Grand Circle Trailfest
OCTOBER 4-6, 2018 | Kanab, UT
What is Trailfest?
Trailfest is a 3-day festival celebrating nature, trail running, music, food, and friendship.
Run in the morning
Each morning, you'll run a gorgeous timed race on one of the world's most uniquely beautiful trail courses.
You'll earn a finisher award for each daily race and overall winners will receive an additional placement award!
Explore all afternoon
After the race, spend the day exploring the parks, hiking local trails, and discovering other nearby beaches, restaurants, and sights.
Enjoy the evening
After a day on the trails, sit back, and enjoy deserved rest, delicious food, expert presenters and motivational speakers, live bands, bonfires, a trail running film festival, yoga clinics, gear demonstrations, and more!
The 2018 Grand Circle Trailfest race guide is here!
Bryce Canyon (13 miles)
Perhaps nowhere are the forces of natural erosion more tangible than at Bryce Canyon.
Its wilderness of phantom-like rock spires, or hoodoos, attracts nearly two million visitors a year.
On Day 1 of Trailfest, you'll see all of the beauty but avoid the crowds as you run on remote trails through the magical hoodoos unique to the Paunsaugunt Plateau.
Zion (12 miles)
The towering sandstone walls and deep slot canyons of Zion National Park are unique to anywhere else on earth and attract 3 million visitors a year.
On Day 2 you'll run remote trails along the edge of a mesa, offering you commanding views of the majestic sandstone towers that make Zion famous.
Grand Canyon (11 miles)
The grand finale of the festival! On day 3 you will run at the very start of the Grand Canyon. This course may be one of our most scenic and unique of the three.
The Colorado River pours out of Lake Powell at the Glen Canyon Dam and continues down river, carving the Grand Canyon.
This course runs through Waterholes Canyon - one of the area’s most amazing slot canyons, then along Horseshoe Bend overlooking the Colorado River. We will have one aid station near mile 4.5.
Note: the official start of the Grand Canyon is at Lee’s Ferry, just a couple miles down river of Horseshoe Bend.
Don't forget to check out each national park after the race!
Trailfest Aid Stations
Our Trailfest aid stations will have the following:
- Gnarly electrolyte drink
- Honey Stinger gels
- Fresh fruit
- Variety of both salty and sweet items
At every event, our aid station workers are there to assist you. If you ever need help, our aid workers will do whatever they can to help.
(This is a tentative schedule and subject to change)
Breakfast will include fresh fruit, muffins and pastries, bagels, yogurt, juice, water and coffee. Dinner meals are catered. We apologize we can't take all dietary restrictions into account, but we will have a vegetarian option each night.
Festival HQ will be at Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab, UT!
We'll have plenty of camping for our Trailfest runners, but you are welcome to find your own lodging nearby if camping isn't your speed.
And yes, you can bring your friends and family. Campsites will be available from noon on Wednesday through noon on Sunday. (4 nights!)
Your Trailfest entry fee includes a camping pass to our group area at race headquarters. Bring your own tent or we can provide one for you. We have access to four baseball fields located adjacent to the city park (Festival headquarters). Camping* is allowed from noon on Wednesday (Oct. 3rd) through noon on Sunday (Oct. 7th). When you register, you will be able to select the option of camping/RV, or none, as well as purchase additional spots for friends and family.
There are bathrooms with flush toilets at the headquarters and there will also be compost toilets placed around the tent area and festival. Showers will be available at the Recreation Center/Pool next door.
Additional facilities include: pavilion with picnic tables, serving area (where Trailfest runners will provided with breakfast and dinner), three fire pits, stage for the film festivals, and a very large playground for kids.
*It is possible to park a tent trailer or motorhome instead of tent camping, however, there aren't hookups available. Spaces are limited.
"Do I have to stay at festival HQ?"
Nope! We'll provide a tent and campsite for everyone who registers, but you don't have to take advantage of it. If you want to stay somewhere else and drive yourself to the festival and races, that is allowed.
"Is alcohol allowed at Trailfest?"
No, but also yes. We will have a beer garden at Trailfest. Utah and Kane County have certain laws we have to abide by that restrict where the beer garden can be. So it will be located at the “annex” of Trailfest. We invite everyone interested to come there and enjoy a drink.
There is NO ALCOHOL allowed at Jacob Hamblin Park, so please do not consume alcohol on park grounds outside of the designated beer garden. Failure to comply will impact our relationship with Kanab and could put the future of the event in jeopardy.
ADDITIONAL HOTEL OPTIONS
We've partnered with Booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area. Check them out below!
We encourage you to drive to the start of each race so you can spend the rest of the day exploring the park and surrounding area on your schedule! However we will have shuttles each day taking runners to that day's course.
We’ll provide more specifics about Trailfest transportation options and timelines as the event gets closer!
Kanab is a 3 hour drive from Las Vegas, NV, a 4 1/2 hour drive from Salt Lake City, UT, and a 5 1/2 hour drive from Phoenix, AZ. No matter which way you're coming from, you will see some amazing country en route.
FROM LAS VEGAS: You will traverse the Mojave Desert and transition to the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, with views of Zion National Park and the Mt. Caanan Wilderness Area, and the Kaibab Paiute Reservation.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY: You will drive down the scenic Hwy 89 with views of the Paunsugaunt Plateau (home to Bryce Canyon National Park) and through the towering white sandstone cliffs just east of Zion National Park.
FROM PHOENIX: You will drive through Flagstaff and continue north, paralleling the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and through Navajo land. You'll have two amazing options that are equally breathtaking and similar in distance/time from Kanab. If you take Hwy 89A, you'll cross the Colorado River via Navajo Bridge near Lee's Ferry, then drive along the stunning Vermillion Cliffs National Monument before climbing up onto the famous Kaibab Plateau and then descending down into Kanab with perhaps the most expansive views of the entire Grand Staircase, including Zion and Bryce. We highly recommend this route. The other option is to take Hwy 89 through Page, AZ (Make sure to get out and hike out to see Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River while you're there). You'll drive across Glen Canyon right below the dam with views of Lake Powell before heading west with views of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the north and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument to the south.
Kids camp is going to be a blast!
Kids at Kids Camp will eat breakfast and lunch daily and get a free t-shirt. There will be tons of time for play as well as activities to keep your children busy. For the Grand Circle Trailfest Kids Camp, we'll have a licensed daycare provider with several volunteers helping out. (Ages 3-16)
Kids camp is $30.00 per child per day. If you have more than 1 child please add for the quantity you'll need.
What have others said about Trailfest?
Race Packages & Pricing
$675 / runner
$485 / runner
$295 / runner
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When will Trailfest sell out?
That is tough to say. We sold out both our inaugural year (2016) and last year (2017). Both years we sold out early in the registration process (shortly after early bird registration ended).
What time does the race start?
Each morning’s race will start at 7:30am, just after sunrise. We will have a “rolling start” meaning the start line will be open for about 45 minutes and runners will start as they arrive rather than having one large start with everyone at the same time. It is a little unceremonious but it makes for less congestion on the course.
Will there be shuttles?
There are two shuttles. The first shuttle is an optional shuttle that will take runners from HQ in Kanab to the start line of the race and then back again to Kanab after the finish. This must be requested beforehand as part of your registration. This shuttle is OPTIONAL and costs a small fee per day. At every race location there is no parking at the start line. However there is a large designated parking area very near to the start. All runners who drive themselves to the race location will park in this lot and then take a short shuttle ride to the start line. Shuttles will then take them back to their car after the finish.
How do I register on a team/How do teams work?
We offer team registrations for the 3-day event. Individuals who do not run all 3 event days are not qualified to be on a team. There are no relays, but there is a team prize to compete for. The 1st person to register will create the team name. All other team members must select the same team name form the drop down to receive the discount. You will register on a team, but each person registers separately and pays full price for registration. Runners on a team of 5 will each receive a $50 refund from registration fees. The refund will be refunded to each member of a team automatically before the expo, as long as they have all 5 members.
Scoring for the teams: At the end of each day teams will be scored two ways. First placement score (cross country scoring) as runners cross the finish line those who are competing for team placement will get points. First place will get 1 point, second will get 2, and so on. The teams score will be added to the teams overall times. Teammates finish times will be added together. The team with the lowest finish times and finish scores will be placed. Awards will be given out for First, Second and Third place.
*Only teams with a complete team of 5 will qualify for team awards, If a team member drops out of the event, the whole team is disqualified for the team award.
**Please be considerate when choosing a team name. Any name team names we deem offensive will be changed to “Team A,” “Team B” etc.
***If you used a discount to register (club, trifecta, military, etc) you are not eligible for the team discount, but may still be a member of a team.
How long do I have to finish the race? Can I walk?
We are counting on about a 20 minute/mile pace. These trails are difficult. A 20 minute/mile pace on road does not equal a 20 minute/mile pace on these trails. Runners should plan accordingly. A mixture of running and walking would be fine.
Do I have to take the shuttle?
Runners do not have to take the shuttle from Kanab to the race start. This is an optional shuttle. In fact we encourage you to drive yourself and carpool with friends. By driving yourself to the race each morning you have the freedom to grab something to eat afterward or stay and explore the park. The trails you will run on are spectacular, but there is more to see here than just these 13 miles or so of trail.
Are there aid stations on course?
Yes. Each course will have at least one aid station (usually around halfway through the course). Each aid station will have water, Gnarly electrolyte drink, Honey Stinger energy gels, basic foods (fruit, pretzels, etc), and toilets. See each course description for exact location.
Are dogs allowed?
Unfortunately no. Our insurance does not cover dogs on course and Jacob Hamblin Park has a strict no dog policy. If you are camping at HQ there will be a separate area designated for campers with dogs, however it will be slightly removed from the festival and you are responsible to keep your dog out of the park.
Are strollers allowed?
Strollers are not allowed on these trails.
What are the meal options?
We will be providing catered meals each night of Trailfest (Wed, Th, Fri, Sat). We will also have a continental style breakfast each race morning. Runners may help themselves to breakfast each morning. Runners will be allowed one dinner for the day they are registered to run plus one extra dinner for the evening before your first run (So if you are registered for all three days your registration includes 4 dinners, or if you only registered for one day your registration is good for 2 dinners). In order to keep track of dinner tickets, each runner will receive a non-transferable wristband at check in. The color will depend on the number of days registered to run:
• GREEN for runners registered for all 3 days, good for 4 dinner buffet dinners.
• BLUE for runners registered for any 2 days, good for 3 buffet dinners.
• YELLOW for runners registered for any 1 day, good for 2 buffet dinners.
Volunteers will be checking your wristbands as you enter the buffet area.
Additional meal tickets can be purchased at the registration tent or at the buffet table for $10, cash or credit accepted. Purchased meal tickets will be given to the volunteer at the buffet entrance.
What is weather like in the area this time of year?
Early fall in southern Utah is beautiful. You should expect clear skies and sunny days. The days will be a little warm (highs in the low 70s) but the mornings and evenings will be chilly. Plan to dress warmly before the race and then gear check any layers you don’t want to run with. There can be the occasional thunderstorm that rolls through this time of year, but weather has been perfect the last two years (knock on wood).
Do I have to stay at the festival?
No, you can stay anywhere you like. Kanab has lots of hotel and VRBO options. However, you will not receive a discount by not camping with us. All registration fees include a campsite whether you use it or not.
How do the tents work at the festival?
Every registration includes a tent site. You have a few options when selecting your tent. You can bring your own tent or car/rv. We can also provide tents for you. You can select a 4 person or 6 person tent. Or you can let us know you will be sharing a tent with another runner. So let’s look at an example. If I were registering and so were three of my friends. I would make sure one of us selected a 4 person or 6 person tent be provided for us. Then the other three friends when registering would select “I will be sharing a tent”.
Picking a tent site is on a first come first serve basis. You may check in for friends. They will all be set up in the baseball fields just above the festival. Each registration comes with its own tent site, though we encourage you to share with friends. You will not be put in a tent with a stranger.