Grand Circle Trailfest: Kanab
October 4-8, 2023
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!
Travel to Trailfest in Kanab, Utah
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!!)
Fly into a nearby airport:
St. George, UT is a 1.5 hour drive.
Las Vegas, NV is a 3 hour drive.
Salt Lake City, UT is a 4.5 hour drive.
Phoenix, AZ is a 5.5 hour drive.
No matter which way you're coming from, you will see some amazing country en route.
Camping & Lodging Overview
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 or other stay)
All designated van, camper, and RV spots are sold out!
Lodging Facilities: 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 on-site.
Additional Facilities: Pavilion with picnic tables, serving area (where Moab Trailfest runners will provided with breakfast and dinner), showers and bathrooms, and open areas for yoga and other activities.
Not planning to camp? No problem. You aren't required to camp (there are plenty of hotel and VRBO options nearby) but you will not receive a discount by not camping with us.
Trailfest HQ Map
Trailfest HQ Quick Facts:
Wed, Oct. 4th
Sun, Oct. 8th
Included in your all festival pass! Choose your tent size and reserve a sleeping pad (optional) during registration.
Your Kanab Trailfest all festival pass includes access to the group camping area on the grounds at Festival HQ. Bring your own tent or we can provide one for you.
Coming with a group? Only one person in your group needs to reserve the campsite. Your other group members can choose "no campsite necessary" when they register! This means 2 people should reserve for groups of 8 or 12 and so on.
Enjoy camping but prefer a little extra comfort? Rent a Big Agnes sleeping pad to enhance your restful nights in between runs. Each 25x78 inch pad is available for just $10/night ($40 total).
PLEASE NOTE: Larger tents are intended for larger groups only, not for smaller groups looking for luxury or comfort.
Tent Camping Details
*Your tent must be packed up and returned by 12:00pm on Sunday! This is a strict check-out time.
*Damage due to neglect and failure to return your tent at check-out may result in an invoice to cover repairs or replacement.
RVs, Vans, & Cars (Sold Out)
At Festival HQ we have a limited number of spots where participants may park their RV, van, or car to camp in instead of tent camping. Trailers are not allowed. These parking spots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis during registration.
Please review the listed vehicle camping restrictions as you plan.
Vehicle Camping Restrictions
Have Questions? Check the FAQ!
Find Kanab Area Hotels
We've partnered with Hotel Planner to search for the best hotel options in the area.
Outdoorsy RV Rental
Rent an RV, motorhome, trailer, or campervan from Outdoorsy for your next adventure.
We realize that the races in this series are out of the way for most runners, and it may be the only time that you visit these breathtaking areas. One of our biggest desires is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the region has to offer.
While in the area we encourage you to continue the adventure and spend time in the parks!
Visit Southern Utah
Looking for family hikes, challenging summits, or unique natural landmarks?
Visit Southern Utah has collected trail info & maps to help you better explore the mesas, caves, caverns, and even sand dunes that make southern Utah one of our favorite areas to explore.
Our team's curated scavenger hunt!
If you've run any of our National Park half marathons before, you may be familiar with our "club hikes" and "trifecta" programs. The "Explorer Club" series is our new iteration of this idea! We want you to have as broad or as deep of an experience of our National Parks and their surrounding areas as possible. To help you plan, we have created scavenger hunts made up of all kinds of adventures and experiences you can have at our National Parks.
The scavenger hunt challenges consist of activities that fit into 6 categories: History, Hiking, Explore, Food/Dining, Education, and Stewardship.
Each activity is worth points towards a National Park Explorer Club badge! They are worth a different number of points based on difficulty and you can choose which to tackle based on your interests. Whether you have an afternoon or a week at the park, you should be able to plan an amazing itinerary with these suggestions!
Start Exploring With The Neocaching App
1. Get Started
Download the app and join the correct Explorer Club for your park.
2. Choose Your Own Adventure
Use our curated list of local hikes and activities to create an unforgettable weekend. Then - get out there and explore!
3. Log Your Activities
Log enough activities to earn 1500pts within 7 days of your VR to become an official Explorer Club member (and receive a special badge!)
Register for Grand Circle Trailfest: Kanab
All Festival Pass | $1000 sold out
Included in your All Festival Pass (including Charity Bibs):
*No single day option available
This event is sold out! There is no waitlist, but you still have options:
Find a bib from a runner
Sometimes runners can't make it to a race they signed up for :(
We'll set up a Facebook thread to connect people looking to buy/sell their Trailfest bibs!
Still thinking about Trailfest? We get it.
Get involved as a volunteer to support runners - plus, you earn credit towards a future race!
Sign up for emails and be the first to know about the 2024 Grand Circle Trailfest.
Start each morning racing through epic landscapes...
Bryce Canyon (15.7 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.
GPX download available!
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.
GPX download available!
Horseshoe Bend (10.6 mi.)
This course runs along the beautiful Horseshoe Bend where the Colorado River pours out of Lake Powell then continues on to carve the Grand Canyon!
Become one with the desert. This race allows you to run on unique trails on Navajo Tribal lands!
GPX download available!
Got Questions? Check the FAQ!
...complete your day with fun and fellowship!
The fun continues after the finish line...
Activities will run between 2pm and 8pm daily. Our activities typically include:
Fuel up for the day at Trailfest HQ.
Trailfest provides breakfast and a dinner buffet daily to keep you energized and ready for the next adventure.
(starts at 5:00am)
Food: Fresh fruit, oatmeal, muffins & pastries, bagels, bars, yogurt, smoothies.
Drinks: Juice, water & coffee, tea, and cocoa.
(starts at 5:00pm)
Catered daily! Dinner will always include a variety of healthy and satisfying options, including a vegetarian meal.
A final menu will be available in the race guide a few weeks before the event.
Gluten-free/dairy free options available at breakfast. A vegetarian option will be provided at dinner, but we cannot guarantee options for other dietary restrictions.
+ Daily Runner Food Box
All runners receive a finisher box full of snacks at the finish line! While we don't provide lunches at Trailfest, these nutritious treats will tide you over as you recover from each day's race.
Learn and play in the great outdoors!
Kids Camp is sponsored by our Non-Profit partner Wander Project and will ensure your kiddos have adventures of their own while you are out on the trails. This Junior Wanderer Camp will have kids engaging in natural and cultural history adventures at each race location while their adult runs the race.
Each day parents will take their child to a designated location near the race where a representative from Wander Project will work alongside a camp leader from one of our charity beneficiaries (National Park friends groups) who will take the group on guided activities in the area (nature walks, outdoor activities, crafts, 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.
Fee: $60/child per day
Note: Purchase via RunSignup when you register or by modifying your registration. Children must be at least 4 years old and potty-trained to join Kids Camp.
Relax, unwind, and get ready for tomorrow's race!
Our beer garden is open daily in the afternoon for adults to gather for a drink. We'll have both local and well-known brews on-hand, just don't wander outside of the enclosed area :)
Note: The beer garden is cash-only. However, you can use your card to purchase redeemable beer tickets at the check-in tent throughout the weekend. This is a great option to avoid waiting in line!
Beer Garden Hours: 5pm - 9pm
Non-alcoholic beers available!
Quotes from our runners!
Trailfest was absolutely amazing! Very well organized and so much fun! Thank you to everyone who helped put this event together!
Unexpected Laughing Fits
Pack up extra humor...you're going to fall into some great unexpected laughing fits with a few hundred of the newest members of your trail family.
Awesome Race and Event
This was my first trail run event and I had a great time! Vacation Races did a great job at Basecamp with providing food, entertainment, activities and recovery stations.
Tom Nat G
Volunteer with Us!
We can't do these events without the help of our crew and amazing volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, volunteer spots with specific shifts will become available as we get closer to the event.
Because Trailfest is a multi-day event you may want to volunteer more than once. A typical volunteer shift is for 4 hours. However, If you plan to volunteer for more than one shift and for more than one day you may receive a few extra perks.
Check out the volunteer categories before you sign up!
Choose Your Category and Sign Up:
A Vacation Races volunteer is never 'standard', they are amazing and we are so grateful! Volunteering can be fun and rewarding. If you sign up for a volunteer shift, you will receive a volunteer shirt and will earn $50 or $100 in credit that can be used at a future event.
If you plan on being at Trailfest for the duration and would like to help fill multiple shifts, you'll join us as a Super Volunteer. For your help, you will receive:
If you fall into this category please do not sign up for standard volunteer spots on RunSignup. Instead, fill out the form below and mention which days you are available and your capacity to help. We will contact you with a few more details to get you squared away.
* The credit amount will depend on the volunteer task.
** The amount of meal tickets offered are dependent on the number of days you volunteer.
*** If you are traveling with a registered runner you won't need an additional tent campsite as your spot is counted with their registration.
Fundraise while you train 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.
New this year, YOU choose whether the funds you raise support a WP community partner or an organization that matters to you!
Kanab Trailfest Logistics
Read your Festival weekend logistics here!
Ready to join us for a trail-packed weekend? Festival HQ will be located at Jacob Hamlin Park in Kanab, UT. You'll check in here, pick up your race packet, find your tent (if applicable), and settle in for 3 days of fun and finish lines.
What you'll get at check-in:
You'll receive one bib that you will use for all 3 races. Please do not lose your bib! It has a timing chip on the back, so be careful not to fold the bib or get it wet.
If you have any issues with your bib, we will have staff and volunteers available throughout the event to help resolve them.
Wristbands will be used during the event to get your meals and use the shuttles.
Your registration includes meals, however shuttle access is an additional service that you can reserve by modifying your registration on www.runsignup.com
You'll receive a tag to claim your tent during event check-in.
Tents are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Please follow instructions on-site and head to the camping area to choose an available 4 or 6-person tent.
Can't make it during check-in hours?
Don't fret! Head straight to the camping area in the canyon cove just northeast of the parl. We will have a pop-up tent stationed there for after-hours self check-in. Instructions will be posted so you can get to your tent and settle in.
Quiet hours begin at 10:00 PM. Please be mindful of your campground neighbors if arriving after this time.
Festival HQ will be at Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab, UT. The races are in surrounding areas throughout the Grand Circle region.
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 pre-paid shuttles each day taking runners to that day's course.
Directions to Your Courses
Driving to Bryce Canyon Race
From the Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab, head south on N 100 East. Turn right onto E 300 North for 0.5 miles. Turn right onto N 300 West (US-89) and continue to follow US-89 for 59.5 miles. Turn right onto E Highway 12 for 13.6 miles. Turn right onto N Main St. (UT-63) for 1.2 miles. Turn left onto N 100 E. The parking areas are on the East side of highway across from Ruby’s Inn.
Travel time: 1hr 25m. Driving directions
Driving to Zion Race
From the Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab, head south on N 100 East. Turn left to stay on 100 East/US-89A toward Fredonia for 6.8 miles. Turn right onto Pratt Street (AZ-389 W) toward Apple Valley for 32.6 miles. Continue on UT-59 N for 8.1 miles. Take a slight right onto Main Street and drive for approx. 2 miles to find the dirt parking lot on your left.
Travel time: 1 hr. Driving directions
All runners who drive themselves to the race will ride on a provided shuttle (approx. 15 min.) from the dirt parking lot in Apple Valley to the start line location. We will have staff on site directing traffic and parking. Following the race, runners will be shuttled back to the parking lot.
Driving to Horseshoe Bend Race
From the Jacob Hamblin Park in Kanab, head south on N 100 East towards E 450 North. Turn left onto S 100 East and take another left at the 3rd cross street onto US-89 S. Follow US-89 South for ~75 miles to Haul Road in Page, Arizona. At the traffic circle, take your 3rd exit onto Haul Road. Turn tight onto Ball Park Access and continue straight 100 ft to reach Page Sports Complex.
Travel time: 1 hr 20m Driving directions
Register for a shuttle pass during event registration
Direct Shuttle (from Festival HQ)
Who can ride? Runners only
Ticket needed? Yes, purchase in advance
Departure time? Around 5:30am
The direct pre-paid shuttles to and from Trailfest HQ in Kanab have limited space and are intended for runners only. You can purchase shuttle tickets when you register for the event.
The return shuttles will be running to Trailfest Headquarters after the race. They will depart as soon they are filled with finished runners.
Parking Lot Shuttles (from race parking)
Who can ride? Runners and spectators
Ticket needed? No
Departure time? Ongoing, starts at 6:30am
To reach the start and finish lines, runners and non-runners who drove themselves will take a short shuttle ride from the parking area.
PLEASE NOTE: Runners will be given first priority when loading these shuttles. There will be enough shuttles for all, but please understand that our focus is to get runners to and from their race.
Note: We recommend driving rather than taking the shuttles. This gives you greater flexibility to enjoy your time after crossing the finish line.
Each race will have one aid station located about halfway through the course. They will have volunteers on hand to help you!
Trailfest aid stations will have the following:
These courses are not very spectator friendly. However, spectators are welcome to greet you at the finish line. Spectators are responsible for their own transportation.
Friends and family should drive to the designated parking area for each race location and take the short shuttle ride to the finish line to cheer on their runners. See more shuttle information.
Coming with non-runners? They don't need to purchase an All Festival Pass!
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.
NON-RUNNER 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 $12, cash or credit accepted. Purchased meal tickets will be given to the volunteer at the buffet entrance.
"Be Excellent to Each Other"
- Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure
We are all sharing this space, so let's do our best to put community first. Here are some guidelines for good etiquette at Grand Circle Trailfest:
1) Respect Quiet Hours
Quiet hours at the camping area start at 10:00 PM nightly. Runners will be resting up for tomorrow's race, so please do your best to keep lights dim and noises low.
2) Keep HQ Clean!
Please keep track of your belongings, clean up your trash, and do your part to keep any facility you use clean. This includes our bathrooms - follow the instructions in the compost toilets and "cover they turd" so we can all feel and smell fresh longer.
3) Watch Your Water Usage
While we have plenty of water for all, there are sure to be peak hours after the races and before bed when many people will be using the showers. Please keep your showers short and consider showering during odd hours to help reduce lines.
4) Respect Everyone's Space
Trailfest is a lively, exciting place to be - but that doesn't mean we can run amok! Please be respectful of people's space - reduce vehicle speeds around HQ, don't shine flashlights in tents, and use the marked walkways instead of cutting in-between tents.
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!
Running back-to-back trails is no joke. We highly recommend you give your gear some extra thought before Trailfest. Make sure you have trail shoes that are right for your feet, a hydration system to get you across the finish line, and take stock of any special nutrition needs you may have.
Looking for recommendations?
Or ask the community!
Search in the group for discussions about trail gear, training, and more.
As nature lovers, we are committed to keeping our events sustainable and managing negative impacts on the environment. Our goal is to send less than one bag of actual “trash” to the landfill after each event. We have managed to meet this goal at events with over 3,000 participants!
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. Reusable cup - These light-weight cups fold into a pocket or waistband. There are many options to choose from, but Vacation Races cup of choice of the Nathan reusable cup.
3. Hydration pack - These are refillable backpacks meant for running that allow you to access fluid via a built-in straw.
ZERO WASTE CONTAINERS
You can help us reduce trash by sorting disposable items into the appropriate container.
You’ll notice three containers at our events:
Please avoid putting organic waste and compostable items in the wrong bin. It gets gross to sort through.
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.
Photos are typically available for FREE via RunSignup the Friday following the week of the race. We will send out an email when they're posted to the album. Past Trailfest photos are available via the link, as well.
Share your experiences with us!
Be sure to use #KanabTrailfest in any photos you post from the race or your adventures exploring the park so we can share in the fun with you!
We'll have merchandise on-site throughout the event weekend - so stop by and pickup some exclusive apparel and gear!
After the event, remaining merch items can be purchased in our online store. Please allow 1-2 weeks for those items to be added.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Registration & Logistics
Yes! Trailfest has consistently sold out during the first registration period. We HIGHLY recommend marking your calendar and purchasing your All Festival Pass as soon as they're available.
Every registration includes a tent site and a 4- or 6-person tent. (You can also bring your own tent if you prefer.)
Coming with other runners and want to share a tent? Make sure one person in your group claims a tent for every 4 or 6 people in the group. Everyone else should indicate "no campsite needed" during registration.
Example: If you are coming with a group of 8 people, two of your members should reserve a campsite while registering. The others are covered by those two reserved tents.
Once you arrive: 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.
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
-Jacket or vest
-Sleeping bag & pad (40° for most nights check weather conditions before)
-Blanket to lounge on
-Socks for each race
-Flashlight or headlamp
-Any personal medication
-Running hydration system/pack
-Warm clothes for nights & mornings
*Many of these items can be purchased in Kanab or in one of the communities along the way. The nearest Walmart is in Hurricane Utah 60 minutes from Kanab.
A few more things
-Personal first aid kit
-Reading and writing materials
-Personal Bathroom Kit (personal wipes, hand cleaner, etc.)
*Check the weather beforehand for Kanab. If there is a cold front that moves in a 40° bag wont be enough and you would be better off bringing a 20° or layered clothing or an extra blanket. If you sleep cold you might consider bringing a warmer bag anyway.
Though they are technically allowed in the campground outside the park, Kanab City ordinance does not allow dogs in Jacob Hamlin Park, where
the majority of festival activities and facilities are located. In addition, dogs are not allowed on race shuttles. For that reason, we do not recommend bringing furry friends with you.
Nope, you can stay anywhere you like! We'll provide a tent and space at the camping area 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 tent and tentside whether you use it or not.
We'll provide catered meals each night of Trailfest (Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday).
We'll also offer a continental style breakfast each race morning (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). Runners may help themselves to breakfast each morning. You'll receive a wristband when you pick up your bib. Show this wristband when entering the buffet area to eat dinner.
Additional meal tickets can be purchased at the registration tent or at the buffet table for $12, cash or credit accepted.
There will be shuttles available. We don't recommend you use them.
Why? They'll return to Festival HQ very soon after the race. We suggest driving yourself and then taking time to explore the National Park before heading back to Festival HQ.
The headquarters shuttle will take runners from Festival HQ in Kanab to the start line of the race and then back again to Kanab after the finish. The shuttle is OPTIONAL and a pass must be purchased for each day you want to use it. This can be done as part of the Trailfest registration process.
Note: Start line parking will be in designated areas nearby the race area. All runners who drive themselves to the race location will park in this lot and then take a short shuttle ride to the start line. Shuttles will then take them back to their car after the finish.
Yes, each course will have at least one aid station about halfway through.
Each aid station will have water, Gnarly electrolyte drink, Honey Stinger energy gels, basic foods (fruit, pretzels, etc), and toilets. Check each course description for exact location of the aid station.
If you or a member of our race staff determine that you won't be able to complete a race, we will extract you from the course. Extractions occur at the aid stations, as these courses are remote and we do not always have vehicle access outside of the aid station location.
This means that you should make your decision before reaching the aid station, if possible.
If you drop out of one race, you can still run in the next day's race. This is your event and you deserve to have the fullest experience possible. However, it is your responsibility to put your health first and pass on a race if you feel it is needed.
Dogs are not allowed on the course. Strollers are not permitted on course as these trails do not provide safe conditions.
Beyond that, you should bring whatever tools you need to run your race successfully. Trekking poles, gaiters, etc are all permitted on course.
Note: Whatever you bring on course, make sure it comes to the finish line with you! Do not litter or leave any items along the course.
Each race is slightly different, depending on the distance:
Bryce Canyon has a 5 hour and 20 min cut-off time.
Zion has a 3.5 hour cut-off time.
Horseshoe Bend has a 4.5 hour cut-off time.
For more course details, please check the course details page.
While we don't have an official team option for Trailfest, don't let that stop you from running with your friends in sweet matching t-shirts, tutus, etc! We love the energy that teams bring to the race!
Interested in our Grand Circle Trailfest events? Join the email list.
We'll send you updates about new event Trailfest dates and notify you before registration opens and prices increase to keep you on track!