The Antelope Canyon Ultras in Page, Arizona is a trail running event that promises an adventure like no other. Imagine running through one of the most iconic landscapes in the United States, where every twist and turn reveals awe-inspiring views and unique geological wonders. Nestled in the heart of the Arizona desert, the Antelope Canyon region is a sacred ground to the Navajo people and boasts some of the most photographed sights in the country. From the mesmerizing curves of Horseshoe Bend to the enchanting depths of Waterholes Canyon (Ultra distances only), the Antelope Canyon Ultras offer runners a chance to immerse themselves in nature's grandeur while challenging their physical limits.
Antelope Canyon Ultras has in the past been a prestigious UTMB World Series qualifier in a stunning location with equally stunning options spanning 100 Mile, 50 Mile, 55K, and a Trail Half-Marathon. Our team considers it to be one of the Best Trail Running Events in the Southwest.
The event is produced by Vacation Races, who pride themselves on producing meticulously organized running events at the world's most breathtaking destinations. Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona, is the most famous slot canyon formation in the world, shaped by millions of years of water and wind erosion. The magnificent canyon was named for the herds of pronghorn antelope that once roamed the area.
Event & Course Info
The Antelope Canyon Ultras present a unique opportunity for trail runners to explore one of the most stunning landscapes in the United States. Whether you choose the 100-mile, 50-mile, 55K, or Trail Half Marathon, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience filled with challenge, beauty, and the spirit of adventure.
100 Mile Course: Kicking off at 6:00 AM with a 30-hour time limit, the 100-mile course is a breathtaking adventure through desert sands, slickrock, and iconic landmarks. Runners will traverse a 5-mile sandy doubletrack to reach the first slot canyon of the day, followed by a visit to the Antelope Aid Station at mile 6.2. The journey continues through Upper Antelope Canyon, with Navajo guides ensuring a safe passage through this sacred site. After a challenging 12-mile sandy stretch, the route leads to the majestic Horseshoe Bend and onward to a series of undulating slickrock terrains along the Colorado River.
The final 50 miles offer a smoother experience on the Page Rim Trail, a 10-mile loop encircling the city of Page with stunning views of Lake Powell. Aid stations are strategically placed every 5 miles, ensuring runners have the support they need to conquer this challenging course.
50 Mile Ultra Course: Starting at 5:45 AM with a 15-hour time limit, the 50-mile course shares its initial 27 miles with the 100-mile route, offering runners a chance to experience the beauty of Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. The journey continues with a single loop around the Page Rim Trail, providing breathtaking vistas and a more runnable terrain.
55K Ultra Course: For those looking for a slightly shorter challenge, the 55K course begins at 7:00 AM with a 12-hour time limit. Runners head straight to the Slickrock Aid station, followed by a mesmerizing journey along the rim of the Colorado River and through the Waterholes Slot Canyon. The race concludes with a single loop around the Page Rim Trail, offering stunning panoramic views.
Trail Half Marathon: Starting at 7:30 AM with a 5-hour time limit, the Trail Half Marathon offers a fast and scenic loop around the Page Rim Trail, providing runners with spectacular views of Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam. This course does not venture into the slot canyons, ensuring a swift and enjoyable run for all participants.
The organizer, Vacation Races, are known for ensuring runners at Antelope Canyon Ultras are well-supported throughout their journey, with a plethora of aid stations stocked with essential supplies and real food to fuel your run. From water and electrolytes to fresh fruit, sandwiches, and sweet treats, every aid station is equipped to help you stay energized and hydrated. The 100 mile course has 20 fully stocked aid stations, the 50 miler has 10, the 55K has 8 and the Trail Half Marathon has 3 aid stations.
Crossing the finish line of the Antelope Canyon Ultras is an achievement worth celebrating. A finish line is a welcoming place with supporters, your fellow participants, and many amenities like a recovery area with food, beverages, and a medical tent. All finishers receive a medal or specialty award, with special awards for the top 3 male and female overall finishers. The 100-mile finishers are also treated to a unique hand-crafted belt buckle, made with organic materials gathered from the course.
Don't forget to check out the recommended packing list for Antelope Canyon Ultras.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
The official hotel partner for the Antelope Canyon Ultras is the Hyatt Place, while there are also other hotel options in the small town of Page. If you prefer a more home-like experience, there are a handful of vacation rentals to suit a variety of needs from a modern oasis to full homes. There are also some one of a kind camping options in the area that are worth checking out.
Page, Arizona, offers a diverse culinary scene that reflects its Southwestern heritage and the influence of the Native American culture. Visitors can enjoy a range of dining options, from casual eateries serving traditional Navajo dishes and Southwestern cuisine to restaurants offering American classics, Mexican food, and BBQ, ensuring there's something to satisfy every palate. Local favorites include Hot n Sweet Coffee & Donuts, Bonkers Restaurant, and Desert Nutrition.
Nestled in the heart of the American Southwest, Page is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes looking for adventure, breathtaking scenery, and a chance to push their limits. With its unique geological formations, sprawling canyons, and the mighty Colorado River winding through the landscape, Page offers a diverse playground for a variety of outdoor activities. March, with its mild temperatures and generally clear skies, is the perfect time to explore everything this remarkable area has to offer.
Family and supporters will enjoy exploring Antelope Canyon, the same area that the runners traversed. For athletes looking for a challenging and rewarding hike, the canyon offers a unique opportunity to navigate through narrow, winding passageways, climb over boulders, and scramble up steep inclines. The Lower Antelope Canyon, in particular, provides a more strenuous experience, requiring ladders and some light climbing. The reward, however, is unparalleled views of the canyon’s famous swirling walls, illuminated by beams of light filtering down from above. Guided tours are required to enter Antelope Canyon, ensuring a safe and informative experience.
Lake Powell, a massive reservoir on the Colorado River, straddles the border between Arizona and Utah and offers over 1,900 miles of shoreline to explore. Outdoor athletes will relish the opportunity to kayak through its myriad of canyons, discovering hidden coves, and paddling beneath towering cliffs. March’s cooler temperatures make for comfortable paddling conditions, and the winter snowmelt from the Rockies begins to fill the lake, creating optimal water levels. For an added challenge, athletes can take on longer expeditions to more remote areas of the lake, camping along the shoreline and experiencing the stark beauty of the desert landscape.
For mountain bikers, the Rimview Trail offers a thrilling and scenic ride along the rim of the Colorado River plateau. The trail boasts a variety of terrain, from smooth, fast sections to technical rocky areas, providing a comprehensive workout and plenty of excitement. The loop covers approximately 10 miles, offering stunning views of the surrounding desert, Lake Powell, and the Glen Canyon Dam. In March, the trail is typically free from the summer’s extreme heat and the winter’s potential snow, offering ideal riding conditions. Whether a seasoned mountain biker or a novice looking to test their skills, the Rimview Trail delivers an unforgettable outdoor adventure.
Vacation Races produce several races of UTMB World Series and Western States qualifying caliber, including Zion Ultras, Antelope Canyon Ultras, and Bryce Canyon Ultras. Other premier trail running events taking place in Utah include the Moab Trail Marathon & Half Marathon, Tushars Mountain Runs from Aravaipa Running, and the Wasatch Front 100 which is part of the Grand Slam of Ultra Running and Rocky Mountain Slam series.
For the multi-sport athletes out there, there are many bucket list worthy events to add to your calendar that take place in Utah like the True Grit Epic and 25 Hours of Frog Hollow from GRO Races and part of the National Ultra Endurance Race Series (NUE) and the N24 Series respectively, Moab Rocks from TransRockies and part of their Race Series. All of these are considered by the team at Strambecco to be some of the Best Mountain Bike Events in the Southwest and Utah.
Gravel cyclists will appreciate some of the Best Gravel Cycling Events in the Southwest held in-state including the Crusher in the Tushar from Life Time Events and part of its Grand Prix Series, the Belgian Waffle Ride (BWR) Utah from Monuments of Cycling which is part of their Quadrupel Crown of Gravel Series, and the True Grit Gravel Epic from GRO Races.
Finally, those who prefer pedaling on the pavement are not left out, with some of the Best Road Cycling Events in the Southwest happening throughout the year here, such as the Utah-Cache Gran Fondo which is a GFNS Partner Event and a UCI Worlds Qualifier, the Lotoja, and the Gran Fondo Moab from TransRockies and part of their Race Series.
UTMB World Series is the ultimate global trail running series uniting the sport’s biggest stars and amateur runners through a leading international event series in the most stunning locations. The UTMB World Series gives all trail runners a chance to experience UTMB events worldwide, with 25 events taking place across Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas in 2022. It is the only place runners can begin their quest to UTMB Mont-Blanc, home of the prestigious UTMB World Series Finals. The UTMB World Series integrates three levels of events:
- UTMB World Series Finals
- UTMB World Series Majors
- UTMB World Series Events
To qualify to enter the lottery for Finals or Major events, you must collect a "Running Stone" by finishing qualifier events in the 20k, 50k, 100k, or 100M categories. Only 1 Running Stone acquired in the past two years is mandatory to enter the lottery. Running Stones are cumulative, have no expiration date, and each Running Stone gives you an additional chance to be drawn. Collecting Running Stones is the only way to access regular runners' UTMB World Series Finals. Discover the events that will allow you to collect Running Stones this year to enter the UTMB Mont-Blanc lottery next year here.