Half Marathon 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!
Course Map & Elevation Profile
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.
Please Note: We do not yet know what crowd regulations may be in effect next year. We will update this section if we anticipate a staggered start or other safety measures.
Friday - Race Expo
*Bibs available until 7pm
The expo will be held at Zion Canyon Village in front of Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale, UT (147 Zion Park Boulevard, Springdale, UT 84767)
Saturday - Race Day
5:00 am » Start line parking lot opens & shuttles start loading
5:10 am » Last-minute bib pickup opens (at start line)
6:40 am » Start line parking lot closes
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
Bib & Packet Pickup
You have 3 options for picking up your bib:
1. Pickup at the expo (recommended)
2. Pickup at the start line ID required
3. Mailed 2 weeks before the race ($20)
Bring Your Own Bag
In our ongoing effort to eliminate waste we encourage you to bring your own bag to hold your bib, race shirt, and any goodies you pick up at the expo.
Parking and Shuttles
The race begins in the town of Virgin, UT where Camino Del Rio & Kolob Terrace Rd. converge onto Highway 9.
If you are not staying in Springdale, or do not wish to take the shuttle, we will update parking information soon.
Runners staying in Springdale should plan to take the shuttle race morning to the start line. Those who have signed up for this optional shuttle will be picked up from the following locations:
1) Cable Mountain Lodge
2) La Quinta Inn & Suites
3) Holiday Inn Express
4) Majestic View Lodge
All shuttles will begin boarding at 5:00 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.
Runners getting dropped off should do so at the corner of Kolob Terrace Rd. and Highway 9 (right across from the start line).
Please Note: We do not yet know what crowd regulations may be in effect next year. We will update this section if information changes!
Spectators are encouraged to be at the finish line to cheer on all our runners. To avoid traffic and congestion, spectators staying in town should walk or take the shuttle to the finish line. There will be no parking at the finish line. There is limited paid street parking throughout the town of Springdale along Zion Canyon Blvd and up Lion Blvd.
We ask that you be respectful of the Park’s request that we not use the Visitor’s Center parking lot for race spectating and finish line access. Also, to avoid overcrowding and traffic, please avoid entering the park between 10am and 2pm.
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.
Look for flights into the following airports:
St. George Regional Airport (SGU)
This is the closest airport by far, 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.
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. Car rentals tend to be inexpensive in Las Vegas, but there are no real onsite rentals. You have to take a shuttle to the car rental center, and two shuttles if you rent from an off brand agency. Most major airlines fly into Las Vegas so finding a good deal should be simple.
Salt Lake International Airport (SLC)
Salt Lake is another option that will work for some. It's nearly 5 hours away, but depending on your post race activities, it may be a good option for you. Salt Lake City serves most major airlines and is a Delta hub. Car rentals are cheap and the airport isn’t huge so it’s very easy to navigate.
Where to Stay
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.
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.
Additional Hotel Options
We've partnered with Booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area. Check them out below!
Travel times do not account for traffic. You should expect lots of traffic on race morning, so please leave early!
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.
Zion Explorer Club
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 at Zion.
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 Zion 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 in Zion, you should be able to plan an amazing itinerary with these suggestions!
Here's how to become a Zion Explorer:
- Install the free Spark Challenges app
- Sign-up using the same email address you used to register for the race
- Join the Zion Explorer Club challenge 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 Zion Explorer badge
*Potential Closures In The Park
Zion National Park had several closures that may impact your visit. Conditions may change by race weekend. We have included a variety of club hike options should any of these trail be closed.
•Observation Point was closed last January to due rock fall. Please do not attempt this hike via East Rim from Weeping Rock Trail
•Double Arch Alcove and Timbercreek Overlook are accessed via Kolob Canyon. Access should be open race weekend, but be prepared for snow, ice, or slush.
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.