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Celebrate Running and Nature with Trailfest 2020 in Kanab, Utah

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Run each morning in a gorgeous timed race on one of the world’s most uniquely beautiful trail courses. Three epic courses include: Bryce Canyon (day 1), Zion (day 2), and Horseshoe Bend (day 3). Each run is 11 – 13 mile runs and you’ll earn a finisher award for each daily race plus compete for an overall placement award!

Relax and absorb nature! 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! You can also spend the day exploring the parks, hiking local trails, and get to know the local sights and sounds. 

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.

  • September 30th – October 3rd (Wednesday–Saturday)
  • Run through Kanab, UT (just north of the Arizona border)
  • The Grand Circle Trailfest is a unique event with festivals and 3 days of photogenic 11 to 13 miles courses.
  • Daily Itinerary & entertainment will include live music, native cultural presentations, historical presentations, movie screenings, & more!
  • Campsites will be available are included in the fees.

Day 1 (Wednesday)Orientation and Buffet Dinner with Beer Garden

Arrive in Kanab and check in to the hotel anytime before 8:00 pm. That evening you’ll meet the group and get oriented for what to expect with your first run in Bryce Canyon. Dinner will be a delicious buffet with beer garden options. Relax after dinner around the fire before bed!

Day 2 (Thursday)13 Mile Course Through Bryce Canyon

Start the day with a grab-and-go breakfast before you head off to Bryce Canyon for the beautiful 13 mile trail. The Bryce Canyon course starts at the Coyote Hollow Trailhead and jumps onto some single track pretty quickly. Despite the trail not being wide at this point, it is the easiest spot to pass runners by stepping off the trail through the trees. A few miles in and the single track starts to have slight drop offs which make it more difficult to pass. The crowd should thin out a bit during these first few miles. Being on the same plateau as Bryce Canyon National Park you will be treated with some spectacular views and run among the hoodoos and red rocks! Today’s challenge: elevation and climbing.

After, a shuttle will take you back so you can clean up and shower, before heading to enjoy the vendor booths and massage tents offerings. Yoga and a speaker will onsite for those interested.Enjoy a dinner buffet or a drink from the beer garden while you get your Zion Course overview and receive Bryce Canyon awards. Enjoy another relaxing evening around the fire before tomorrow’s course!

Day 3 (Friday)13.6 Miles Course Through Zion

This morning you’ll head to Zion! The Zion course has been the topic of much discussion organizers are finalizing between the old course on Gooseberry Mesa and the course ran in 2019 on Wire Mesa. The runability of Wire Mesa is superior to Gooseberry Mesa, but some like the views on Gooseberry Mesa better and the technical nature of the course. Nobody liked the dirt road leading from Wire Mesa back to the finish on our 2019 course, however most agreed the logistics for the Wire Mesa course were much better (no shuttles!). Either option is great for our runners, but we want to make the best call. Right now we are undecided on which course we will run, but it will either be Gooseberry Mesa or Wire Mesa in 2020.

Enjoy vendor booths, massage tents, yoga, or our speakers before the dinner buffet and beer garden open. At 6:00 PM, enjoy a Navajo Sunset Ceremony before we hand out Zion course awards and review our last run of the event: Horseshoe Bend.

Day 4 (Saturday)10.6 Miles Through Horsehoe Bend

Grab and go breakfast before you run along the outer rim of the iconic Horseshoe Bend! This course will give you a very intimate view of the Colorado River as it begins to carve its way through the Grand Canyon (though the official “start” of the Grand Canyon is another 2 miles down river). This section along the famous Horseshoe Bend is easily one of the most sought after views of the Colorado River.

After veering away from the rim, runners will be traversing through the desert for a bit until reaching Waterholes Canyon, a slot canyon very few get the privilege of exploring. The section through the slot canyon includes a few areas where runners will have to climb/scramble down into the canyon, and also climb a ladder or two (one is about 15 feet and the other is about 6 feet) back out. Please be patient with each other (especially in the slot canyon and climbing down ladders) and be careful. This course’s biggest challenge is the sand. Runners will run through miles of soft sand. Gaiters are recommended, but plan to stop and dump out your shoes on several occasions and remember to drop those hips to help glide across the sand.

Then it’s time to go back where you’ll have time to pack up and get ready for an early dinner along with beer garden, yoga, massage tents, and vendor booths. We’ll have Horseshoe Bend Awards and the Overall Awards that evening. One last night around the fire before bed!

Sunday 12:00 pm – Checkout

What's Included

Campground lodging

Catered meals each night & continental style breakfast

Aid stations & shuttles for runners

Afternoon & evening entertainment

Not Included

Hotel accommodations (if preferred)

Transportation to & from the festival

Q & A

How do the tents work at the festival?
Every registration includes a tent site and a 4- or 6-person tent. (You can also bring your own tent if you prefer.) If you’re coming with other runners and want to share a tent, make sure one person in your group claims a tent site for the group. Everyone else in the group can simply indicate “no campsite needed” during registration. 

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 would select “No campsite needed” when registering.

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.

A limited set of car/van/RV sites are available for vehicles 26 ft. or shorter.

Do I have to stay at the festival?
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. 

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.

What is weather like in the area this time of year?
Early fall 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.

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.

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 permitted on these trails.

Availability Calendar

September 30–October 3, 2020 (Wednesday to Saturday). There is a limited number of entries and this event will most likely sell out. If the event is sold out, registration will close regardless of registration period.

Early Registration (December 6 – March 15)   $775

Regular Registration (March 16 – June 21)   $900

Late Registration (June 22 – September 30)   $1,000

Terms & Conditions


We know stuff happens and sometimes you can’t make a race you signed up for. Refunds are available during Early Registration (no fee) and Regular Registration ($10 fee). Deferral, Race Transfer, and Bib Transfer available during all registration periods ($20 fee).

Note: Refunds aren’t given for any race extras already shipped (e.g., shirts, bibs, HydraPouches, etc.).

Additional Notes About Refunds:

  • Refunds are not given for anything already shipped (e.g., shirts, bibs, HydraPouches, etc.) 
  • If you opted to have your bib package mailed to you, once your package is shipped you are officially checked into the race and no longer qualify for a registration transfer, deferment option, or refund
  • Refunds are not available due to inclement weather

Notes about Deferments/Race Transfers:

  • Once you defer your registration you will receive an email with a deferment code which can be used to register for the next year’s race (once registration opens) or to register for any other open race. Deferment codes are good for one year. 
  • Once your registration is deferred or transferred to another race you no longer qualify for a refund.
  • This trip and tour is run by Vacation Races.

Notes About Bib Transfers

  • Bib transfers must be made from within RunSignUp. If you purchase a bib outside of the RunSignUp platform you won’t be able to pick up your bib because your identification won’t match the name on the bib. 
  • Online bib transfers can take place until the day before the expo. After this period the bib transfer will need to be done in person at the expo (only the new runner needs to be present). 
  • Bib transfers only cover the race registration fee – add-ons do not transfer to the new registrant. The new registrant can choose to purchase add-ons when they register.
  • The original registrant is responsible for paying the processing fee. The new runner will pay the current registration price regardless of what the original runner paid.
  • Refunds are not given for anything already shipped (e.g., shirts, bibs, HydraPouches, etc.).
  • If “transfer for refund” is selected and the new registrant fails to complete their registration, no refund is issued and the original registrant is responsible for using their bib on race day.

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