Zion Half Marathon Details
Date: February 23, 2019
Location: Virgin to Springdale, UT
Start Time: 7:00am –11:00 am
Weather: 33 – 60°F
Course Type: Point-to-point
Stroller friendly? Yes
Disability friendly? Yes
Dogs allowed? No
*Expo location update!
Zion Canyon Village in front of Cable Mountain Lodge in Springdale, UT (147 Zion Park Boulevard, Springdale, UT 84767)
February 22, 2019 from 1pm-6pm
Bib & Packet Pickup
Expo pickup recommended. Other options.
Registration Periods & Pricing
Early: $115 May 18 – Jul 1
Regular: $145 Jul. 2 – Nov. 18
Late: $165 Nov. 19 – Race Expo
Refunds available during Early Registration (no fee) and Regular Registration ($10 fee).
Deferral, Race Transfer, and Bib Transfer available during all registration periods ($20 fee).
Pricing & Registration Periods
Early : May 18–July 1 2018 Regular : Jul. 2–Nov. 18 2018Late: Nov. 19–Race Expo
Great news... we're back to our original Springdale course in 2019! For the past two years, we've had to move our course due to road construction on SR-9. The 2019 race will return to the original course route.
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!
Expect about 6 aid stations on the course beginning around mile 3. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly electrolyte drink, 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.
Friday - Race Expo
1 pm–6pm (packet pickup until 7pm)
*Expo location update
The expo has been moved to the 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)
5:15 am » First prize raffle
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
Limited Expo Parking
The areas outlined in blue on the map are the recommended parking spots. All street parking and the parking lots in town are paid parking spaces which will be in service. You will need to pay the parking fee for these spaces when you park. There isn't a ton of parking right at the expo so expect to walk just a little ways from your vehicle. We will have parking crew directing you.
Bib & Packet Pickup
You have 3 options for picking up your bib:
1. Pickup at the expo (recommended) ID required
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.
When you finish the race, you may grab a food box, a banana, and a chocolate milk. Feel free to hang out at the finish line, make friends, and cheer on other finishers for a while. Then we encourage you to go explore Zion National Park!
Parking and Shuttles
The race begins in the town of Virgin, UT where Camino Del Rio & Kolob Terrace Rd. converge onto Highway 9.
For those of you driving yourself to the start there is a slight change. Parking will be about 1 mile away on side streets. We will have shuttles that will pick you up and bring you to the start line. If you put Camino Del Rio in your GPS (the start line of the race) then you will be directed by a parking crew and signs as you get closer. See the map for reference. We realize it is a bit of an inconvenience, but plan to walk a short distance (a few hundred yards) from your vehicle to the shuttle pickup spot. Following the race, runners will be shuttled back to your car.
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).
Overflow parking on race morning will be located on the corner of Main St. and 100 W in Virgin (the same lot used for expo parking). Once shuttles drop off runners from Springdale they will go pick up runners in Virgin. It is only a 1 mile walk if people don’t want to wait for those shuttles.
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.
Town Shuttle Update!
Following the shutdown we were recently informed that Zion NP will no longer be operating their town shuttles during race weekend as we previously had communicated. Our recommendation to spectators and runners was to take the shuttles around town to avoid congestion at the start line. If a spectator is staying in town they should walk to a shuttle stop and ride the shuttle to the finish line. If a spectator parks anywhere in town at a paid parking space that is not in walking distance to the finish line they should do the same. Runners who rode the pre-race shuttle from Springdale should then ride the town shuttle back to the stop near their hotel.
THIS IS STILL THE PLAN, however since the town shuttles will not be running we have arranged to have our own shuttles transport runners and spectators around town.
The main difference is that they will not adhere to any posted time schedule at the shuttle stops and they will NOT MAKE ALL THE STOPS. They will only make 4 stops in total:
• Majestic View Lodge
• Holiday Inn Express
• Bumbleberry Inn
• Zion Canyon Village (finish line).
Please see the map for an updated shuttle route.
These shuttles will run from 7:45 am to Noon.
We also 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. Don’t forget to stick around for the awards ceremony at 9:45am!
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.
Things to See & Do
Club Hikes & Trifecta
We want you to get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery near the race so we designate certain challenging and iconic activities in the National Park to be a part of our official club hikes and trifecta. We have 4 club hikes plus a less-intense, three-part trifecta!
Do one of these Club Hikes within 72 hours of the race to receive a club hike medallion. Completing the the Trifecta Challenge within 72 hours earns you an official Trifecta pin!
Afterwards, send us a picture of yourself to officially join the club! The photo must be sent within 72 hours of the race and must include:
Note: In an effort to minimize the crowds on these trails- for this race only we will allow submissions of photos taken either before or after the race. Following the race we'll post a link to the form for submitting your photos. Good luck!
**Potential Closures In The Park
At the time of the printing of the Zion Half Marathon race guide, 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, and an alternative to 1 of the trifecta activities that takes these closures into consideration.
•Observation Point was closed in January to due rock fall. Please do not attempt this hike if the trail is still closed on race weekend.
•Double Arch Alcove and Timbercreek Overlook are accessed via Kolob Canyon. If access to Kolob Canyon is still closed on race weekend, those doing the trifecta will replace Timbercreek Overlook with Emerald Pools Trail, and those doing a club hike should not do Double Arch Alcove.
The Eagle Crags Trail, while technically outside the park, is a beautiful and rewarding hike with amazing views of Zion Canyon. It’s a 3-5 hour hike (5.7 miles round trip) up the very scenic Vermillion Cliffs and is located just south of Rockville.
To get to the trailhead, take highway 9 out of Springdale towards Rockville. Once in Rockville, take Bridge Rd. south until you get to the Trailhead (about 2 miles).
Starting from the Weeping Rock Trailhead take Weeping Rock Trail heading south, then make a right to join East Rim Trail. From here, East Rim heads straight up a slot in Zion Canyon, directly across from Angel’s Landing, so the views are spectacular. Once at the intersection with East Mesa Trail, turn left. Starting from East Rim Trail, East Mesa climbs very steeply, switchbacking multiple times until it eventually contours south of a small mesa. After contouring along this smaller mesa, head left onto Observation Point Trail. The trail works its way out to the edge of the canyon rim and offers absolutely astounding panoramic views.
* This hike is 8 miles and can take up to 6 hours to complete
Observation Point trail is still closed. Do not attempt this hike.
We will not be accepting entries for this club hike this year.
**Double Arch Club
The hike along the Taylor Creek Trail to Double Arch Alcove is gorgeous and historic. Located about two miles past the Kolob Canyon entrance of Zion National Park, the trail head will take you into a narrow box canyon to the extremely photogenic alcove. As you criss cross along Taylor Creek, you will also pass Larson Cabin and Fife Cabin, two homesteads from the 1930’s.
This hike will be most convenient for those who have to head North after the race, or who just want to spend time in Kolob Canyon after the race (which you should!). The trailhead is about two miles in from the Kolob Canyon park entrance!
Though Kolob Canyon is open, the park's website states that a 4x4 vehicle is recommended. Please use caution and check for road closure updates before attempting this hike.
The Chinle Trail was once called the Petrified Forest Trail as hikers will encounter petrified wood along portions of the trail. Although maybe a little less scenic than the main canyon of Zion, this is a great option for those looking for a little more solitude. Enjoy views of West Temple, Mount Kinesava, and Eagle Crags along the way. To get to the trailhead, drive southwest on highway 9 for a couple of miles out of Springdale. Turn right (north) onto Anasazi Way, then take the first right to get to the parking area. Please do not disturb or take items like petrified wood from the park.
This hike is just over 15 miles round trip. However, you don't have to go that far for to earn the medallion. At roughly 4 miles in, there is there is a good view of West Temple. After taking your photo, you may turn around at this point, or if you’re feeling ambitious keep going!
Zion Half Marathon Trifecta
For those looking for something challenging but less strenuous, we have the Zion Trifecta! The Trifecta is comprised of 3 different activities. You must complete all 3 in order to complete the Trifecta.
These are iconic activities inside the park that should be experienced, but are doable with children. The 3 activities that makeup the Trifecta are:
Riverside Walk (a.k.a., "The Narrows")
The trail was historically called “Gateway to the Narrows” but is now commonly referred to as Riverside Walk. A nice, paved, 3 mile round trip hike. At the end of the trail you can walk as far down into the Narrows as you dare, taking in the beauty of the area.
*This hike takes about 1.5 hours to complete
Canyon Overlook is only a mile round trip hike! This is perfect for families and offers a wonderful view of the Zion canyon with a look at the famous peaks like Bridge Mountain, West Temple, and The Sentinel. As an added bonus, when you drive up to the parking lot to make the short hike to the lookout, you get to pass through the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel!
* This hike is one mile and takes about an hour to complete
**Kolob Canyon (Timber Creek overlook)
Kolob Canyon is Zion’s best kept secret. About an hour north on I-15 from the main park entrance, this part of the park is less often visited by travelers, but it’s amazingly beautiful. The Timber Creek Trail is another short hike (1.2 miles round trip) that offers amazing views of Kolob Canyon. After about a 5 mile drive up the canyon you can park in a parking lot at the trail head.
*This hike is 0.5 miles and takes about an hour to complete
**Emerald Pools Trail (Timber Creek overlook alternative)
Enjoy the beauty of the cascading falls. From Zion Lodge, walk across the bridge that leads over the Virgin River then turn right onto the Lower Emerald Pools Trail. Follow the trail for a quarter mile above the river. The trail then turns westward into Heaps Canyon and parallels a stream to the first of the Emerald Pools.
Depending on water-flow and trail conditions there is a middle and upper pool to venture to! Do not go beyond any trail closures.
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.
Past Race Results & Photos
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to bring snow boots?
You won't need boots for the race. If you want to explore Zion National Park before or after the race some trails might have snow on them.
Will the race be cancelled for bad weather?
Very unlikely. It will be very cold but the roads should be clear and dry.