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 Wyoming Wilderness Association, the National Outdoor Leadership School, the Wyoming Outdoor Council, 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 were completely new and redesigned in 2019. This year's 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.
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 50K course is the entire first loop of the 100K 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..
When you register for Run the Red, you are signing up for more than just a footrace. You are joining a community of people who care deeply about the Red Desert and are committed to its conservation. As a race sponsored and hosted by three Wyoming nonprofits (Wyoming Wilderness Association, National Outdoor Leadership School, and the Wyoming Outdoor Council), your participation will empower our conservation efforts to protect this iconic landscape.
Local time: 9:16 AM
By registering for this race, you agree to receive communications from our organizations about the Red Desert. We are currently working to preserve and protect the Red Desert through a variety of avenues. As these efforts continue we will need input from the public, and will ask for your support.
In addition to joining our community, you agree to either: (a) volunteer for a service project on public land or (b) make a monetary donation to Citizens for the Red Desert.
Volunteer — As a race participant, you commit to completing 4 hours of community service on public lands, and provide proof of that service to the race directors within two weeks of the race date (deadline Sept. 10, 2022). Service may be performed on any public land (local, state or federal) in the United States, however, for those within traveling distance of the Red Desert, the Wyoming Wilderness Association, the Wyoming Outdoor Council and NOLS are working to schedule a service project along the Run the Red race course that would satisfy this requirement. Keep your eyes on your inbox for this project announcement if interested.
Donate — Our three organizations are foundational partners of the Citizens for the Red Desert coalition. In lieu of service, you may make a donation to Citizens for the Red Desert. These funds will be used to promote conservation through citizen engagement and education. Follow the link below, make your donation, and your payment receipt will be automatically sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggested donation amounts are listed below. If this requirement represents a financial barrier, please consider a donation of $3.
Half Marathon - $10
50K - $15
100K - $20
Make your donation.