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Grand Circle Trailfest

Your 3-day festival celebrating trail running, community, music, and the great outdoors! Each day you'll run a Half Marathon in the morning and then enjoy an afternoon full of activities or head out into the parks to explore.
  • Location: Apple Valley, UT
  • Date: Sept 29- Oct 2, 2021 
  • Terrain: Dirt trail
  • Difficulty: Moderate back-to-back races

Sept 29 - Oct 2, 2021

Kanab, UT


Dirt Trails


What is Trailfest?

Whether you're an experienced runner or just starting out, Trailfest 2023 is the perfect opportunity to meet other outdoor enthusiasts, discover new trails, and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of the American Southwest. So, don't miss out on this incredible trail festival experience and the opportunity to hike the best places in the United States. Register now for Trailfest 2023!


Each morning, you'll run a gorgeous timed race on one of the world's most uniquely beautiful hiking trails. 

You'll earn a finisher award for each daily race and compete for an overall placement award.


After the race, spend the day exploring the parks, enjoy day hikes on the local trails, and get to know the local sights and sounds that are available at this epic outdoor adventure festival.

Absorb nature with all your senses!


After a day on the trails, sit back and enjoy well-deserved rest and food at base camp. Be entertained by expert presenters, motivational speakers, live bands, bonfires, a trail running film festival, yoga clinics, gear demos, and more!

3 Epic Courses

Day 1

Bryce Canyon (12.3 mi.)

Nowhere is the force of erosion more tangible than at Bryce Canyon.

Its wilderness of phantom-like rock spires attracts nearly 2 million visitors every year.

You'll see all the beauty but avoid the crowds as you run on remote trails through the magical hoodoos unique to the Paunsaugunt Plateau.

Day 2

Zion (10.4 mi.)

The towering sandstone walls and deep slot canyons of Zion National Park are unique to anywhere else on earth and attract 3 million visitors a year.

You'll run remote trails along the edge of a mesa, offering you commanding views of the majestic sandstone towers that make Zion famous.

Day 3

Horseshoe Bend (10.6 mi.)

New! Staggered parking 

and start times

This course runs through the incredible Waterholes slot canyon and then along the beautiful Horseshoe Bend where the Colorado River pours out of Lake Powell then continues on to carve the Grand Canyon! 

Meet your Guide to Trailfest 2021!

The Trailfest Race Guide is your handy resource for course info, festival schedule, directions, and other important info. Download and it have it on-the-go during your stay!

Spend time after the race exploring each National Park!

Race Packages & Pricing

Trailfest has passed :(

Keep your eyes peeled for news about Trailfest 2022. This is a popular event and will sell out quickly, so make sure you're in the know!

*There is a limited number of entries to each race, and this event will most likely sell out. If the event is sold out, registration will close regardless of registration period.


One of my favorite races!!!

I did the Inaugural Half (Oct 10, 2015) and it was one of my favorite races!!!

Denise Marie
Yosemite Half Marathon Runner

Charity Bibs

Wander Project Final Logo color

Want to run for a great cause? 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. We primarily fund three project areas including: preservation and conservation of public lands; education around local ecology and stewardship; and the promotion of health and well-being. Learn more about Charity Bibs here!

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.


This is a tentative schedule and will be filled with more clinics and entertainment as we get closer to the 2021 event!
Itinerary & entertainment are yet to be finalized but expect live music, native cultural presentations, historical presentations, movie screenings, & more!


12:00–8:00 pm - Runner check-in

2:00-4:00 pm - Sponsor highlights

4:00 pm - Speaker: Cory Reese

5:00 pm - Dinner buffet opens

5:30 pm - Welcome/ Event overview

5:45 pm - Medical clinic w/ Chad

6:00 pm - Wander Project Presentation

6:30 pm - Bryce Canyon Course Overview

7:00 pm - Paiute Friendship Circle/blessing & vendors close

8:00 pm - Dinner ends

9:00 pm - Beer Garden last call

10:00 pm - Quiet hours begin

10:30 pm - Fires out


5:00 am - Grab-and-go breakfast begins

5:30 am - Shuttles begin loading at Festival HQ

5:45 am - Shuttles depart for Bryce Canyon race

7:00 am - Runners who drive themselves should be at parking area

7:30 am - Bryce Canyon race starts (rolling waves)

11:15 am - First shuttle returns (as they are filled)


2:00 pm - Recovery and medical tents open

3:00 pm - Yoga starts

4:00 pm - Live Music: Josh   Warburton & Yoga session 2

5:00 pm Dinner buffet  opens

5:30 pm - Wander Project & non-profit partner presentation

6:30 pm - Bryce Canyon Awards

6:45 pm - Zion Course Overview

7:45 pm - Stellar Observatory Telescope Tour

8:00 pm - Dinner ends

9:00 pm - Beer Garden last call

10:00 pm - Quiet hours begin

10:30 pm - Fires out


5:00 am - Grab-and-go breakfast begins

5:30 am - Shuttles begin loading at Festival HQ

5:45 am - Shuttles depart for Zion race

7:00 am - Runners who drive themselves should be at parking area

7:30 am - Zion race starts (rolling waves)

11:15 am - First shuttle returns (as they are filled)


2:00 pm - Recovery and medical tents open

3:00 pm - Yoga starts

4:00 pm - Speaker: Addicts to Athletes (Rob Rich) & Yoga session 2

5:00 pm Dinner buffet opens

6:00 pm - Native Performance - Navajo Hoop Dancers

6:30 pm - Zion Awards & demo booths close

6:45 pm - Horseshoe Bend Course Overview

7:45 pm - Film Screening:

Trail Running Film Festival part 1

8:00 pm - Dinner ends

9:00 pm - Beer Garden last call

10:00 pm - Quiet hours begin

10:30 pm - Fires out


5:00 am - Grab-and-go breakfast begins

5:20 am - Shuttles begin loading at Festival HQ

5:30 am - Shuttles depart for Horseshoe Bend race

7:00 am - Runners who drive themselves should be at parking area

7:00 am - Horseshoe Bend race starts

No Spectators!

11:15 am - First shuttle returns (as they are filled)


2:00 pm - Recovery and medical tents open

3:00 pm - Yoga starts

4:00 pm - Yoga session 2

4:30 pm - Speaker: Sunny Stroeer

5:00 pm Dinner buffet opens

5:30 pm - Horseshoe Bend Awards/Overall Awards

6:00 pm - 2021 Trailfest Highlight Video

6:30 pm - Live Music: Stray Local

7:45 pm - Film Screening:

Trail Running Film Festival part 2

8:00 pm - Dinner ends & 

9:00 pm - Beer Garden last call

10:00 pm - Quiet hours begin

11:00 pm - Fires out

Note: The Horseshoe Bend race is in Arizona, but all times listed are based on Utah time (MDT)


12:00 pm - Checkout

Aid Stations

Trailfest aid stations will have the following:

  • Water
  • Gnarly electrolyte drink
  • Honey Stinger gels
  • Fresh fruit
  • Variety of both salty and sweet items

At every event, our aid station workers are there to assist you. If you ever need help, our aid workers will do whatever they can to help.

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Festival HQ will be at Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab, UT!

We'll have plenty of camping for Trailfest runners but you're welcome to find your own lodging nearby if camping isn't your speed. And yes, you can bring your friends and family.

Campsites will be available from noon on Wednesday through noon on Sunday (4 nights!!)

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Your Trailfest registration includes a camping pass to the group area at race headquarters. Bring your own tent or we can provide one for you. Camping will be in a new camping area we are developing with the city of Kanab just north of the ball fields at the base of the canyon walls, adjacent to the city park (Festival HQ).
*Camping is available from noon on Wednesday (Sep. 29th) through noon on Sunday (Oct. 3rd).

When you register, you'll be asked to select the option of tent camping, car/van/RV camping, or none (if you opt to get a hotel etc.).

There are bathrooms with flush toilets at the headquarters and there will also be compost toilets placed around the tent area and festival. Showers will be available at the Recreation Center/Pool, south of the park.

Additional facilities include: pavilion with picnic tables, serving area (where Trailfest runners will provided with breakfast and dinner), three fire pits, a stage for the film festivals, and a very large playground for kids. 

*It is possible to park a tent trailer or motorhome (26 ft. or shorter) instead of tent camping, however, there aren't hookups available, and spaces are limited. 


We've partnered with to search for the best hotel options in the area. Check them out below!

booking logo



The Grand Circle Trailfest is a unique event in that in addition to all the fun you'll be having at the festival, you'll be running anywhere from 11 to 13 miles a day- 3 days in a row. This can be daunting especially if you are new to trail running, or if you are not used to running at altitude.

We've partnered with Terry Chiplin with Active at Altitude. Terry is a Lydiard running coach and has created a guide to help you with training tips to both physically and mentally prepare for this awesome adventure ahead!  

Traveling to Trailfest

Trail Fest 08

Kanab is a 1.5 hour drive from St. George, UT; a 3 hour drive from Las Vegas, NV; a 4.5 hour drive from Salt Lake City, UT; and a 5.5 hour drive from Phoenix, AZ.  No matter which way you're coming from, you will see some amazing country en route.

FROM ST. GEORGE (SGU): You will skirt around the southern side Zion National Park and pass through the Mt. Caanan Wilderness Area, and the Kaibab Paiute Reservation.

FROM LAS VEGAS (LAS): You will traverse the Mojave Desert and transition to the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau, with views of Zion National Park and the Mt. Caanan Wilderness Area, and the Kaibab Paiute Reservation.  

FROM SALT LAKE CITY (SLC): You will drive down the scenic Hwy 89 with views of the Paunsugaunt Plateau (home to Bryce Canyon National Park) and through the towering white sandstone cliffs just east of Zion National Park.

FROM PHOENIX (PHX): You will drive through Flagstaff and continue north, paralleling the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and through Navajo land. You'll have two amazing options that are equally breathtaking and similar in distance/time from Kanab. If you take Hwy 89A, you'll cross the Colorado River via Navajo Bridge near Lee's Ferry, then drive along the stunning Vermillion Cliffs National Monument before climbing up onto the famous Kaibab Plateau and then descending down into Kanab with perhaps the most expansive views of the entire Grand Staircase, including Zion and Bryce. We highly recommend this route.  The other option is to take Hwy 89 through Page, AZ (Make sure to get out and hike out to see Horseshoe Bend of the Colorado River while you're there). You'll drive across Glen Canyon right below the dam with views of Lake Powell before heading west with views of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the north and Vermillion Cliffs National Monument to the south. 

Getting to the races

Driving Yourself

We encourage you to drive to the start of each race so you can spend the rest of the day exploring the park and surrounding area on your schedule! However we will have shuttles each day taking runners to that day's course.

Drive Times
Bryce Canyon Race: 1hr 25m Driving directions
Zion Race: 1 hr Driving directions
Horseshoe Bend Race: 1 hr 20m Driving directions

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Driving to Bryce Canyon Race

Driving to Zion Race

Driving to Horseshoe Bend Race


Runners have the option to sign up to take a shuttle from Trailfest Headquarters in Kanab to the start line each race morning. Shuttles will load at 5:30 am and depart at 5:45 am. The return shuttles will be running to Trailfest Headquarters after the race. They will depart as they are filled with finished runners. Shuttles are reserved for registered runners only.

If you did not reserve a shuttle during registration but would like to, you can log in here and edit your registration to add-on a shuttle reservation. 

Spectators & Non-Runners

SPECTATORS: Each day’s courses are not very spectator friendly. However, spectators are welcome to greet you at the finish line. Spectators are responsible for their own transportation. Shuttles to and from Kanab are only for registered runners who signed up for the shuttle in advance. Friends and family can park in the designated parking area for each race location and take the short shuttle ride to the finish line to cheer on their runners.
PLEASE NOTE: When loading shuttles to transport individuals back to the parking area from the finish line, runners will be given first priority. We will try our best to be accommodating, but please understand our main focus will be on the runners.

NON-RUNNERS: Trailfest will offer plenty to do for the non-runner. All the activities begin after 2:00 pm. Everything from yoga classes, nature walks, massage therapists, and local vendors and shops offer plenty to do for those who don’t want to venture out onto the trails. In addition, the speakers, film-screenings, entertainment, or other parts of the festival aspect are free to join in on.

The town of Kanab also offers a couple of unique museums, a movie theater, bar, and several historic sites to keep you busy. While your runner is out on the trail, go for a drive through one of the 3 adjacent National Parks, 2 National Monuments, one of the Navajo Tribal Parks, or Lake Powell! 

Non-runners may share a tent with a runner, or additional camping spots may be added during or after registration. 

MEALS:  For registered runners, a nightly buffet dinner as well as a morning grab-n-go breakfast before each race is included. For those not running, additional meal tickets can be purchased at the registration tent or at the buffet table for $10, cash or credit accepted. Purchased meal tickets will be given to the volunteer at the buffet entrance.

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2016 Trail Fest 061 1

Beer Garden

There are plans to have a Beer Garden at Trailfest 2021. As we near the event, we will present our official beer garden partner. Keep on the lookout for more details to come, as the beer garden is dependent on if there are major restrictions due to Covid-19, or how the event will be permitted to host a beer garden. However, we fully intend to have one. 

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Kids Camp

We will be offering Kid's Camp. We are working with Wander Project to create a Junior Wanderer Camp. Our plan is that each day parents will take their child to the race starting area where they will meet a representative from one of our charity beneficiaries (National Park friends groups) who will take the group on guided activities in the area (hikes, nature walks, etc.).

They will then be picked up when their runner finishes so they can explore the area together and share what they learned or head back to camp together. Although there are a lot of details to finalize, the kids will be engaged, get a t-shirt, supervised while runners are on the trail, and have a great time! Kids Camp is $30/child per day.

Note: Children must be at least 4 years old and/or potty-trained to join kids camp. 

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What have others said about Trailfest?

Loved it

We had an amazing time...I've never done back to back to back like that ever and loved it. Know that I know I can I will try to do more because of this experience. Thank you!

Thaddeus Zysk
Trailfest Participant

Thank you for a well organized race. My kids loved the park and dancers which made for easy entertainment after running!

Erin Nash-Fairfax
Trailfest Participant

Excellent event!

It was an excellent event! Thanks, Trailfest!

Fawn Viator Hernandez
Trailfest Participant

Best adventure ever!

Margaret Metzger
Trailfest Participant

The cost is expensive but with what you are getting for the cost I completely understand the price.

Elliot M.
Grand Circle Trailfest Participant

Super excited!

Super excited to run the trails of Nor Cal! Did the grand circle trailfest and looking forward to this new adventure!

Jill Hansen
Trailfest Participant

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When will Trailfest sell out?

How do the tents work at the festival?

Do I have to stay at the festival?

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

What should I pack for Trailfest?

What time does the race start?

How long is the drive to the race?

How long do I have to finish the race? Can I walk?

Will there be shuttles?

Do I have to take the shuttle?

Are there aid stations?

Are dogs allowed?

Are strollers allowed?

Can I be on a team?

What are the meal options?

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