2020 Zion Ultra Marathons & Trail Half Marathon
100K / 50K / Trail Half Marathon
September 26, 2020
Date: September 26, 2020
Location: Virgin, UT
Start Time: Depends on Event
Course Type: Loop (Details)
Stroller friendly? No
Disability friendly? No
Dogs allowed? No
Contactless drive-up bib pickup and drop bag drop-off only.
Date: September 25, 2020
Location: Virgin City Park at the corner of 100 West and Main St. in Virgin, UT
Bib & Packet Pickup
Drive-up bib pickup recommended.
Early Bird Pricing: June 26 - September 25, 2020
Price: Depends on distance.
Because of the nature of a short time period from registration date to the event date, no refunds will be offered. However, you can defer to another race.
Want to use a deferred credit?
Login to RunSignup, click Deferrals, Complete Deferments
Travel & Other Info
St. George (SGU) - 40 min.
Cedar City (CDC) - 48 min.
Las Vegas (LAS) - 2.5 hrs.
Salt Lake (SLC) - 5 hrs.
Bib pickup, the start line, and finish line will be located at the Virgin City Park at the corner of 100 West and Main St. in Virgin, UT.
Please Note- the race director may be making necessary modifications to the following:
• Start times - in order to spread out the crowds that happen during the start of a race, we will be implementing a half hour window of a rolling start, per distance.
• Aid Stations - to reduce the chance of spreading germs, etc. in the food at the aid stations will most likely be pre-packaged. This will modify the menu offering from our typical events.
• Crew Access - to limit interaction of a group of people with other participants, we may be limiting crew access or modifying the rules to crewing a runner.
• Spectators - this is not a very spectator-friendly event. Depending on the state guidelines at the time of the race, and if crowds need to be limited, we will announce whether spectators are allowed at the finish line or not.
We ask that you continue to visit this page, or subscribe to our emails as we continue to share more details about any of the specifics listed above.
Course Descriptions & Maps
The Zion Ultras & trail half marathon offers a challenging, scenic run through the Southern Utah desert, adjacent to Zion National Park. This September 2020 race will offer 3 distances- a half marathon, 50K, and 100K (NO 100 mile distance). All distances will start on Saturday, September 26th, 2020.
- Half Marathon (Trail)
Half Marathon (Trail)
Course Time Limit: 4 hours
Race Start Time: 7:30-8:00 am
This scenic and very runnable route runs the first mile through the town of Virgin before getting on a double track that runs through the desert along the rim of the Virgin River. The first aid station is at mile 3.7 and the second is at mile 8.8 at the busy Virgin Desert Aid Station. The route then follows the single track of the JEM Trail for the next 3 miles, then onto Sheep Bridge Rd. for a half mile. You will then run east, parallel to SR-9 on a 4 wheeler trail for the next 1.5 miles along a busy highway. There is a large shoulder next to road. Please stay as far away from the highway as possible until finishing at Virgin City Park. Although this is a fast course, be aware that the total distance is longer than a half marathon.
Course Time Limit: 10 hours
Race Start Time: 6:30-7:00 am
This course starts out running east along SR-9 to Camino Del Rio. At Camino Del Rio we will turn south and head toward Gooseberry Mesa. About 4 miles in you will hit the first big climb of the race. The Climb up to Goosebump Aid is a scramble up a 1,500 ft ascent on steep and rocky terrain. After reaching the top of the hill, you will come to your first Aid Station (mile 5.2).
Runners will go counter-clockwise along the Gooseberry Mesa Trail. Gooseberry Mesa is a world class trail. It’s one of the best technical trails anywhere with rolling slickrock, twisty single track, and vistas to die for. The trail will be marked with pink ribbons. Note that sections of this trail may also have markings of white dots painted on the slickrock. These white dots are markings for mountain bikers. Even though some of our course coincides with the mountain biking trails DO NOT FOLLOW THE WHITE DOTS. Our course will veer on and off the mountain biking trails- just make sure to follow the pink ribbons. There will be a water station set up around 8 miles into the Gooseberry loop (mile 12.5). From this water station back to Goosebump Aid (mile 16.5), you will experience mostly slickrock.
From Goosebump Aid you will drop down off the mesa. This is the same steep/rocky trail you used to climb up on the mesa. You will follow some double track out to the Virgin Desert Aid Station (mile 24.6).
From here you will continue on the single track toward Sheep Bridge Rd. You will then run east, parallel to SR-9 on a 4 wheeler trail for the next 1.5 miles along a busy highway. There is a large shoulder next to road. Please stay as far away from the highway as possible until finishing at Virgin City Park.
Course Time Limit: 21.5 hours
Race Start Time: 5:30-6:00 am
This course starts out running east along SR-9 to Camino Del Rio. At Camino Del Rio we will turn south and head toward Gooseberry Mesa. About 4 miles in you will hit the first big climb of the race. The Climb up to Goosebump Aid is a scramble up a 1,500 ft ascent on steep and rocky terrain. After reaching the top of the hill, you will come to your first Aid Station (mile 5.2). You will then continue on to the Grafton Aid Station. This section is a double track dirt road, and a good opportunity to pick up the pace after climbing up onto the mesa.
After coming to Grafton Aid Station (mile 11.4) you will continue on double track to Wire Mesa Aid Station (mile 13.3). This is a fun, technical singletrack loop which runs counterclockwise around the mesa offering amazing vistas of Zion National Park. The loop is roughly 7 miles before returning to Wire Mesa Aid Station (mile 20.8).
Runners will head back to Grafton Aid Station (mile 22.7). You will then run counter-clockwise along Grafton Mesa. This loop has some nice non-official single track. There are a lot of intersecting trails along this section. The course will be marked heavily with pink ribbons to make sure the course is clear. After running about 5 miles on Grafton Mesa, you will come back to the Grafton Aid Station (mile 28.2).
Runners will head back along the double track to Goosebump Aid Station (mile 34.4). You will then run counter-clockwise along the Gooseberry Mesa Trail. Gooseberry Mesa is a world class trail. It’s one of the best technical trails anywhere with rolling slickrock, twisty single track, and vistas to die for. The trail will be marked with pink ribbons. Note that sections of this trail may also have markings of white dots painted on the slickrock. These white dots are markings for mountain bikers. Even though some of our course coincides with the mountain biking trails DO NOT FOLLOW THE WHITE DOTS. Our course will veer on and off the mountain biking trails- just make sure to follow the pink ribbons. There will be a water station set up around 8 miles into the Gooseberry loop (mile 42). From this water station back to Goosebump Aid (mile 45.7), you will experience mostly slickrock.
From Goosebump Aid you will drop down off the mesa. This is the same steep/rocky trail you used to climb up on the mesa. You will follow some double track out to the Virgin Desert Aid Station (mile 53.8). From here you will head north to the Virgin Dam Aid Station (mile 55.7). This single track section follows the same curves of the Virgin River (in the canyon below) until Sheep Bridge Rd. You will then run east, parallel to SR-9 on a 4 wheeler trail for the next 1.5 miles along a busy highway. There is a large shoulder next to road. Please stay as far away from the highway as possible until finishing at Virgin City Park.
The 2020 Zion Ultras 100K is a 2022 Western States Qualifier!
Avenza Offline Course Maps
Now you can use our maps offline with a gps-enabled device!
We plan to mark the course with such rigor that you should not need your own map to help you find your way. However, we have experienced blown down signs and vandalism in the past. We recommend downloading the free Avenza app (available for iOS, and Android devices) before the event. There you can find our uploaded maps that work without cell coverage.
1. Download the free app "AVENZA MAPS" to your smart-phone or tablet while your device is online. It’s compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows devices.
2. Open the app > Tap "Store" (Shopping Cart Icon) > Tap "Find Maps" > Search for the specific distance you would like to download. Type your search exactly as it appears below:
Zion 100km Ultra Run
Zion 50km Ultra Run
Zion Half Marathon Trail Run
3. Tap on the label on the map > tap "install" and the map will begin to download.
4. The map is now ready to use “offline”. Simply open the app, click on the Map and your GPS location will appear on the map.
Tap below to directly download your race distance map!
Bryce Canyon Ultras Runner
Bryce Canyon 50K Runner
Bryce Canyon Ultras Runner
Antelope Canyon Ultras Runner
Packages & Pricing
Countdown to race day
Early: June 26 – Sep. 25, 2020
*Because there is such a short window before the race, early bird pricing will remain until the event.
*There is a limited number of entries to each race, and this event may sell out. If the event is sold out, registration will close regardless of registration period.
Note: There is no Wait List!
Sign up for the race you want to run as soon as possible. When a race distance sells out, there is no waiting list should someone drop out. Once sold out, a race entry may be obtained through a bib transfer from another runner selling their spot. Be sure to familiarize yourself with our bib transfer policy before buying/selling a bib.
Race Deferment & Credit
You can manage your deferred credit by logging in to RunSignup, clicking Deferrals, and Complete Deferment. From there you can transfer into another race.
Race Weekend Schedule
Click here for directions to the race location (start/finish line) parking area.
2-7pm- Drive-up bib pickup will be held at the Virgin City Park. (Corner of 100 W and Main Street in Virgin, UT). Please have your ID ready.
8pm- 100K/50K drop-bag deadline
If you cannot make it Friday between 2-7pm, drive-up bib pickup will be available Saturday morning beginning at 4:00 am.
4am- Last minute bib pickup opens
5:30-6am- 100K race begins
6:30-7am- 50K race begins
7:30-8am- Trail Half Marathon begins
12pm- Trail Half Marathon finish line cutoff
5pm- 50K finish line cutoff
3:30am- 100K finish line cutoff
All who cross the finish line will receive a finisher award regardless of finish time. However, if you finish past the minimum pace time, you will be disqualified from the race and receive a DNF.
During the race, any runner may drop down to a short distance to receive the shorter distance’s finisher award. Doing so will disqualify the runner from the original distance and will be listed as a DNF at the original distance.
We publish a minimum pace time as a reference for the minimum pace you must maintain to finish before receiving a DNF. The Race Officials have the right to remove anyone from the race for any reason.
“Grim Reaper” check points are certain times cutoffs in the race that you must pass before the posted time or you will be required to drop out of the race. Non-Compliance with the Race Officials instructions will result in a DNF and may result in a ban from future events at our discretion. There is 1 Grim Reaper time for the 100K distance.
NOTE: Due to the unique conditions of the event this year, we will be minimizing crowds of any kind. One way we are doing this is to provide a 30 minute window for runners to start their race (per distance). This should aid everyone in maintaining proper distance. Keep in mind, that all qualifying times will be based off of chip time. This doesn’t mean you will get more time to complete the whole race, it just means you have more time to make the cutoffs. Once your bib is scanned at the start line, your time will begin.
Minimum Pace and Cutoff Times
100K Overall cutoff - 21.5 hours
50K Overall cutoff - 10 hours
Half Marathon cutoff - 4 hours
The link above is a guideline to help you gauge how you are doing in the race. Beating these times will help you avoid a DNF. If you find yourself consistently behind these minimums, your chances of finishing before the official close of the race will be small, but you will be allowed to continue as long as race officials believe you are in good health. Finishing after the minimum pace time at the finish will result in a DNF.
Don't Fear the Reaper: A Grim Reaper time is a checkpoint(s) on a course to keep runners from getting behind the minimum pace times. On the aid station cutoff sheet, there is a column for Grim Reaper times. Where applicable- specific Grim Reaper checkpoints are noted with a time and the location. These are checkpoints that if missed, even by 1 second, will result in immediate disqualification from the race. There is no negotiation or exceptions under any circumstances.
A race official will be on site to ensure all runners are past this checkpoint before the Grim Reaper shows up. Runners must exit the aid station before the posted Grim Reaper times in order to beat the reaper.
• There is only one Grim Reaper location on the 100K course. You must pass through Goosebump Aid (2nd pass) before 5:30 pm Saturday. Runners must exit the aid station before the posted Grim Reaper times in order to beat the reaper.
•The 100K has 10 aid stations & 2 water-only station
•The 50K has 3 aid stations & 1 water-only station
•The Half Marathon has 3 aid stations. The first aid at mile 3.7 will only have water and honey stinger gels, and the last aid station at mile 11.6 will be a water-only station.
The aid stations at an ultra event play a critical role in getting you across the finish line. Aid stations will be stocked with various grab and go items. Due to the unique circumstances of this event, protocols will be adjusted to minimize contact and interaction with others. For example: volunteers and those working at the aid station will not be helping you refill your hydration pack, or helping you grab food.
Aid stations will have both salty and sweet, single serve, grab and go items. They will also have water, Gnarly Hydrate electrolyte drink (single serve packets), soda, pickle juice shots, honey stinger gels, salt caps and electrolyte caps, anti-chafing agent, sunscreen and self-serve first aid supplies.
If any item is of critical importance to your ability to finish, please consider putting it in your drop bag. While we want to do our best to help each runner finish the race, food selection is often a guess as to what each runner will want or need, and we occasionally guess wrong. For example: if you always need a Coca Cola soda at mile 80, do not count on the aid station to provide this; you should put it in your drop bag.
At our busiest aid stations we try and staff a medical volunteer to help with larger issues. See your race guide for more details.
In addition, aid stations will have composting toilets with plenty of hand sanitizer.
Hours: Aid stations will close according to the posted minimum pace times.
All Vacation Races events are zero waste, with the goal of sending no trash produced at the event to the landfill. We do this by greatly reducing the amount of single use items that cannot be recycled. We will be making some exceptions at this event to keep things sanitary and all of our runners safe. Unfortunately, this means we will be creating more waste than usual. We will still have our Zero Waste crew out there sorting through all of the trash to recycle as much as possible. Please help us out by placing trash in the appropriate containers.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are using drop bags, those must be brought with you labeled, ready to go, and are due no later than 8pm on Friday.
>>Please label your bags the day before bib pickup so you can just drop them off when you arrive. We will not have any communal markers and supplies to label bags at the race this time, so make sure you prepare them before coming to pick up your bib.
For any ultramarathon distance you may use drop bags. You can leave a drop bag at designated aid stations.
Please observe the following rules:
- All bags must be labeled with name, bib # (in large print), aid station, and race distance. Optional, but a good idea if your label comes off, is a card inside with the same information and contact information. Please label your bags the day before the race on your own or at check in.
- All drop bags must be left in designated drop off location (near the start line/staging area) by 8pm the night before the race.
- No valuables or fragile items in your drop bags. We are not responsible for any lost/stolen items.
- Watch the weather forecast. If there is any chance of rain, place your items in zip lock bags inside of your drop bag.
- Minimum size: Gallon size freezer zip lock. No grocery store plastic bags or garbage bags.
- Maximum size: Shoe box size for single pass and daytime aid stations. Small duffel or small carry on for multiple pass aid stations.
Half Marathon runners should not use drop bags. Please speak with a race official if this will create a problem for you.
Getting Your Drop Bag Back
Generally all bags come back about 90 minutes after the aid station fully closes (all distances that pass through it). There will be a "Return to Finish Line" area at all aid stations that allow drop bags. This is an area where you can place your drop bag after you no longer need it from that particular location and we will try to get it back early if possible. You must place the bag in this area. Crew or volunteers are not allowed to sort through them in order to reduce the risk of a drop bag inadvertently being returned to the start line.
If you do not want to stick around, we can mail your drop bags to you after the race for $10 per bag.
Pacers & Crew
Pacers are only allowed for the 100K distance, and must register with the race prior to the race start. There is no cost to register a pacer. Runners may register multiple pacers for the event, but each runner will be issued a single PACER bib and is allowed only one pacer at a time on course. Pacers must have their PACER bib visible at all times.
Pacers may join their runner at the Virgin Desert Aid Station.
*50K and half marathon runners are not allowed to have pacers on course with them. Failure to comply with these rules will result in disqualification of the runner being paced.
Click Here for driving directions to Virgin Desert Aid Station
There are no shuttles for pacers or crew. They will need to plan and figure our their own transportation needs throughout the event.
Save time, and register your pacer or crew before event weekend
Crew access is only allowed for the 100K distance at the Virgin Desert Aid Station. Due to the social distancing requirements from state and local agencies, crew will be greatly restricted at this event. Same as with Pacers, each runner may request a bib for crew members. Only 1 crew member at a time will be allowed out of the car at the aid station, and must be wearing the crew bib. Any runners whose crew doesn’t abide by these guidelines will be disqualified, so make sure your crew understands and follows all guidelines and restrictions at aid stations.
Note: You are responsible for the actions of your crew and pacers. If their behavior is deemed inappropriate by race staff, you will be disqualified. Please let them know this and only choose crew members that will treat our volunteers and staff with respect while you are out on the course.
Due to the remote location of this race, we do not provide runner tracking. We do have radios at the aid stations so that we can account for runners on the course and keep communication lines open among our staff members, but we do not have the ability to communicate runner whereabouts to your loved ones during the event. If you would like to let friends and family know your status on the course, you have a couple of options. 1) You can text them from the areas of the course with cell service (there are many points on the course where reception is good enough to get a text out, but it can be difficult to get a phone call out. If you're worried about your cell phone battery, you can turn it off after sending a text, leave it in airplane mode, or carry a small battery backup device. 2) Use a tracking app such as Endomondo which will automatically update your whereabouts when you come into a reception area. (These apps tend to drain your cell phone battery and the use of a battery backup device will be necessary if you plan on leaving it on for the duration of the event).
Race Rules & Guidelines
For course marking all distances/courses will be marked with pink flags and ribbons. Any tricky junctions will be marked well with signs and flour arrows. A piece of highly reflective tape is attached to each trail marker that may be encountered at night.
Checking in at aid stations
It is the responsibility of the runner to check in at each aid station (coming in only, no need to check out of the aid station). Seek out the aid station worker wearing the fluorescent orange vest and give them your bib number. Failure to check in at an aid station can result in disqualification. If you drop out of the race YOU MUST TURN IN YOUR BIB TO THE NEAREST AID STATION CAPTAIN. If you fail to do this, you will be responsible for all related search party costs.
Any runner dropping out of the race MUST hand their bib over to the aid station captain where they are dropping. Failure to do so will result in a 2 year suspension from all Vacation Races events.
At each aid station there will be a tent with self serve medical items like bandaids, salt tabs, etc. We will have trained medical personnel at the finish line as well as at Goosebump, Virgin Desert, and Virgin BMX Aid Stations. If you find yourself in an emergency, call 911. You will be personally responsible for any costs associated with medical dispatch. If the problems are not urgent, please contact race personnel. We are equipped to respond quickly to problems on course that are not life threateningly urgent.
Due to the remote area of where the race is run, this is not a very spectator-friendly event. Additionally, with the state's guidelines for keeping crowds to a minimum, it's likely that spectators won't be allowed to congregate at the finish line. If this information changes, we will make sure to inform all registered runners, but plan on minimal spectating opportunities.
Awards & Swag
A variety of locally made or unique custom made awards or finisher medals will be provided to every finisher. Special awards will be given to the **top 3 overall male and female finishers for each distance as well.
**At this event, all runners will be timed with a hand-held scanner. We will base the overall winning times off chip time. However, it may take a little longer to verify winners because of the rolling start. Please be patient. If you are an overall winner, but cannot wait for the results- we can ship your award to you.
You will pick up your race shirt as part of the drive-thru bib pickup process on Friday. This is located on the south side of the Virgin City Park along Main St.
One of our goals is to create a welcoming environment for all to hang out at the finish line. However, in an effort to keep our crowds at a minimum for this race, we encourage you to collect your finisher award and recovery food, then continue on to your vehicle. We realize this is a little anticlimactic, but know we applaud you for an amazing accomplishment.
Zero Waste Event
All Vacation Races events are zero waste, with the goal of sending no trash produced at the event to the landfill. We've created a system that recycles/reuses everything, but it requires your help to make it work. Please place trash in the appropriate containers. Littering on the course will result in disqualification.
We also use Great Outdoors Composting Portable Toilets which conserve water, eliminates the use of harmful chemicals, and create a nutrient rich soil amenity. It is the best pooping experience you will ever have. To learn more or to have them at your event visit GreatOutdoorsToilets.com or ask the race officials for more information.
We encourage all runners to carry their own form of hydration. Whether it be a cup, handheld, waist pack, or running pack- it’s up to each runner’s preference. We do not provide cups at aid stations or anywhere at the event. There will be water and recovery drink at the finish line, but no cups. Please use your own methods to fill up at the finish line.
Whether this race will be your first ultra marathon, your first trail race, or your first time running in this area of the country- we recommend coming prepared. We've created a packing list to help you think through what you may need for your race, so you can minimize stress and feel prepared.
Travel and Lodging
Bib pickup and the start/finish will be located at the Virgin City Park at the corner of 100 W and Main Street in Virgin, UT. Please approach the park by turning South on Mill St. then West on Main St. Drive-thru bib pickup will be staged at the south edge of the park.
Event parking will be in the empty lot kiddie corner from the park, and in the city streets near the park. Do not park along the street on 100 W and Main Street adjacent to the park. Parking along the street where the green dotted line notes on the map is okay. Please observe posted parking signs. Anyone blocking a residential driveway will be ticketed and towed at the vehicle owner’s expense.
There are lots of different ways to get to the race, so we’ve listed some general directions for driving and flying.
Look for flights into the following airports:
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. 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.
From Las Vegas-
Head north on Interstate-15 through Nevada to enter Utah. Take exit 16 in Washington, UT onto Highway 9. Take Hwy 9 all the way to Springdale, UT (you will take a right at 500 N in La Verkin, UT to stay on Hwy 9).
From Salt Lake City-
Head south on Interstate-15 toward southern Utah. Take exit 27 in Toquerville, UT. Continue on UT-17 through Toquerville and turn left onto Highway 9 (500 N) in La Verkin, UT. Continue on Hwy 9 all the way to Springdale, UT.
Lodging / Camping
Virgin is located right between Hurricane and Springdale, about a 15 min. drive to either of them. We highly recommend staying in Springdale if you can- hotel prices are higher than Hurricane or St. George, but the proximity to the park and the ambiance of the town are worth it.
Follow this link for more lodging options around Springdale. (Links to lodging in the Hurricane and St. George areas are also available through this same website.
ADDITIONAL HOTEL OPTIONS
We've partnered with Booking.com to search for the best hotel options in the area. Check them out below!
Things to See and Do
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 at Ultra Adventures is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer. Even a 100 mile course can only capture a portion of these unique areas. We want you to get into and explore the heart of the national park, walk through that remote slot canyon, see that incredible overlook that is not part of the course.
Most often, these spectacular areas are protected as part of a national park, monument, or wilderness area where races are not permitted as part of the management plan. These are often the areas most frequented by tourists, but are nevertheless places that we feel you must see while you’re visiting. It's our hope that through a more in-depth exploration of the area, you'll become more connected to the local landscape, thus creating more stakeholders in its preservation.
We would love to see your pics and even share them on our social media platforms! If you're okay with this, email them to us or use the hashtag #ultraadventuresbucketlist for a chance to be featured.
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.) If you have any energy left and you are looking for more miles after making it to the overlook, we would encourage you to continue up the amazing West Rim trail, which you will be using to access the Angel’s Landing spur trail.
- 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. If that's the case, you can substitute this hike with an exploration of Hidden Canyon. Click here for Hidden Canyon trail description.
- Observation Point: This trail will take you to an overlook that peers down into the main canyon from the top of the cliffs 2,100ft above the valley floor. Click here for trail description.
These other amazing options can replace any of the above trifecta legs but are not required due to price and/or distance:
- 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: This trail can substitute any of the 3 legs of the Trifecta that you’ve done before if you’d like to try something new. 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 Route requires some route finding skills (I probably put in an extra mile when I did it). This canyon is pristine and seldom seen and well worth the effort.
- 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.
- Trans Zion (Zion Traverse): Anyone crazy enough to do this epic route within a week from race day would not need to do any of the other Trifecta legs. 30% off your next event if you have the legs to pull it off. Take a pic in Hop Valley, one from the top of the West Rim trail and one from the top of the East Rim.
- 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.
- Pine Creek: You’ll need a wetsuit, rappelling gear, and a permit for this one but oh man is it amazing.
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.
Photos & Videos
Zion Ultras 100 Mile Runner
Bryce Canyon 50K Runner
Antelope Canyon Ultras Runner
Grand Canyon Ultra Runner
Bryce Canyon Ultras Runner
2020 Zion Ultras - Virtual Race Results