Views from Trail #102

The Sunrise Trail, near the finish line.

Table Mountain at dusk and during the day


The wild red rock canyons and rainbow hills around Richfield offer endless exploration and adventure.  This run links together several canyons and remote ATV trails into a grand adventure run.  Run up a slot-like red rock canyon, trek atop a packed natural clay fin under colorful hills, power up and scream down remote ATV trails along a ridgeline.  There will be a half-marathon distance, a marathon distance, and an ultra-marathon of 75km (47 mile). 

The Run

You run in dry streambeds in several canyons that are connected by defined yet remote sections of the Paiute ATV trail.  In Dairy Canyon, which all runners will travel through, there are a couple rocks to climb over, one sandstone overhangs, and one ladder.

For 2017, the marathon and half marathon will return to Richfield via ATV trails, avoiding any wet rocky streambeds.  The 75km ultramarathon, though, will cover almost exactly 10km in Willow Creek Canyon, primarily on a cow trail that occasionaly crosses the streambed.

The timing of the race is for October specifically so there is low water flow in the stream and lesser chance of precipitation in the narrow canyons. This will make running down the Willow Creek streambed for the 75km ultramarathon easier, in that lower down there will be no water, and as you get higher you can hop back-and-forth over the tiny amount of remaining flowing water as you make your way up this colorful canyon. 

The ATV trails in this run have some very nice packed clay sections, some red rock sections, and some sections with loose rocks.

Logistics & Participation

Registration:  Click here to register.  

Race Guide:  Click here to view the full Race Guide

Time & Date:  Meet at the Richfield, Utah Lion’s Park Saturday, October 14th, 2017.  The 75km ultramarathon will start at 6:00 AM, the marathon trail race at 7:00 AM, and the 1/2 marathon trail race at 7:30 AM.  Packet pickup the night before between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM.

Getting There:  Richfield, Utah is located a 1hr 45 min drive South of Provo, and 2hrs 30 minutes South of Salt Lake City.  Getting to Richfield should be easy with modern electronic maps.  Coming from the North, take Interstate-15 to Scipio, then turn off onto Highway 50.  You will turn off Highway 50 and pass through Aurora (watch for speed traps) before jumping onto Interstate-70 the last few miles to Richfield.

There are 2 freeway exits off I-70 into Richfield.  From the North exit, drive South into town until you hit the first stoplight (300 North), next to the City Park.  Here turn West towards the mountains and drive 6 blocks to the Lion’s Park (600 West).   We will meet up in the middle of the park at the main pavilion next to 400 North.

From the South, Richfield is about 1hr 50 minutes North of Cedar City, or 4hrs 15 minutes North of Las Vegas.

Running:  2017 will be the first year this is a formal run.  To enjoy this run you should be experienced running on technical trails (or at least power hiking) with limited support, competent managing your own hydration and nutrition, and not adverse to clambering over small rock obstacles.  There will be several aid stations, but all runners should have personal hydration for 1 to 2 hours inbetween.

Weather:  Hopefully the weather will be dry and relatively warm.  The clay sections become slick when wet, and more water in the canyons will add difficulty.  High water flow in Dairy Canyon can be dangerous, but there is an ATV road that parallels the canyon if weather requires.  There is also a potential in October for snow, so come prepared for normal Utah weather (ie just about anything).  Average temperatures in mid-October are around 35 degrees on the low end to 70 degrees on the high end.

Course Markings:  The course will be marked at most places with ribbons corresponding to the race colors on the maps.  Follow the ribbons.

Packet Pick-up and Pre-race Pasta Feast:  Packet pick-up and pasta will be between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM on Friday, October 13th (a lucky day!) at Herb's Place located at Jorgensen's Bowling Center. Address is 980 South Cove View Road in Richfield.  A brief 5-minute welcome and instructions will be given about 7:00 PM.  The optional pasta feast will cost $9/plate and should be available as part of the Ultrasignup process, but please contact us if you have need any help or additional reservations.

Course Details:

Section 1:  Frontage Road

The Marathon (7:00 AM) and Half-marathon (7:30 AM) begin at the Richfield Lion's Park.  Runners pass under the I-70 overpass, and run 1 mile to the South on a dirt road paralleling the freeway.  At a second overpass, turn West towards the mountains, running towards the white “R” built out of rocks on the hill.  Pass over the lower dug-out notch in this hill to the right of the “R” and approach Dairy Canyon, the middle of 3 canyons feeding into this constructed spillway.

Section 2:  Dairy Canyon (3.7 km)

In the 1970’s there was a church-run dairy where I-70 now sits, thus the name of this canyon.  It is the most beautiful, diverse, and narrow of the 6 dry canyons running into the Richfield area.  Over the first 500 meters in Dairy Canyon you will have two boulders to pull yourself up over, and then The Ladder (conditions permitting).  After The Ladder, keep working your way up this narrow canyon, paying attention to trail marking ribbons at a couple potential junctions.  Towards the top of the canyon it becomes smooth carved sandstone that has a small overhang to get up.  There is an ATV trail that parallels the ridgeline just above the stream bed, and eventually you merge with this trail.  There are a couple of steep climbs on the ATV trail, and the last steep climb takes you up to the top of Flat Canyon..

Section 3:  Flat Canyon

The top mile or so of Flat Canyon is a raise fin of packed dirt and clay, perfect for running.  To the left are rainbow colored hills, while to the right crumbled red hills.  All runners will run to the bottom of the raised fin.  Half-marathon runners will turn around at this point, while longer runners will drop to the West into the streambed and will run up the "Unnamed Canyon" past some spectacular weathered red rock formations, before returning Flat Canyon.


Section 4:  Traversing to Little Valley Overlook (Trail #84)

From the Flat Canyon Aid Station, follow the ATV trail #84 to the North.  This trail rolls up and down (mostly up) through unique red rock views.  Stay on the ATV trail until it peaks out with an overview of dropping into what is known at Little Valley to the West, and you are greeted with a nice view of the Sevier Valley stretching off to the East.  Continue high along the ridgeline to the North until you merge with the CCC truck-accessible road.  There will be an aid station here.  Half marathon runners at the top of this road will split off on the Scorpion Ridge trail to the East and begin their downhill return journey, connecting further down with trail #102.  Marathon and ultramarathon runners will follow the main CCC road (#96) down to Little Valley Spring.  

Section 5:  CCC Road (Road #96 for 5 miles)

Marathon & ultra runners follow the dirt CCC road for about 3.7 miles up to a major junction with mountain road #111 (aka Piaute ATV trail #1) on top of the mountain. Runners take the right fork, up and then down, another 1.3 miles until they reach the high grassy meadow junction of Trail #52.  There will be an aid station here. 

Section 6:  Trail #52 Ridgeline (4.6 miles)

Marathon and Ultra Marathon runners will follow trail #52 back down to LIttle Valley running with spectacular views while on a high ridgeline. BUT, before you can go down, you start with several hundreds meters of quite steep climbing before you reach the high point of 8115 feet elevation.  The trail follows the ridgeline back down to Little Valley and trail #2080 at an elevation of 6515 feet. 

Section 6:  Lower Little Valley

Marathon and Ultra Marathon runners follow trail #2080 North until they come to the junction of trail #102.  Follow markings because part will be run on the trail, part in the dry streambed.  It is about 1.3km to the junction.

Section 7:  (Trails 102 & 103, about 5km)

Marathon and Ultra runners take trail #102 up about 2km, then #103 down about 3km.  There are several amazing canyon overlooks where you may stop briefly to snap a photo.  As you get lower and closer to Richfield, trail #103 crosses a few other numbered trails, and eventually hits the Sunrise Trail / Powerline Road #70.

Section 8:  Sunrise Trail to Finish Line (1.9km / 1.2 miles)

Begin running South, and initially uphill, paralleling the freeway.  This trail section will wind up a couple hundred feet above the freeway and the town, before dropping onto the CCC road.  From here you can see the Lions Park just below.  Follow the CCC road under the freeway to where you started the day.


Ultramarathon runners will complete a 21 mile loop around Table Mountain before beginning the marathon course.  Below is a description of the ultramarathon 21mile loop around Table Mountain.

Ultra Part A:  Start, Canal Road, to Rifle Range (6 miles)
From the Lion's Park, you will begin in the dark on a smooth(er) canal road.  The first 1.3 miles are on a paved trail next to the canal.  Carefully cross Richfield Mainstreet (police will be there to assist) and continue on the canal road another 3.4 miles to Rifle Range Road.  Here turn under the freeway and run towards the mountains to the West. An aid & drop station will be at the end of the Rifle Range road.

Ultra Part B:  Willow Creek Canyon (6 miles) 
You will be surrounded on all sides by rugged majestic layered red rock cliffs as you gradually ascend Willow Creek.  Most of the lower sections of of this canyon will be on cow trails paralleling the streambed.    

Ultra Part C:  XC to Trail #105, to Overlook (0.8 miles)
At 12.5 miles into your run, you will climb a couple hundred yards to trail #105.  Following trail markings up to a lower ridgeline to the South, then the high ridgeline to the East.  On this high section of trail #105, you go South to the end of the road for a spectacular overlook and refueling stop and aid station.  From this overlook, you can look across the expanse, to areas you will be running later in the afternoon.

Ultra Part D:  Trail #105 (3.6 miles)

This remote ATV trail passes through a dry, sparse, yet beautiful Juniper forest.  After a mile or so of very gradual incline, you begin a rapid descent.

Ultra Part E:  Ken's Canyon to the Lime Kilns (1.8 miles)
Here you leave the defined ATV trail and enter a beautiful (hopefully) dry red rock canyon.  Watch for markings and beware of cliffs!  Follow the streambed, but pay attention to four cliffs that require leaving the streambed and follow horse trails up and around.  Continue downhill until you exit into the Sevier Valley just North of Richfield next to the old Lime Kilns.  Aid Station C: Lime Kilns will be set up near the freeway off-ramp just before the pavement begins.

Ultra Part F:  I-70 Overpass to Horizon Trail #70 to Finish (2.4 miles)

From Aid Station C, take the dirt frontage road to the South, crossing over Cottonwood Creek.  Continue South on the frontage road as it climbs up a couple hundred feet.  Here you will meet up with the return course for the marathon and 1/2 marathon routes, and you will cover the last 1.2 miles back to the Lion's Park the same route you will later in the day as you finish.

The Pillars in Dairy Canyon

Morning in Flat Canyon

The Chockstone of the Unnamed Canyon.

From Trail #102 looking into Cottonwood Canyon

Willow Creek Canyon: (image above) about two miles up the canyon.  By about 5 miles up the canyon, the ecosystem changes (image below)

Trail #105 Overlook

Looking down into Dairy Canyon

Sunrise over the Sevier Valley from the top of Dairy Canyon

Registration for 2017 now closed