half Marathon Bibs
Stay tuned for 2024 event registration!
Get to Know Your Course
The race begins in Virgin, UT where participants will run on a partially closed road that winds and climbs uphill as it follows the curves of the Virgin River.
You'll run on Hwy 9 through small but unique towns before getting on a paved path parallel to the road passing the town of Grafton and through Rockville with stunning views of the south west side of Zion.
You'll finish in Springdale in front of Cable Mountain Lodge near the gateway to the South entrance of Zion National Park!
You'll be on a wide paved road for this race and will switch to a paved trail.
Aid Stations (Bring your own cup!)
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.
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.
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!)
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
Train with Active at Altitude
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.
Know Your Guidelines
- Read your race details! Following event rules helps us to put on safe, sustainable events.
- We are a cup-free 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.
Zion Half Race Details
Come here to prepare for your race! Want this info on the go? Download the 2023 Race Guide here!
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
Expos are typically held on the Friday before the race. We’ll have our merchandise table set up, so be sure to stop by and say hi!
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.
Race Expo (Bib Pickup Available)
This is your chance to see the area, pick up your bib packet, and check out merchandise. We'll have a variety of swag from shirts and tanks to our favorite Hydro Flasks and everything in-between.
See you there!
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!
All times are listed in Mountain Time.
Friday - Race Expo
12:00 PM » Race expo and bib pickup open to all runners
6:00 PM » Race expo vendors close
7:00 PM » Bib pickup closes
Saturday - Race Day
4:30 AM » Shuttles start loading for the start line
5:10 AM » Last-minute bib pickup opens (at start line)
6:00 AM » Last start line shuttle leaves
6:45 AM » Runners line up & last call for gear check
6:55 AM » National Anthem
7:00 AM » Race starts!
9:45 AM » Awards Ceremony
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)!
Start Line Shuttles
Please Note: There is NO START LINE PARKING. All runners should plan to take a shuttle to or get dropped off at the start line on race morning.
Shuttles from: Springdale, Utah
Runners staying in Springdale should plan to take a shuttle race morning to the start line. Shuttles will pick up runners from the following locations:
1) Cable Mountain Lodge
2) La Quinta Inn & Suites
3) Holiday Inn Express
4) Alternate for 2023: Small lot across from Majestic View Lodge (No parking available)
All shuttles will begin boarding at 4:30 am. DO NOT BE LATE. If you are staying in Springdale near these stops, the race shuttle will be a convenient option. This shuttle is for runners only.
Shuttles from: La Verkin, Utah
Shuttles will pick up near the designated parking areas in La Verkin. The two pickup spots are on either side of SR-9 so you won’t have to cross the street. The two pickup locations are:
1) Between Best Western and River Rock Roasting Co.
2) In front of the city office building.
If you do not want to use a shuttle, you may have someone drop you off at the start line. However, there is no parking here. There is a strict time limit as we will be closing the road to allow for the race to start on time. Please be prepared with all of your gear in hand, and exit the vehicle quickly so your driver may promptly leave the drop off area.
From SR-9, turn north onto Kolob Terrace Rd. and drop-off in the designated area. Then, continue driving forward and turn left onto Pocketville Rd., then exit back onto the highway.
Finish Line/Post-Race Shuttles
Shuttles will run round trips from the finish line to the other 3 race-related shuttle stops in Springdale for both runners and spectators. Shuttles will also take runners back to their vehicle in La Verkin (including one stop by the Fairfield Inn, in Virgin). There is NO spectator pickup or return for the shuttles that go to La Verkin.
Spectators will need to use paid town parking in Springdale and walk to one of the 3 shuttle stops utilized by the race. Shuttles to and from the finish line begin at 8:30am. If you are near enough to the finish line, or your runner might finish before post-race shuttles start running, please consider walking to the finish line in front of Cable Mountain Lodge.
There will be no event parking at the finish line.
Spectators will need to use paid town parking in Springdale or park at a Springdale shuttle stop in order to access the finish line. Although shuttles will drop runners off in La Verkin, they will not pick you up! They are intended for runner use only.
Check out the Springdale shuttle info for exact pickup/drop-off locations.
We ask that you be respectful of the Park’s request that we not use the Visitor Center parking lot for race spectating and finish line access.
Per the park's request, please avoid entering the park between 10am and 2pm to avoid overcrowding and traffic.
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:
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.
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.
Race results are always available to you approximately 20 minutes after the race via your RunSignup account. We will also have a Race Results tent located near the finish line with QR codes for easy scanning.
If you see that you placed, but didn't stick around for the awards ceremony, no worries! You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!
If you have questions about your placement or results, please email email@example.com.
Share your experiences with us!
Be sure to use #ZionHalf in any photos you post from the race or your adventures exploring the park so we can share in the fun with you!