The Bear 100 Endurance Run joins the ranks of some of the world’s most challenging and scenic trail races, and is one that the team at Strambecco considers to be one of the Best Trail Running Events in the Rockies. The prestigious event is also a Western States 100 and Hardrock 100 Qualifier, along with being a series event in the UTMB World Series and Rocky Moutain Slam Series event. The Bear 100 Endurance Run is a point-to-point course that starts in Logan, UT and finishes at Fish Haven, ID, at Bear Lake.
The Bear 100, celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, stands as a testament to the endurance and spirit of trail runners worldwide. Taking participants on a mesmerizing journey through the pines, golden aspen, and red maples of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, this event has positioned itself as not just a race, but an experience of a lifetime. Stretching across the Bear River Range of Utah and Idaho and culminating at the picturesque Bear Lake, this race offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and grueling challenge.
Unique to The Bear 100 is its tie to the region’s history. Runners follow in the footsteps of a legendary Grizzly Bear named Old Ephraim, whose legend is entrenched in the race’s identity. Commemorating this icon, winners receive the esteemed Old Ephraim award, elevating their achievement to the status of local folklore.
Event & Course Info
The Bear 100 Endurance Run tests the strength and endurance of any well-trained runner with a course that features 100 Miles with a total elevation gain of 22,816′ with the highest elevation reaching 9,043′ and an average elevation of 7,320′.
The Bear 100 is a point-to-point race, commencing at Hyrum Gibbons/Mount Logan Park in Logan, Utah, and finishing at The Reserve Beach on Highway 89 in Fish Haven, Idaho. The initial ascent is the most demanding, but the course continually challenges runners with its diverse array of climbs and descents. As racers navigate the path, they’ll be enchanted by the breathtaking fall colors, particularly the brilliant hues of the red maples and yellow aspens. Approximately 70% of the course is on single-track trails, with 29% on dirt roads and a minimal 1% on pavement.
Starting in Logan, Utah, this trail running course spans an incredible distance, winding through various terrains and offering runners a myriad of challenges and scenic views. The course kicks off at Hyrum Gibbons Park and proceeds through a series of trails like South Syncline, Millville Pass, and Leatham Hollow, offering runners a mix of rocky roads, ATV trails, and dense conifer forests.
In 2022, the aid stations saw a change. The Upper Richards Hollow aid station replaced the Cowley Canyon Aid, now stationed at the upper trailhead. Runners will experience a blend of terrain from steep rocky paths to relaxed descents. Along the way, they’ll pass various notable landmarks like Ferry Spring, Little Baldy Peak, and the captivating gorge of Leatham Hollow.
Transitioning from Right Hand Fork to Temple Fork, the runners need to navigate through Willow Canyon, Mud Flat, and finally the gravel Temple Fork road leading to the aid station by Highway 89. The segment from Tony Grove to Franklin Trailhead tests runners’ attentiveness, especially in the braid-heavy areas dominated by cattle trails.
The trail running between Logan River and Beaver Mountain is particularly challenging. Runners need to keep a lookout for critical turns and pathways, particularly the very faint junctions and trail markings. As the race approaches its climax, runners proceed from Beaver Mountain to Gibson Basin, following the markings parallel to the road and utilizing the Sink Hollow trail. The final stretch, leading up to the Beaver Creek CG and onwards to the Ranger Dip Trail, offers magnificent views, including Bear Lake, Beaver Mountain Ski Resort, and Logan Peak. However, participants must remain vigilant due to the difficult-to-spot turnoffs, especially in the dark.
Overall, the The Bear 100 Endurance Run course offers a thrilling experience for trail runners, blending natural beauty with a diverse set of terrain and challenges.
The race features 12 aid stations stocked with hydration essentials like water and Gnarly Fuel₂O Endurance Drink, along with Spring Energy gels. A vast array of foods will be available, from fruits, sandwiches, trail mix, to soups, ensuring runners remain fueled throughout their journey. Please note, The Bear 100 has adopted a “cupless” policy, and participants should carry their hydration solutions. However, soup might be an exception.
At the finish line, a variety of foods awaits the runners, including breakfast burritos, smoked trout, and pulled pork sandwiches. Shuttle services, available at $20 per runner, offer transport back to the start line at two scheduled times.
All participants will be gifted a beautifully designed tech shirt, and those who cross the finish line within the 36-hour limit earn an engraved plaque showcasing the race course. They’ll also receive a belt buckle, its design contingent on their finishing time.
Cash prizes have been introduced for the top finishers this year:
– $500 for 1st Place (Both Male and Female) + Free Entry for the next year.
– $300 for 2nd Place (Both Male and Female).
– $200 for 3rd Place (Both Male and Female).
A special $1,000 cash prize awaits anyone breaking the course record.
The awards ceremony celebrates not only the top finishers but also those who have shown consistent participation in the race over the years, with accolades like the Streakers award, 10-year buckle, and the Rocky Mountain Slam.
To be eligible for The Bear 100 Endurance Run, participants must have completed a 50-miler in under 16 hours or any 100K, 100, or 200 Miler under the specified cutoff and rendered 8 hours of service, either through trail work or at an ultra. This event is a highly demanding mountain race and should only be undertaken by athletes in excellent physical condition. All entrants should be familiar with basic first-aid and know the symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude sickness. Pay special attention to the distance and elevation gain/loss between checkpoints and plan your needs accordingly. Plan for the worst-case scenario. Mandatory gear is not required, so it is up to you to be smart and take precautions. The race committee recommends running as much of the course as possible before race day. Check out the Facebook group page for ways to connect with others.
Given its late September schedule, participants should prepare for the region’s unpredictable climate, which can range from pleasant daytime temperatures to chilly nights. Occasional storms in September might bring rain, snow, or even necessitate course changes.
Area Accommodations & Things to Do
Logan is a medium-sized university city with all the amenities you need, including an outdoor/running shop or two (Sportsman), and is less than two hours from the Salt Lake City International Airport. Official lodging partners for The Bear 100 Endurance Run include the Hampton Inn and the Comfort Inn & Suites. For those that prefer a more homelike experience, there are many vacation rentals available from downtown homes to apartments. Friends or family looking to camp can check out Spring Hollow Campground, Bridger Campground, or one of a kind camping locations.
The finish line is located near Garden City, Utah, and a popular place to stay either for crew on Friday night or after the race recovering is Conestoga Ranch, which offers a variety of accommodations and use of their bath house.
The culinary scene of Logan, Utah, is a delightful blend of traditional American fare and international flavors, with a range of eateries from cozy diners to upscale restaurants, all infused with a touch of local charm and farm-fresh ingredients. The city’s rich agricultural backdrop ensures a farm-to-table experience, complemented by an evolving array of global cuisines reflective of its diverse community. Be sure to check out some of the local favorite restaurants while you’re in town for the event.
Logan, Utah, nestled in the scenic Cache Valley, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts whether you’re seeking breathtaking vistas, thrilling climbs, or heart-pumping trails. Its natural beauty and diverse terrain make it a natural playground for all. Logan offers an array of stunning trails that cater to hikers and backpackers of all levels. Logan Canyon, located just east of the city, is home to numerous trails that showcase the beauty of the Wasatch Mountains. Examples include the Wind Cave Trail, Crimson Trail, and the iconic Highline Trail, which spans over 100 miles along the ridgeline of the Bear River Range.
It is also renowned for its excellent rock climbing opportunities. The area is dotted with impressive limestone and quartzite cliffs, offering a variety of routes. Maple Canyon, a short drive from Logan, is a world-class rock climbing destination known for its steep walls, unique formations, and numerous sport climbing routes.
The surrounding landscapes of Logan also boasts exceptional mountain biking trails that cater to riders of all abilities. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail offers scenic views of the valley, while the Logan River Trail provides a picturesque riverside biking experience. Additionally, the nearby Cache National Forest offers a network of singletrack trails that wind through dense forests, providing immersive mountain biking.
The Rocky Moutain Slam Series is a prestigious ultra-running challenge that encompasses five iconic races held in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains of North America: Bighorn 100 (Montana, June), Hardrock 100 (Colorado, July), Leadville Trail 100 (Colorado, August), Wasatch Front 100 (Utah, early September), Bear 100 (Utah, late September)
The Western States 100 is the grandaddy of ultra-running events. It is an epic 100-mile trail run from Olympic Valley to Auburn, CA, in one day on the last weekend of June. It is the world’s oldest 100 trail race, starting in 1974 as one of the ultimate endurance tests. Over the course, runners will climb more than 18,000 feet and descend 23,000 feet. See the dedicated Western States Endurance Run website for details on the lottery process, training, support, and volunteer opportunities. Participants must qualify for the race within two years and enter the lottery. If you are selected as part of the lottery, you are officially sent details to register within two weeks. If not completed in time, the registration will be available to runners on the waitlist of 50-75 people.
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. 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 25 events that will allow you to collect Running Stones in 2022 to enter the UTMB Mont-Blanc lottery from 2023 onwards here.
For multi-sport endurance athletes looking for other events in the state of Utah and broader Rocky Mountain region, be sure to check out our full list of Strambecco Best in Class road, gravel and mountain bikingevents.