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Arches Ultra 2025

January 25, 2025

Event Series Event Series (See All)
trail runner at Arches Ultra
Last Updated July 7, 2024

As a trail running enthusiast, the allure of Moab, Utah, in the winter is irresistible, especially with the Arches Ultra kicking off the season. Part of the Run Moab Series organized by Mad Moose Events and a cornerstone of the Triple Crown of Moab, the Arches Ultra offers a unique opportunity to experience the breathtaking landscapes of this iconic region while tackling some of the most varied and challenging trails. Scheduled for January, this event promises not only stunning views of towering Moab cliffs, Arches National Park, and the snow-capped La Sal Mountains but also the thrill of running past dinosaur tracks in UtahRaptor State Park.

What makes Arches Ultra truly special is the diversity of its terrain. From smooth, easy trails to technical slick rock and even some sandy sections, runners will encounter a range of surfaces that keep the race exciting and engaging. The event offers multiple distance options—50 miles, 50K, half marathon, and 9K—ensuring there's a suitable challenge for every level of runner and taking place in one of the Best Destinations for Outdoor Athletes - Moab, UT. With a lower elevation course, participants can enjoy the majestic scenery without the added strain of high altitude. Strambecco rates Arches Ultra as one of the Best Trail Running Race Events in the Southwest and one of the Best Trail Running Race Events in Utah.

Event & Course Info

The 50-mile course, starting at 6:30 am, features an elevation gain of 4,524 feet, with the highest point at 5,135 feet. This route, with its mix of easy trails and technical sections, provides a comprehensive test of endurance and skill. Aid stations are strategically placed along the route to provide water, electrolytes, and basic medical supplies. The 50K course, starting at 7:30 am, includes an elevation gain of 2,894 feet, blending smooth paths with technical slick rock, making it accessible for those looking to push their limits without tackling ultra-distance. The half marathon, starting at 8:30 am, has an elevation gain of 873 feet, offering a perfect balance of challenge and enjoyment with enough elevation to be engaging without being overwhelming. The 9K course, starting at 9:00 am, has an elevation gain of 295 feet and is ideal for those new to trail running or looking for a shorter, fast-paced race. Aid stations are located at key points across all routes to ensure runners are well-supported.

Arches Ultra has embraced a cupless policy, encouraging runners to bring their own reusable cups. Aid stations will have water dispensers and volunteers to assist with filling bottles and bladders, ensuring minimal environmental impact while keeping runners hydrated. The event is structured with specific field limits and generous cutoff times, ensuring a supportive experience for all participants. For instance, the 50-mile race has a cutoff time of 14 hours, providing ample time for runners of various paces. All participants receive a custom race shirt, a BOCO Gear Technical Trucker Hat, and a finisher’s medal. The post-race celebration includes refreshments and a lively atmosphere at the finish line, located at Seven Mile RV Park, where runners can relax and celebrate their achievements.

Packet pickup is available the day before the race at the start/finish line location, ensuring a smooth pre-race process. On race day, check-in and packet pickup will be available early in the morning. For those traveling to Moab, the event website provides comprehensive travel information, including lodging options and recreational activities in the area. Participants are encouraged to carpool due to limited parking at the start/finish line.

Arches Ultra is part of the Run Moab Series, which features several other exciting trail races throughout the year. These events provide a range of distances and challenges, allowing runners to experience the diverse and stunning landscapes of Moab in different seasons. By participating in multiple events in the series, runners can explore various trail systems, from the technical slick rock of the Arches Ultra to other unique courses that highlight the natural beauty and rugged terrain of the region. Mad Moose Events, the organizer behind Arches Ultra, also hosts premier running events in Utah and Colorado, catering to road, trail, and ultra runners. Volunteering opportunities are available for those who want to support the running community and earn credits toward future race entries, making it easy for friends and family to get involved and contribute to the success of these remarkable events.

Area Accommodations & Things to Do

If you have not visited Moab, you are in for a treat.  We consider it to be one of the Best Destinations for Outdoor Athletes - Moab, UT. It’s an absolute outdoor paradise offering iconic Southwest scenery and a wide array of sports options in addition to trail running. There is something for everyone, from hiking to kayaking, rafting, rock climbing, off-road adventuring, and exploring national parks.

When it comes to lodging, the town has a variety of options to suit different preferences and needs. Three highly recommended options are the Big Horn LodgeGonzo Inn, and Field Station Moab (which also offers spots for van lifers), all known for their friendly accommodations and convenient locations. However, if you don't mind a bit of a drive and are looking for something more secluded, the Red Cliff Lodge and Sorrell River Ranch are two beautiful lodges located about a 40-minute drive from town.

The culinary scene in Moab, Utah, is surprisingly diverse, offering a range of dining options from casual cafes and food trucks to upscale eateries, with menus featuring everything from traditional American and Southwestern dishes to international cuisine. Many establishments also focus on locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a fresh and unique dining experience in this scenic desert town. Some favorites include Milt’s Stop N Eat, Moab’s oldest restaurant (try their burgers and shakes!), Jailhouse Cafe, and the Moab Food Truck Park.

Moab, Utah, is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, offering a plethora of activities for adventurers looking to explore the stunning natural landscapes surrounding the town. Just 5 miles from Moab, you can find Arches National Park, a must-visit destination known for its breathtaking arch formations, with popular trails like Delicate Arch and Devils Garden Primitive Loop providing challenging runs or hikes amidst the park's unique scenery.

Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park are both about a 40-minute drive from town, offering vast, panoramic views and a variety of trails. The Syncline Loop in Canyonlands is a great 8-mile run or hike option, while the Intrepid Trail in Dead Horse Park provides a 9+ mile loop suitable for mountain bikers, hikers, and runners alike.

Beyond these parks, Moab boasts a variety of trails for running, hiking, and mountain biking. The Slickrock Trail, Bar M area trails, Magnificent 7 area trails, Grandstaff Canyon, Corona Arch trail, and Porcupine Rim trail all offer unique and challenging terrains with stunning views. For those interested in history and culture, several sites feature fascinating petroglyphs to explore.

If you’re looking to give your feet a break, the Colorado River offers kayaking, paddleboarding, and rafting opportunities, with several rental outlets available in town. Jeep and ATV rentals are also popular, providing a different way to explore the rugged terrain. For a bit of exercise and relaxation, the Moab Aquatic Center on 400 West features a swimming pool and workout equipment.

For the more daring adventurers, Moab has unique canyoneering tours, rock climbing locations, and even skydiving opportunities. The recently opened zip line course, which includes a thrilling via Ferrata option, adds to the adrenaline-pumping activities available. Beginners interested in climbing can get their start at the Moab Adventure Park on Kane Creek Road.

After all the excitement and adventure, you might find yourself in need of some rest. Consider a nap on a smooth, sunny red rock or in Moonflower Canyon. Alternatively, a cool soak in Grandstaff Canyon Creek or Mill Creek offers a refreshing way to unwind and rejuvenate before your next Moab adventure.

Related Events

Mad Moose Events, is the hub for premier running experiences set against the spectacular landscapes of Utah and Colorado. They are dedicated to providing unforgettable, meticulously organized races that ensure every mile is marked, and every runner's safety is prioritized with an on-course director performing safety sweeps.

Multi-sport athletes looking for other premier races and events in Moab, Utah, and the broader Southwest region can take a peek at all of our related Strambecco Best rated event guides:

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Moab, Utah

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Mad Moose Events
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