Course Descriptions

 

50KM Course Description

IMPORTANT: THE 2013 COURSE HAS BEEN ALTERED QUITE A BIT TO MAKE WHAT WE BELIEVE WILL BE A MORE ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE AND A MORE BEAUTIFUL RUN.  THE 50KM COURSE PROVIDES PARTICIPANTS WILL STUNNING VIEWS IN MANY AREAS...DON'T FORGET TO LOOK UP AND TAKE IT ALL IN!

Printable Version (.pdf 88K)

  • The 50KM race course is a 31.2 mile (yes, a tenth long) “clover leaf loop“ made up of three separate sections.
  • Section A: Climbs to the top of Fred's Mountain via the Bannock trail. On the descent from Fred’s Mountain (AS#1) it follows the Sidewinder Moutain Bike Trail back to the Base Area Aid Station (AS#2). 
  • Section B: It then follows a service road toward Peaked Peak, where it splits from the Marathon course, continuing uphill, before turning right onto the lower section of the Peaked Trail, then picking up the Colter's Escape Trail that joins the Mill Creek Trail (at AS#3) and leads into Teton Canyon (and AS#4).  The course will then follow Ski Hill Road to the Cold Springs trail, rejoin the Mill Creek Trail and head uphill to the Lightning Ridge Trail, then downhill where it returns to the Base Aid Station.
  • Section C: Leaving the Base Aid Station participants head out to Rick's Basin and follows the entire loop of the Basin, which is also 10KM course.

SECTION A: TARGHEE BASE – FRED’S MOUNTAIN – TARGHEE BASE (via the Bannock and Sidewinder Trails)
(0 – 6.8 miles)

From the starting line, which is in front of the Dreamcatcher Chairlift and the Base Aid Station, head uphill via the Teton Vista Traverse Trail (a service road), following the signs for Section A – Fred’s Mountain. You will be heading uphill towards the summit of Fred’s Mountain and the top of Dreamcatcher Chairlift. Roughly three-tenths of a mile from the start, the course turns left on a service road and heads toward the top of the Shoshone Chairlift. After passing underneath the Dreamcatcher liftt, and upon reaching the top of the Shoshone lift, the course turns right and continues uphill, picking up the single-track Bannock Trail, heading to the northern boundary of the Resort, with spectacular views of Leigh Canyon and the Grand Teton.  Follow the trail markings until you arrive at Aid Station #1/Fred’s Mountain(2.9 miles; no crew access; no drop bags) which is also the highest point on the course at 9,794ft. Passing by the aid station, continue past the top of the Dreamcatcher Chairlift and follow the signs for the Sidewinder Mountain Bike Trail, heading down this mountain bike only trail toward the base of the Resort.   As you approach the bottom of the hill and the main plaza of the Resort comes into view, turn LEFT at the signed cat-track (which is the same cat-track utilized on the way up the hill from the start) and head downhill towards the Teton Vista Traverse where it dead ends.  At this intersection, turn RIGHT following the the signs/flagging, passing underneath the Dreamcatcher Chairlift, back to the Main Aid Station at the Base of the Resort and Aid Station #2/Base Area (6.8 miles; drop bags).  

SECTION B: TARGHEE BASE - TETON CANYON – SKI HILL ROAD - TARGHEE BASE
(6.8 – 25.3 miles)

This section typically sees the most wilflife, so please be aware of your surroundings! We suggest that all participants carry pepper spray on this section and make noise after passing by the large Ski Tent Aid Station. 

After coming into the Base Aid Station (#2), exit the opposite direction from which you entered, heading toward the deck of the Trapp Bar, and stay to the right as you are looking up the hill. Follow the signs for SECTION B – MILL CREEK and continue up the dirt road toward the Lightening Trail – DO NOT follow the signs for Section A, which is the same cat-track/dirt road that brought you to the top of Fred’s Mountain.  (You could see two-way traffic jsut at the beginning of this section of the course)  Follow this service road, proceeding uphill, for approximately 1.1 miles until it splits, which occurs about 200 feet before going under the Sacagawea chairlift.  At this split, stay to the left (the Marathon course will head slightly downhill to the right) so you are continuing uphill…not downhill...up the dirt road!  After the split, continue about four tenths of a mile until you come to a train junction - and turn right onto the Peaked Trail. This will bring you down hill towards (Lightning Ridge) and some trail intersections.  Upon reaching the ridge, stay left to pick-up the single-track Colter's Escape Trail.  This trail winds downhill for roughly 1.3 miles until it dead ends at Aid Station #3/Ski Tent - Outbound (10.4 miles; self-service; HEED & water only; no crew access; no drop bags).  Turn left at the dead end and follow the single track trail downhill (you will now be headed into Teton Canyon).  This is considered the Mill Creek Trail and you will stay on this trail for roughly 3.5 miles. (About 1 mile past the Ski Tent you might notice a trail off to the right – it is important to stay left at this point,  following the signs downhill!  In another 8.2 miles, you will return to this exact point on the Mill Creek Trail via the trail on the right, but will be heading uphill.)  The Mill Creek Trail single-track ends at Teton Canyon Road, a full service dirt road, where you will see a spectacular view of the Tetons on the left. Exit the trail and turn right onto Teton Canyon Road.  (If you’ve been in Teton Canyon in the winter months, you will notice that this area is the parking lot for the X-C skiing loop.)  Follow the Teton Canyon Road for seven-tenths of a mile until it dead ends at the Stop Sign on Ski Hill Road.  Aid Station #4/Teton Canyon (14.5 miles; crew access; porta-potty; no drop bags) will be located in a paved turnout/parking area on Teton Canyon Rd, just before the Dead Ends at Ski Hill Road.  At the Stop Sign/Dead End on Teton Canyon Road, turn right, heading uphill, onto Ski Hill Road (if you cross a cattle grate, you went the wrong way). BE ALERT - there are some very sharp, blind curves on the road, which are quite dangerous.  (Please note, there is limted flagging on the road.)  You will be on Ski Hill Road for almost 2.7 miles and should have more amazing Teton views over the first mile on this paved section of the course.  After passing the “scenic overlook” parking lot, you will next pass by a small turnout for “slower traffic” and then the road will go through a series of several small, winding curves. At 2.7 miles the course will turn right and follow a two-track trail to Aid Station #5/Cold Springs(17.6 miles; limted food; limited crew access; no drop bags) and the Cold Springs Trail.  You will be on the Cold Springs Trail for 2.3 miles until it merges back onto the Mill Creek Trail.  This 2.3 mile section is perhaps the trickiest part of the course, so please pay attention to the trail markings; we will do our best to ‘over flag’ this section of the course.  When you re-join the Mill Creek Trail, stay to your left…this brings you back to the two-way traffic section of the trail. You are now just over 1 mile from Aid Station #6 which is the same Ski Tent you passed on your way down Mill Creek Trail into Teton Canyon.  After passing Aid Station #6/Ski Tent - Return (20.9 miles; self-service; Heed & water only; no crew access; no drop bags), you will travel about six-tenths of a mile uphill, staying to the left as the trail tops out on Lightening Ridge. Turn LEFT onto the single track Lightning Ridge Trail.  After three-tenths of a mile, stay to the left, following the 50KM signs (the Marathon course will turn right) as they head uphill and onto a ridge. (Be careful here…the Marathon participants will NOT turn left at this intersection…they will turn right and head downhill.)  This section provides incredible views of the Teton Range so be sure to look up!  After looping around Lightning Ridge, you will begin to head dowhill, following the singletrack under the Sacagawea chairlift, the wind in and out several sections of trees and  back to the Base of Grand Targhee and Aid Station #7/Base Area (25.3 miles; crew access; drop bags). 

SECTION C: TARGHEE BASE - RICK’S BASIN – TARGHEE BASE (FINISH)
22.8 miles-26.2 miles

After checking in and out of Aid Station #5/Base Area (25.3 miles), continue straight up the switchbacks leading up the hill/trail that is to the left of the Dreamcatcher Chairlift and to right of the Ski School (log) building and follow the signs for SECTION C – RICK’S BASIN.  At the top of this small hill, head left on the service road.  When the service road splits, turn right and head up another small hill towards Rick’s Basin.  In approximately two-tenths of a mile the trail will split again. At the split, head LEFT and slightly downhill following the trail (not the service road you were on) which then bends to the left and continues uphill.  At the top of this hill you will enter what is known as Rick’s Basin.  (Please note, you are likely to see runners in several parts of this Basin, which might be confusing…if you follow the trail markings/signage/pin flagging you will have no problems staying on course.)  When running this loop, please pay attention to the 50KM & 10KM ONLY signage; be sure to follow the race flagging (tri colored on clothespins). Stay left on the trail for about two-tenths of a mile until the trail splits.  Continue straight at this junction following the 50KM & 10KM Only signs (the Marathon turns right at this junction).  From here, continue following the course flagging, pin flagging and 50KM & 10KM Only signage as the trail winds through Rick's Basin, climbing in some spots and descending in other spots.  Aid Station #8/Rick’s Basin (29.8 miles; water only; no crew access; no drop bags), which will be on the right side of the trail at top of a slight hill.  Near the end of the Rick’s Basin loop you will wind up a gradual hill, cross a trail and then begin a descent that brings you underneath the Blackfoot chairlift.  Keep following the trail as it bends to the right, crosses a rocky wash and then widens, becoming a service road as you begin a slight uphill.  Once you transition onto the service road, you will travel about 150 feet and see a trail heading uphill to the left.  DO NOT take this trail…instead, stay straight and follow the service road (and signs) about one-tenth through a canopy of trees and turn left and slightly uphill onto a singletrack trail that will bring you back to the Base Area/Start-Finish Line.  Upon returning to the Base Area you will see the finish line chute at the bottom of the switchbacks.  Pass through the chute...and smile, yell, curse, hug total strangers, do carwheels or whatever makes you happy...congratulations, you just ran 50 Kilometers on one of the most scenic but difficult courses in the country!!!

Trail Marathon Course Description

IMPORTANT: THE 2013 COURSE HAS BEEN ALTERED QUITE A BIT TO MAKE WHAT WE BELIEVE WILL BE A MORE ENJOYABLE EXPERIENCE AND A MORE BEAUTIFUL RUN.

Printable Version (.pdf 88K)

  • The Trail Marathon race course is a 26.2 mile “clover leaf loop“ made up of three separate sections.
  • Section A: On the descent from Fred’s Mountain (AS#1) it follows the Sidewinder Moutain Bike Trail back to the Base Area Aid Station (AS#2). 
  • Section B: It then follows a service road toward Lightning Ridge, where it splits from the 50KM course, before picking up the Colter's Escape Trail that joins the Mill Creek Trail (at AS#3) and leads into Teton Canyon.  The course will then follow Ski Hill Road to the Cold Springs trail, rejoin the Mill Creek Trail and head uphill to the Lightning Ridge Trail, then downhill where it returns to the Base Aid Station.
  • Section C: Leaving the Base Aid Station participants head out to Rick's Basin and follows an abridged version of hte 50KM and 10KM courses.

SECTION A: TARGHEE BASE – FRED’S MOUNTAIN – TARGHEE BASE (via the Bannock and Sidewinder Trails)
(0 – 6.8 miles)

From the starting line, which is in front of the Dreamcatcher Chairlift and the Base Aid Station, head uphill via the Teton Vista Traverse Trail (a service road), following the signs for Section A – Fred’s Mountain. You will be heading uphill towards the summit of Fred’s Mountain and the top of Dreamcatcher Chairlift. Roughly three-tenths of a mile from the start, the course turns left on a service road and heads toward the top of the Shoshone Chairlift. After passing underneath the Dreamcatcher liftt, and upon reaching the top of the Shoshone lift, the course turns right and continues uphill, picking up the single-track Bannock Trail, heading to the northern boundary of the Resort, with spectacular views of Leigh Canyon and the Grand Teton.  Follow the trail markings until you arrive at Aid Station #1/Fred’s Mountain(2.9 miles; no crew access; no drop bags) which is also the highest point on the course at 9,794ft. Keep in mind that you need to depart this aid staion by 9am. Passing by the aid station, continue past the top of the Dreamcatcher Chairlift and follow the signs for the Sidewinder Mountain Bike Trail, heading down this mountain bike only trail toward the base of the Resort.(IMPORTANT: all race participants need to be off the Sidewinder Trail by 10:10am in oder to not be run over by downhill mountain bikers!)  As you approach the bottom of the hill and the main plaza of the Resort comes into view, turn LEFT at the signed cat-track (which is the same cat-track utilized on the way up the hill from the start) and head downhill towards the Teton Vista Traverse where it dead ends.  At this intersection, turn RIGHT following the the signs/flagging, passing underneath the Dreamcatcher Chairlift, back to the Main Aid Station at the Base of the Resort and Aid Station #2/Base Area (6.8 miles; drop bags).  

SECTION B: TARGHEE BASE - TETON CANYON – SKI HILL ROAD - TARGHEE BASE
(6.8 – 22.8 miles)

This section typically sees the most wilflife, so please be aware of your surroundings! We suggest that all participants carry pepper spray on this section and make noise after passing by the large Ski Tent Aid Station. 

After coming into the Base Aid Station (#2), exit the opposite direction from which you entered, heading toward the deck of the Trapp Bar, and stay to the right as you are looking up the hill. Follow the signs for SECTION B – MILL CREEK and continue up the dirt road toward the Lightening Trail – DO NOT follow the signs for Section A, which is the same cat-track/dirt road that brought you to the top of Fred’s Mountain.  (You could see two-way traffic jsut at the beginning of this section of the course)  Follow this service road, proceeding uphill, for approximately 1.1 miles until it splits, which occurs about 200 feet before going under the Sacagawea chairlift.  At this split, stay to the right (the 50KM will head uphill to the left) so you are heading slightly downhill…not uphill...down the dirt road! After passing under the Sacagawea chairlift you will continue about two tenths of a mile until you come to a ridge (Lightning Ridge) and some trail intersections.  Upon reaching the ridge, turn left to pick-up the single-track Colter's Escape Trail.  This trail winds downhill for roughly 1.3 miles until it dead ends at Aid Station #3/Ski Tent -Outbound (9.6 miles; self-service; HEED & water only; no crew access; no drop bags).  Turn left at the dead end and follow the single track trail downhill (you will now be headed into Teton Canyon).  This is considered the Mill Creek Trail and you will stay on this trail for roughly 3.5 miles. (About 1 mile past the Ski Tent you might notice a trail off to the right – it is important to stay left at this point,  following the signs downhill!  In another 8.2 miles, you will return to this exact point on the Mill Creek Trail via the trail on the right, but will be heading uphill.)  The Mill Creek Trail single-track ends at Teton Canyon Road, a full service dirt road, where you will see a spectacular view of the Tetons on the left. Exit the trail and turn right onto Teton Canyon Road.  (If you’ve been in Teton Canyon in the winter months, you will notice that this area is the parking lot for the X-C skiing loop.)  Follow the Teton Canyon Road for seven-tenths of a mile until it dead ends at the Stop Sign on Ski Hill Road.  Aid Station #4/Teton Canyon (13.7 miles; crew access; porta-potty; no drop bags) will be located in a paved turnout/parking area on Teton Canyon Rd, just before the Dead Ends at Ski Hill Road.  At the Stop Sign/Dead End on Teton Canyon Road, turn right, heading uphill, onto Ski Hill Road (if you cross a cattle grate, you went the wrong way).  PLEASE stay on the RIGHT side of the road, as there are some very sharp, blind curves on the road, which are quite dangerous.  (Please note, there is limted flagging on of road.)  You will be on Ski Hill Road for almost 2.7 miles and should have more amazing Teton views over the first mile on this paved section of the course.  After passing the “scenic overlook” parking lot, you will next pass by a small turnout for “slower traffic” and then the road will go through a series of several small, winding curves. At 2.7 miles the course will turn right and follow a two-track trail to Aid Station #5/Cold Springs(16.8 miles; limted food; limited crew access; no drop bags) and the Cold Springs Trail.  You will be on the Cold Springs Trail for 2.3 miles until it merges back onto the Mill Creek Trail.  This 2.3 mile section is perhaps the trickiest part of the course, so please pay attention to the trail markings; we will do our best to ‘over flag’ this section of the course.  When you re-join the Mill Creek Trail, stay to your left…this brings you back to the two-way traffic section of the trail. You are now just over 1 mile from Aid Station #6 which is the same Ski Tent you passed on your way down Mill Creek Trail into Teton Canyon.  After passing Aid Station #6/Ski Tent-Return (20.1 miles; self-service; Heed & water only; no crew access; no drop bags), you will travel about six-tenths of a mile uphill, staying to the left as the trail tops out on Lightening Ridge. Turn LEFT onto the single track Lightning Ridge Trail.  After three-tenths of a mile, the Marathon course will turn right (follow the signage here) and begin to head downhill. (Be careful here…the Ultramarathon racers will NOT turn right at this intersection…they will continue straight, following the entire Lightening Ridge Loop.)  Once you pass under the Sacagawea chairlift, the singletrack will wind in and out several sections of trees and  back to the Base of Grand Targhee and Aid Station #7/Base Area (22.8 miles; crew access; drop bags). 

SECTION C: TARGHEE BASE - RICK’S BASIN – TARGHEE BASE (FINISH)
22.8 miles-26.2 miles

After checking in and out of Aid Station #5/Base Area (22.8 miles), continue straight up the switchbacks leading up the hill/trail that is to the left of the Dreamcatcher Chairlift and to right of the Ski School (log) building and follow the signs for SECTION C – RICK’S BASIN.  At the top of this small hill, head left on the service road.  When the service road splits, turn right and head up the small hill towards Rick’s Basin.  In approximately two-tenths of a mile the trail will split again. At the split, head LEFT and slightly downhill following the trail (not the service road you were on) which then bends to the left and continues uphill.  At the top of this hill you will enter what is known as Rick’s Basin.  (Please note, you are likely to see runners in several parts of this Basin, which might be confusing…if you follow the trail markings/signage/pin flagging you will have no problems staying on course.)  When running this loop, please pay attention to the Marathon Only signage; do not follow any flagging or ribbon attached to tall poles or tall wooden sticks. Stay left on the trail for about two-tenths of a mile until the trail splits.  Turn right at this junction following the Marathon Only signs and in about 100 yards the trail will split again…stay to the right and follow the single track as it winds downhill.  roughly 3/4 of a mile later the course will take a sharp right turn, again following the Marathon Only signage, pass another intersection and then wind uphill before arriving at arriving at Aid Station #8/Rick’s Basin(24.8 miles; water only; no crew access; no drop bags), which will be on the right side of the trail at top of a slight hill.  Near the end of the Rick’s Basin loop you will wind up a gradual hill, cross a trail and then begin a descent that brings you underneath the Blackfoot chairlift.  Keep following the trail as it bends to the right, crosses a rocky wash and then widens, becoming a service road as you begin a slight uphill.  Once you transition onto the service road, you will travel about 150 feet and see a trail heading uphill to the left.  DO NOT take this trail…instead, stay straight and follow the service road (and signs) about one-tenth through a canopy of trees and turn left and slightly uphill onto a singletrack trail that will bring you back to the Base Area/Start-Finish Line.  Upon returning to the Base Area you will see the finish line chute at the bottom of the switchbacks.  Pass through the chute...and smile, yell, curse, hug total strangers, do carwheels or whatever makes you happy...congratulations, you just ran 26.2 miles on one of the most difficult courses in the country!!!

 

 


10K RACE

The Grand Teton Races also offers a 10K option to the weekend race festivities.  All participants MUST carry a water bottle of hydration bladder.  The 10K loop course will start and finish at the base of Grand Targhee Resort and run clockwise around Rick's Basin. This is an extended version of the last section (Section C) of the 50KM race courses. There will be one self-sufficient, water-only aid station on the 10K course (around the 4.8 mile point), however, runners must carry their own bottle or hydration system.  Registration is limited to 75 competitors.