2024 Medal design for the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon and 5K in Estes Park, Colorado
2024 Medal design for the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon and 5K in Estes Park, Colorado


Rocky Mountain Half & 5K

August 2-3, 2024 | Estes Park, CO

  • Quick Info

  • Travel & Lodging

  • Explore The Area

  • Register to Run!

This is a challenging but scenic run just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. It starts and ends by the lake at the fairgrounds in historic Estes Park, Colorado, which means it has some killer mountain views!

With the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon, 5K, and Elk Double (Half Marathon + 5K) you can choose your own adventure!

Half Marathon

  • August 3, 2024
  • 6:00 am (MT)
  • Start/Finish: Stanley Park (Estes Park, CO)

5K Race

  • August 2, 2024
  • 6:00 pm (MT)
  • Start/Finish: Stanley Park (Estes Park, CO)

Expo & Bib Pickup

  • August 2, 2024
  • 11:00am - 5:00pm
  • Stanley Park (Estes Park, CO)
Quick Info
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Race Raves: 4.7/5

Read more reviews from runners like you!

Get to Know Your Half Marathon Course

  • Paved road loop
  • High altitude
  • Elevation Gain: 788 ft.
  • Max Elevation: 7,923 ft.

Maps & Elevation

Satellite view of the Rocky Mountain half Marathon course around Lake Estes and surrounding areas
Elevation chart for the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon with a max elevation of 7,923 feet
Course Description

We'll begin the race on the corner of Community Drive and N St. Vrain Ave. (Highway 36). We'll run counter-clockwise around the lake along the paved trail. When we come to Mall Rd. we'll take a left until almost 1 mile where we'll turn left back onto the lake trail. At about mile 1.5 we'll cross Big Thompson Ave through the new tunnel there, and take an immediate left.

We'll turn right onto Dry Gulch and continue for approximately 3 miles. This will be a steady uphill grade. At the end of Dry Gulch we'll make a left onto Devil's Gulch. Devil's Gulch will have some rolling hills for the next few miles, but it will mostly be downhill.

Just after mile 8 we'll take a left onto MacGregor Ave. This will be a nice flat section of the course. We'll then take a left Wonderview Ave. We will run against traffic to SW Steamer Pkwy where we will take a left and then and immediate right onto Steamer Pkwy. 

We'll run with traffic on Steamer Pkwy to Steamer Dr, where will will take another right. We will then run down Steamer Dr to Big Thompson Ave. We will run along Big Thompson until we get back to the tunnel, where we will cross Big Thompson again. We'll then jump back on the Lake Estes Trail and finish running counter clockwise around the lake to the finish line which will be at the same place that we started.

Time limit
All runners will have 4 hours to finish the race. That is an 18.5 minute mile - plenty of time for walkers! If at anytime we deem it unsafe and need to pull a runner off the course we would hope for understanding and immediate cooperation. Failure to comply will result in being banned from future events.

Location Note
To be clear, this race doesn't take place inside the National Park. It's difficult to get permission to conduct private business activities on national land, and rightly so.) Having said that, this is about as close to the park as it gets.

A runner at the Rocky Mountain Half Marathon jumping with their arm in the air

Paved Road

This course is on a wide paved road, leaving you plenty of space to run and enjoy the views.

Interested in running the Elk Double by combining the half marathon & 5K? Click here!

Course Difficulty

  • 3/5 Difficulty
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress
Current Progress

Incline course, high elevation


We recommend training on trails with an uphill portion and rolling terrain. If possible, try to run at high elevation a few times before this event. Check out training tips for high altitude running.

Aid Stations (Bring your own cup!)

image of a blue foldable cup with the Nathan brand name on it

All aid stations are cup-free so remember to bring your own hydration solution or request a FREE Nathan reusable cup when you register.

Expect about 6 aid stations on the course near mile 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 12 (Exact locations vary). A medic will be stationed typically at the aid station at or near mile 9. Aid stations include toilets, water, Gnarly Hydrate, Honey Stinger gels, basic first aid supplies, and sometimes more. Cups are not provided on course to help reduce waste.

Additional Details


Wander Project Final Logo color

Support Our

Park Communities

Fundraise for your chosen race 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 race expo, finish line, merch tent, and beyond! Join us for a 3-4hr 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!)


Train with Vacation Races

FREE PDF download for each event!

No matter what your skill level, when you're pushing your limits it's nice to have a little guidance! We're excited to offer FREE training programs for all levels.

Know Your Guidelines

- Read your race 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.

Rocky Mountain Race Logistics

Come here to prepare for your race weekend. 

Race Expo & Bib Pickup

You have a couple of options for picking up your bib and race packet including at the Race Expo, the start line, or we can mail it to you. 

Option #1: Race Expo
Our expo is always held the Friday before a race. We’ll have our merchandise table set up, so be sure to stop by and say hi! Details below.

Option #2: Race Morning (not recommended)
We will have limited race morning bib and packet pickup on race morning at the start line. Get there early!

Option #3: Shipped Before the Race ($30)
You can add a shipped bib to your registration until one month before the race by logging into RunSignup, clicking Manage Registration, and Add Ons.

Refunds: Once your package is shipped, you are officially checked in to the race and no longer qualify for our refund, deferment, or transfer options.

Race Expo

All of our events are cup-free and bag-free to help us reduce waste! Please plan to bring a reusable hydration source or request a free HydraPouch at registration. 

Tentative Date: August 2, 2024

Bib Pickup Hours: 11am - 5pm

Location:  Stanley Park Ball Field in Estes Park, CO

We encourage you to attend the race expo on Friday. This is your chance to see the area, pick up your bib packet, and check out merchandise. We'll have a variety of swag from shirts and tanks to our favorite Hydro Flasks and everything in-between. See you there!

yosemite D4R8613 scaled
Rocky Expo Map
Race Schedule

All weekend events are located at the Stanley Park ball field in Estes Park, CO. All times listed are in Mountain Time.

This weekend schedule is approximate based on our 2023 Rocky Mountain event. Check back one month before the 2024 event for a final schedule.


11:00 AM - Race expo & bib pickup begins
5:00 PM - Race expo & bib pickup ends

5:45 PM - Runners line up
6:00 PM - 5K Start!

7:00 PM - 5K Awards


4:00 AM - Parking lots open & morning bib pickup begins

5:15 AM - All runners should be parked

5:45 AM - Runners line up & last call for gear check

5:55 AM - National Anthem

6:00 AM - Half Marathon starts (rolling waves for all runners)

8:45 AM - Awards Ceremony

Arrive early & get ready with us

We encourage runners to arrive early on race morning. Find a parking spot, grab some Summit Coffee or hot chocolate, and listen for updates from our race announcer (they're the one with the megaphone and early-bird energy)!


Parking & Drop-off 

Event Parking Areas

We will have plenty of parking to accommodate all of our runners. There are three designated parking areas near the fairgrounds and park that are a short walk to both the start line and the finish line. To park - you will come down Highway 7 and turn East onto Manford Avenue towards the fairgrounds and will be directed to a specific parking area from there. These lots will be filled
in the following order:
1. Ball Fields
2. High School and Observatory
3. Fairgrounds (please only park in designated areas marked on the

Runner Drop Off

If you are dropping a runner off, please go to the lime green area on the map. Enter the drop off area off of Manford Ave and quickly circle out of the parking lot to exit. This will help avoid any traffic jams near the parking lots.

Rocky Parking Map
We welcome spectators to Rocky Mountain this year!

Spectators are welcome at the finish line and may park according to the main parking locations and schedule. The finish line is walking distance from town, which has many shops and restaurants to pass the time until your runner finishes! We encourage spectators to download and use the RaceJoy app so they can track their runner and head to the finish line only when they are close.

Some Etiquette

- Please only park in designated areas. There should be plenty of parking for everyone. Following this guideline allows us to continue putting on successful events compliant with local authorities.

- Once your runner has finished their race, please stay outside of the runner recovery area to avoid crowding.

- Finish line drinks, supplies, and the medical tent are there for runners only. Please respect this.

Rocky Mountain 5K
Rocky Mountain Logo 2023 5K

Rocky Mountain 5K

Tentative Date: August 2, 2024

Start Time: 6:00 pm  
Location: Stanley Park (380 Community Drive, near the ball fields)

Bib Pickup: At the race location from 11am-5pm on race day


This course loops around Lakes Estes and is primarily flat with light stretches of downhill and then uphill terrain. You'll get beautiful waterfront views as well as glimpses of the Stanley Hotel and the Rocky Mountains in the distance!

  • OK for wheelchairs and strollers
  • Paved Road
  • Loop Course

Aid Station
There will be one aid station on the course near the halfway point (mile 1.5). The aid station will have water, Gnarly Hydrate, and bathrooms. Like the half marathon, this race will be cup-free!

Because of the significant amount of road control, spectators are not allowed to stop along the highway at any point along the race. There are no vehicles allowed on course except emergency vehicles. 

Spectators are welcome around the finish line to cheer on all participants. Please note that the runner area is for runners only! Please do not enter the runner recovery area or partake of runner’s food and recovery supplies.

Satellite map of the Rocky Mountain 5K course around Lake Estes

Click for an interactive map

Elevation chart for the Rocky Mountain 5K with a max elevation of 7,572 feet
Elk Double

Elk Double

Up for an extra challenge? Try the Elk Double! Run the 5K on Friday evening and the half marathon on Saturday morning and earn extra swag! You'll use the same bib for both events.

When: Tentative August 2-3, 2024
Where: Estes Park, CO

With an Elk Double registration, you'll earn: 

  • One standard race shirt for Rocky Mountain
  • ONE special Elk Double swag item - during registration, you’ll choose between a hat, pint glass, campers mug, t-shirt, tank top, or beach hoodie and you’ll pick it up at the race expo. Additional items can be purchased at the end of the second race.
  • Two finisher medals - one for each race
  • One Elk Double medal
Elk Double Registration

You MUST register for the Elk Double event, not separate races. 

If you register for the races separately, you will need to transfer into the Elk Double in order to receive special swag and medals.

Need to upgrade to a Double or Quad?

This is considered an event transfer. You can transfer into the correct event via your account on Run Signup.

*if you deferred or transferred into this race your race credit will appear as $0. Contact us at info@www.vacationraces.com and we'll complete the upgrade for you!

Zero Waste

As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Here's how you can help us:


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 all aid stations, 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. Nathan reusable cup - These light-weight cups fold into a pocket or waistband. Request one when you sign up to run!

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

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

Stay hydrated on course with a reusable cup!


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
Race Results

Visit RunSignup for race results. 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. Because our age group winners are based on chip time, it is
possible to cross the finish line before someone else in your age group while still finishing with a slower time than them. 

Top Finished 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.

Half Marathon Race Photos

Half marathon race photos are offered to our runners for FREE! These photos are available the Friday following the week of the race via RunSignup. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album. Currently, we do not offer photos for the 5K event.

Race Merchandise

Exclusive Rocky Mountain Half & 5K merchandise is always available at our race expo and at the finish line! After a race, available merch will be listed in our online store (please allow time for merch to be added to the store).

Not PR ready? Join the email list.

We'll send you updates about registration opening, price jumps, and more to keep you on track! 

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