Inaugural TRAILFEST

Grand Circle Trailfest: Moab

Join us in Moab, Utah to celebrate the desert beauty of Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park with three days of trail running and activities for the whole family. 
  • Location: Moab, UT
  • Date: April 26-30, 2023
  • Terrain: Dirt trail
  • Difficulty: Moderate back-to-back races

April 26-30, 2023

Moab, UT

Difficulty:

Dirt Trails

+ Family Activities

  • Welcome

  • Travel & Lodging

  • Explore The Parks

  • Register to run

What is Trailfest?

Trailfest is a 3-day festival celebrating nature, trail running, music, food, and friendship.

Run.

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 compete for an overall placement award.

Explore.

After the race, spend the day exploring the parks, hiking local trails, and getting to know the local sights and sounds. 

Absorb nature with all your senses!

Relax.

After a day on the trails, sit back and enjoy well-deserved rest and food at base camp. Be entertained by expert presenters, motivational speakers, live bands, bonfires, a trail running film festival, yoga clinics, gear demos, and more!

Start each morning racing through epic landscapes...

Day 1

Pritchett Arch (13.6 mi.)

  • April 27th, 2023
  • Start: 6:30 am (MT)
  • Cutoff: 4.5hrs

Get a taste of this region’s incredible orange sandstone arches without the crowds.

This loop trail circumnavigates fins of elevated sandstone and gives you a glimpse of the mighty Colorado River. Through erosion, these fins have transformed into a variety of partial and full arches that span the bright blue sky.

Day 2

Gemini Bridges (13.1 mi.)

  • April 28th, 2023
  • Start: 6:30 am (MT)
  • Cutoff: 4.5hrs

Two massive sandstone bridges stand side by side on this trail. These rusty twins will take your breath away as we travel through sandy trails and clusters of desert shrubbery.

The vantage point from the trail allows you to gaze across the landscape at ancient landforms.

Day 3

Porcupine Rim (13.8 mi.)

  • April 29th, 2023
  • Start: 6:30 am (MT)
  • Cutoff: 4.5hrs

Experience unique views of the famous Castle Valley with its majestic buttes, craggy cliff faces, and impressive stature. 

Along our route, catch a glimpse of Coffee Pot Rock and marvel at the colorful layers that have built the land. Elsewhere, listen with hopes of hearing the Colorado River below.

...complete your day with fun and fellowship!

  • Activities

  • Daily Meals

  • Kids Camp

  • Beer Garden

The fun continues after the finish line...

Activities will run between 2pm and 8pm daily. Our activities typically include:

  • Outdoor Yoga
  • Live Music
  • Speaker Talks
  • Cultural Performances
  • Film Screenings
  • ...and more!
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Example of musical performances from our Kanab Trailfest

We'll announce featured speakers and musicians closer to the event!

GET INVOLVED

Wander Project Final Logo color

Support Our

Park Communities

Fundraise while you train 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.

Learn more about Wander Project >>

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 amazing volunteers help runners at the finish line, merch tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-5hr shift and earn a $50 or $100 credit towards a future race.

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

Know Your Guidelines

- Read your Trailfest 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.

Moab Trailfest Logistics

Here's a few more details to make the most of Trailfest...

Event Check-in

Ready to join us for a trail-packed weekend? Festival HQ will be located at the Old Spanish Trail Arena in Moab, UT. You'll check in here, pick up your race packet, find your tent (if applicable), and settle in for 3 days of fun and finish lines.

Check-in

Check-out

  • Sunday, April 30th, 2023
  • Check out by 12:00 PM
  • Please be respectful and leave your tent as you found it and in a timely manner!

What you'll get at check-in:

Race Bib

You'll receive one bib that you will use for all 3 races. Please do not lose your bib! It has a timing chip on the back, so be careful not to fold the bib or get it wet.

If you have any issues with your bib, we will have staff and volunteers available throughout the event to help resolve them.

Wristband

Wristbands will be used during the event to get your meals.

New at Moab: All runners will use shuttles to the race start lines each day. This means you don't need to reserve shuttle access in advance!

Camp Tag

You'll receive a tag to claim your tent during event check-in.

Tents are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Please follow instructions on-site and head to the race track to choose an available 4 or 6-person tent.

Can't make it during check-in hours?

Don't fret! Head straight to the camping area at the race track. We will have a pop-up tent stationed near the middle for after-hours self check-in. Instructions will be posted so you can get to your tent and settle in.

Quiet hours begin at 10:00 PM. Please be mindful of your campground neighbors if arriving after this time.

Race Directions & Shuttles

Festival HQ will be at the Old Spanish Trail Arena in Moab, UT. The races are in surrounding areas throughout the Grand Circle region.

Directions to Your Courses

We are still scouting parking options at each race start line! Check back closer to the event for directions to each race at Moab Trailfest.

Race Day Shuttles

Mandatory for access to the start lines

There is not much parking near these courses as they are remote. We will have daily shuttles that all runners must use to access their start line. This added convenience means you don't need to reserve a shuttle ticket or worry about driving times.

The daily race shuttles will take runners from Festival HQ in Moab to the start line of the race and then back again to Moab after the finish. Return shuttles to Festival HQ will leave as they fill up. 

We are still determining the best way to give spectators access to the finish lines each day. Please stay tuned.

Who can ride? Runners (Spectator shuttles TBD)

Ticket needed? No ticket needed

Departure time? TBD


Spectators will also have access to the finish line, as there is not much parking available near the course start lines. Check back for more information on spectator shuttles and parking.

Aid Stations

Each race will have one aid station located about halfway through the course. They will have volunteers on hand to help you!

Pritchett Arch: Mile 6

Gemini Bridges: Mile 9 

Porcupine Rim: Mile 6

Each Trailfest Moab aid stations will have the following:

  • Water
  • Gnarly Hydrate (electrolyte drink)
  • Honey Stinger gels
  • Fresh fruit
  • Variety of both salty and sweet items
2018 06 19 18.58.27 1805532827922306545 gnarlynutrition
Spectators and Non-Runners

Spectators

These courses are not very spectator friendly. However, spectators are welcome to greet you at the finish line. 

There is not much parking available near the finish lines for each course.

Zion Half Marathon Finish Line photo

Non-Runner Participants

Coming with non-runners? They don't need to purchase an All Festival Pass!

Moab Trailfest will offer plenty to do for the non-runner. All the activities begin after 2:00 pm. Everything from yoga classes, nature walks, massage therapists, and local vendors and shops offer plenty to do for those who don’t want to venture out onto the trails. In addition, the speakers, film-screenings, entertainment, or other parts of the festival aspect are free to join in on.

While your runner is out on the trail, go for a drive through one of the 2 adjacent National Parks - Arches and Canyonlands!

Non-runners may share a tent with a runner, or additional camping spots may be added during or after registration. 

NON-RUNNER MEALS: For those not running, meal tickets for the dinner buffet can be purchased at the registration tent or at the buffet table for $12, cash or credit accepted. Purchased meal tickets will be given to the volunteer at the buffet entrance.

Sandstone formations at Arches National Park

Sandstone formations at Arches National Park

Trailfest Etiquette

"Be Excellent to Each Other"

- Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure

We are all sharing this space, so let's do our best to put community first. Here are some guidelines for good etiquette at Grand Circle Trailfest Moab:

1) Respect Quiet Hours

Quiet hours at the camping area start at 10:00 PM nightly. Runners will be resting up for tomorrow's race, so please do your best to keep lights dim and noises low.

A tent in the brush in Moab, Utah
2) Keep HQ Clean!

Please keep track of your belongings, clean up your trash, and do your part to keep any facility you use clean. This includes our bathrooms - follow the instructions in the compost toilets and "cover they turd" so we can all feel and smell fresh longer.

3) Watch Your Water Usage

While we have plenty of water for all, there are sure to be peak hours after the races and before bed when many people will be using the showers. Please keep your showers short and consider showering during odd hours to help reduce lines.

Zero Waste containers for compost, trash, and recyclables

Containers for compostables, trash, and recyclables.

4) Respect Everyone's Space

Trailfest is a lively, exciting place to be - but that doesn't mean we can run amok! Please be respectful of people's space - reduce vehicle speeds around HQ, don't shine flashlights in tents, and use the marked walkways instead of cutting in-between tents.

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Training & Gear

Training Program

logo for Active at Altitude

Grand Circle Trailfests are unique events. In addition to all the fun you'll be having at the festival, you'll be running about 13 miles a day - 3 days in a row. This can be daunting especially if you are new to trail running, or if you are not used to running at altitude.

We've partnered with Terry Chiplin with Active at Altitude. Terry is a Lydiard running coach and has created a guide to help you with training tips to both physically and mentally prepare for this awesome adventure ahead!  

Trail Gear

Running back-to-back trails is no joke. We highly recommend you give your gear some extra thought before Moab Trailfest. Make sure you have trail shoes that are right for your feet, a hydration system to get you across the finish line, and take stock of any special nutrition needs you may have. 

Looking for recommendations?

Or ask the community!

Search in the group for discussions about trail gear, training, and more.

Zero Waste

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:

CUP-FREE RACING

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 each aid station, 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. Hydration pack - These are refillable backpacks meant for running that allow you to access fluid via a built-in straw.

Remember: Trailfest courses have only one aid station each. Plan to pack enough water to last you until the finish line!


image of the foldable Nathan cup next to a person folding the cup into their waistbag

Stay hydrated on course with a reusable cup!

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:

  • Compostables: Organic goods like banana peels and most food items (without the wrapper please!)
  • Recyclables: Paper, aluminum, cardboard, steel, and glass. Please dump out any liquids into the compost bin BEFORE recycling the container.
  • Everything Else: Non-recyclable food wrappers like from used gel packets and styrofoam. Please dump out any food matter BEFORE throwing away the container.

Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.

Race Results and Photos

Results

Visit RunSignup for race results daily. Runner times are available ~20 minutes after you finish the race. Keep in mind, the results are not official until all runners have crossed the finish line, and have been reviewed by the event director.

Top Finisher but missed the awards ceremony? You can request to have your place medal shipped to you!

Got questions about your placement? Please email timing@runsum.com.

Photos

Event Photos
Photos are typically available for FREE via RunSignup the Friday following the week of the race. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album. Past Trailfest photos are available via the link, as well.

Share your experiences with us! 
Be sure use the hashtag #MoabTrailfest on any photos you post from the race or your adventures exploring the park so we can share in the fun with you!

Race Merchandise

We'll have merchandise on-site throughout the event weekend - so stop by and pickup some exclusive apparel and gear!

After the event, remaining merch items can be purchased in our online store. Please allow 1-2 weeks for those items to be added.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Registration & Logistics

Does Moab Trailfest sell out?

While this is our inaugural event at Moab, Trailfests have proven to be highly popular. We have sold out our Kanab Trailfest consistently in the first registration period. We recommend marking your calendar and purchasing your all festival pass as soon as they're available.

How does camping work?

Every registration includes a tent site and a 4- or 6-person tent. (You can also bring your own tent if you prefer.)

Coming with other runners and want to share a tent? Make sure one person in your group claims a tent for every 4 or 6 people in the group. Everyone else should indicate "no campsite needed" during registration. 

Example: If you are coming with a group of 8 people, two of your members should reserve a campsite while registering. The others are covered by those two reserved tents.

Once you arrive: 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.

What is the weather like?

Spring in southern Utah is beautiful. 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. The occasional thunderstorm rolls through this time of year so there is the possibility of rain.

What should I pack?

Highly Recommended:

-Camp pillow
-Camp/Shower towel
-Jacket or vest
-Sleeping bag & pad (40° for most nights check weather conditions before)
-Blanket to lounge on
-Snacks/Food
-Soap/Shampoo
-Extra clothing
-Socks for each race
-Running shoes
-Flashlight or headlamp
-Camp shoes
-Camera/Phone/Chargers
-Any personal medication
-Running hydration system/pack
-Warm clothes for nights & mornings

*Many of these items can be purchased in Moab or in one of the communities along the way.

Recommended:


-Sunglasses
-Sunscreen
-Sun hat
-Toiletries
-Extra blanket
-Long underwear

A few more things:

-Personal first aid kit
-Gloves
-Insect repellent
-Rain gear
-Ear plugs
-Reading and writing materials
-Personal Bathroom Kit (personal wipes, hand cleaner, etc.)

*Check the weather beforehand for Moab. If there is a cold front that moves in a 40° bag wont be enough and you would be better off bringing a 20° or layered clothing or an extra blanket. If you sleep cold you might consider bringing a warmer bag anyway.

Can I bring my dog?

We are currently verifying whether dogs will be allowed at Moab Trailfest HQ. Stay tuned!

Do I have to stay at Trailfest HQ?

Nope, you can stay anywhere you like! We'll provide a campsite and tent for everyone who registers but you don't have to use it. If you want to stay somewhere else and drive to the festival and races, that is allowed. 

Moab 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.

What are the meals like?

We'll provide catered meals each night of Trailfest (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).

We'll also offer a continental style breakfast each race morning (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). Runners may help themselves to breakfast each morning. You'll receive a wristband when you pick up your bib. Show this wristband when entering the buffet area to eat dinner. 

Additional meal tickets can be purchased at the registration tent or at the buffet table for $10, cash or credit accepted. 

Moab Trailfest Race Info

How far are the races from Trailfest HQ?

We're still determining exactly where runners will park to access the daily races. However, no run is farther than 1hr from our HQ in Moab, Utah.

Are there shuttles from HQ to the race start?

There will be shuttles available for all runners to access the start line.

There is not much parking near these courses as they are remote (and beautiful!) We will have daily shuttles that all runners must use to access their start line.

The daily race shuttles will take runners from Festival HQ in Moab to the start line of the race and then back again to Moab after the finish.

We are still determining the best way to give spectators access to the finish lines each day. Please stay tuned.

Are there aid stations on course?

Yes, each course will have at least one aid station between miles 6 and 9.

Each aid station will have water, Gnarly Hydrate electrolyte drink, Honey Stinger energy gels, basic foods (fruit, pretzels, etc), and toilets. Check each course description for exact location of the aid station.

What if I can't finish a race?

If you or a member of our race staff determine that you won't be able to complete a race, we will extract you from the course. Extractions occur at the aid stations, as these courses are remote and we do not always have vehicle access outside of the aid station location. 

This means that you should make your decision before reaching the aid station, if possible.

If you drop out of one race, you can still run in the next day's race. This is your event and you deserve to have the fullest experience possible. However, it is your responsibility to put your health first and pass on a race if you feel it is needed.

What can I bring with me on course?

Dogs are not allowed on the course. Strollers are also not permitted on course as these trails do not provide safe conditions.

Beyond that, you should bring whatever tools you need to run your race successfully. Trekking poles, gaiters, etc are all permitted on course.

Note: Whatever you bring on course, make sure it comes to the finish line with you! Do not litter or leave any items along the course.

What time do the races start?

Each morning’s race will start at 6:30am, just after sunrise.

We'll 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's a little unceremonious but it makes for less congestion on the course!

How long do I have to finish each race?

All our courses at Moab Trailfest have a 4.5 hour time limit from when you cross the starting mat. This is about a 20 minute mile. 

Can I run with a team?

While we don't have an official team option for Trailfest, don't let that stop you from running with your friends in sweet matching t-shirts, tutus, etc! We love the energy that teams bring to the race!

Interested in our Grand Circle Trailfest events? Join the email list.

We'll send you updates about new event Trailfest dates and notify you before registration opens and prices increase to keep you on track! 

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