June 7

Half Marathons in Montana: Rough, Rocky, and Beautiful

Meet our running community and tear up the trail in Big Sky Country.

It’s tough to beat Montana when it comes to natural beauty, and sometimes driving through the scenery just isn’t enough. 

If you want to get up close and personal with the rocky trails and rolling prairies, a half marathon with Vacation Races is a great option. Whether you’re trekking through Gallatin National Forest or climbing the paved course along the border of Glacier National Park, it won’t take you long to see why locals call Montana “the Last Best Place.”


2025 Half Marathons in Montana

Our half marathons in Montana were designed to challenge runners while providing them with some of the best views of the landscape. Experience these beautiful courses with one of the most welcoming running communities in the country.

Yellowstone Half Marathon & 5K

Run through the wilderness of Gallatin National Forest in the Yellowstone Half Marathon. Then, celebrate your accomplishment by experiencing the beauty of the country’s first national park.

This loop course starts off slowly, with the first 3 to 4 miles being relatively flat as you navigate through town. Once you cross the bridge over South Fork Madison River, you’ll enter the forest. 

This is where the course gets scenic, as you’re surrounded by thick forest on each side. Expect loose rocks and uneven ground. You’ll encounter some uphill climbs and downhill cruising before the course flattens out around mile 12 and you’ll be back where you started, finishing just outside West Yellowstone.

Event Overview
  • Course Details:
      - Technical dirt & rock trail
      - Loop trail
      - Elevation gain of 582 ft.
      - Max elevation at 6,690 ft.
     
Price
  • Launch Weekend: $125
  • Early Registration: $150
  • Regular Registration: $175 
  • Late Registration: $200
a group of runners on a trail near Yellowstone national park

Glacier Half Marathon

The uphill climb of the Glacier Half Marathon is challenging, but you’ll reap the rewards of incredible views as you go. This point-to-point course takes you along the eastern border of Glacier National Park, with the spectacular sight of Two Medicine Lake and Looking Glass Hill. 

This course starts at 5,000 ft elevation with a steady climb during the first 5 miles, bringing runners to nearly 6,000 ft. After the initial climb, you’ll enjoy a steady downhill course until around mile 10.You’ll push through a small 200-foot climb before the course levels back out. Once you reach the finish line, a shuttle will be waiting to take you back to the race start.

Event Overview
  • Course Details:
      - Paved, uphill & downhill
      - Point-to-point course
      - Elevation gain of 1,235 ft.
      - Max elevation at 5,980 ft.
Price
  • Launch Weekend: $125
  • Early Registration: $150
  • Regular Registration: $175 
  • Late Registration: $200
Glacier DSC1763 scaled

Experience Everything Montana Has to Offer

Montana isn’t just beautiful, it’s also a state rich in history and full of diverse wildlife. You might be coming here to run a race, but you’ll want to stay and experience more of what makes Montana great.

Scenery

It’s not called “the Treasure State” for nothing. With nine national parks and even more state parks, there’s no shortage of places for hiking, fishing, and camping. You might even catch a glimpse — look, don’t touch — of native wildlife like grizzlies, elk, antelope, or moose. Whether it’s the geysers of Yellowstone or the forests of the Great Bear Wilderness, Montana is a place where nature thrives.

History

Admitted to the Union in 1889, Montana has been home to indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Crow, Cheyenne, and Blackfeet. When gold was discovered in 1852, it paved the way for European expansion into the region. There are many historic sites to visit and learn more, such as Big Hole National Battlefield, Little Bighorn Battlefield, and Fort Benton. 

Activities

In addition to thousands of miles of hiking trails, Montana is home to many ranches you can stay at. They offer a wide variety of outdoor activities, from sport shooting and archery to fly fishing and horseback riding.  

Training for a Half Marathon in Montana

Your goal for any half marathon training is to increase mileage, endurance, and strength. In the lead-up to your race, prepare your body for a half marathon with long-distance and tempo runs. 

Don’t forget that many of the races in Montana are partly or fully on trail; it’s recommended to train and race in trail running shoes for these kinds of races. Your longest training runs should mimic the terrain most similar to the course you plan on running. 

Montana features various mountain ranges and rivers. Many courses in Montana include climbs with steep elevations and unpaved paths; you’ll want to include running on hills and elevated routes when training for your Montana half marathon.

We provide a few helpful guides to train for the terrain of our half marathons in Montana:

Image of a pdf document with daily training recommendations

Experience the Beauty of Montana with a Vacation Races Half Marathon 

Breathtaking views, challenging trails, and big blue skies. Whether you’re a seasoned runner planning your race calendar or you want to add a fun challenge to your trip to Montana, Vacation Races has a half marathon for you. Visit our half marathons page today to view upcoming races and our full events calendar. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the Glacier Half Marathon?
The Glacier Half Marathon is one of Vacation Races most popular races. It takes participants along the eastern border of Glacier National Park on a challenging, paved, point-to-point course with steep inclines.
What are the most popular places for half marathons in Montana?
The areas surrounding Montana's national parks are among the most popular locations for half marathons. The scenery neighboring Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park provides breathtaking views and unforgettable race experiences for experienced and inexperienced runners alike
Is a Montana half marathon good for beginners?
Beginners are always welcome to race our Montana half marathons, which allow a walking pace. As long as race participants can walk at an 18.5 minute-per-mile pace, they can finish within the half marathon’s time cutoff. 
What type of training should I do for a half marathon in Montana?
Montana is a high-elevation state, and many half marathon courses involve long or steep climbs. When training, you want to acclimate yourself to running at higher elevations through altitude training. You can do this either by running in places with high elevation or running with an elevation mask. It’s also a good idea to incorporate hill workouts, both longer hill repeats and shorter hill sprints, to prepare for climbs.

Karen Bodkin

Author

Karen Bodkin is the owner of Karen Bodkin Copywriting Solutions, offering brand journalism, SEO & AI consulting, and content creation. When not consulting with clients, she loves weightlifting, playing baseball, and exploring the great outdoors.


Tags

Montana, Yellowstone


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