Race Course Descriptions
The race course has been strategically mapped so that runners experience the most unique and wild features of the Northern Red Desert. This includes historic landmarks such as the Oregon and Mormon Trails, multiple Wilderness Study Areas, the Sweetwater River, Continental Peak, and South Pass City.
The race will begin at South Pass Historic Site in South Pass City and go south losing a small amount of elevation to the Sweetwater River. After crossing the Sweetwater, runners will intersect the Oregon and Mormon Trails and begin the climb up to Whitehorse Creek Wilderness Study Area and then loop around the imposing Oregon Buttes Wilderness Study Areas. The open terrain and surrounding relief on this section of the course will provide sweeping views of South Pass, the Wind River Range, and the surrounding Red Desert Landscape.
As runners make there way west down from the Oregon Buttes they will cut into the painted badlands of the Honeycomb Buttes Wilderness Study Area. This martian landscape is dotted with fossils and relics from years past and appropriately lives up to its name - the Honeycomb Buttes.
Continuing through the buttes, runners will climb to the north until summiting Continental Peak at over 8,400 feet. This 360 degree view looking out over 100 miles of sagebrush steep in all directions will certainly be a course highlight.
From Continental Peak, the race will track north back down to the Sweetwater River where runners will continue back to the finish at the historic mining town of South Pass City.
The 45K course is the entire first loop of the 120K course and includes South Pass City, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the Oregon Trail, the Sweetwater River, and absolutely breathtaking views of the Wind River Mountains.
The half-marathon is also a loop course that starts and finishes in South Pass City Historic Site. Runners will be travel on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and be rewarded with incredible view of the Northern Red Desert and the Wind River Mountains. The half-marathon also travels passes many relics of South Pass Cities booming mining history..
Originally conceived to honor the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the 30th anniversary of the Wyoming Wilderness Act, Run the Red has become an annual celebration of Wyoming’s Red Desert. The race has taken place for 5 consecutive years. In 2019, Run the Red, will be elevated so that the main distance is (120k) with the intent of gathering national attention for conservation of the special places in the Northern Red Desert. Stay tuned here and at our Facebook page for updates as we finalize the 2019 dates and routes.
Local time: 9:35 AM
The Wyoming Wilderness Association, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and other partners and sponsors invite runners and their families to experience this unique landscape while running the race, hiking near to the course, viewing the Boar’s Tusk, exploring nearby petroglyphs and more. We encourage you to bring family and friends to explore the desert before and after the race! The Red Desert contains countless opportunities for enjoying wild spaces, including Wilderness Study Areas, the longest ungulate migration route in the lower 48 states, and more. Run the Red is Wyoming’s premier ultra-marathon dedicated to conserving the vast, rugged, and historical landscape of the Red Desert. Runners will experience one of the last undeveloped high desert steppe ecosystems in the country while celebrating the importance of maintaining a contiguous desert landscape for Wyoming's heritage, wildlife, and recreational benefits.
The Run the Red Desert Trail Races are completely new and redesigned for 2019. This years races will start and end at the South Pass City Historic Site, and will be loop courses that feature the spectacular northern portion of Wyoming's Red Desert. The course includes a section of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the Oregon Trail, the Emigrant Trail, the Mormon Trail, a trip to the summit of the iconic Continental Peak, as well as travel through the Honeycomb Buttes, Oregon Buttes, and Wildhorse Creek Wilderness Study Areas. Run the Red is designed to be a remote and wild wilderness experience that is sprinkled with history at every turn.
120K route will have about 4,500 feet of elevation gain.
45K route will have about 1,500 feet of elevation gain.
22K route will have about 1,000 feet of elevation gain.