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Behind the Rocks Ultra 50k

A scenic ultramarathon through Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, one of Moab's most prized gems.

Trail Running Moderate

50 km
1.2 km
1.2 km
1 day +
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.7 km
Behind the Rocks Ultra 50k Map

Presented by Mad Moose Events at the start of spring, Behind the Rocks Ultra is one of the region's most renowned and scenic trail running races. Mixing rugged slickrock singletrack with challenging doubletrack, this course offers desert solitude that will test both your physical and mental stamina. Located in a Wilderness Study Area, the race promoter considers this area "Moab's last hidden gem," the event offering an array of "tall standing Navajo Sandstone domes and fins that can be seen from many places along the course."


A world-renowned 4x4 area, this backcountry trail network also offers incredible views of the nearby La Sal Mountains capped in snow. Whether you're here to race or just looking to enjoy a quiet run in the desert, the 50k route is an excellent option to explore the beautiful red rock desert landscape. Other than events, there is no drinking water or restrooms on the entire route, so pack plenty if you plan to run this course outside of race day.

The 50k begins at 7am and includes 3,500' of climbing. For those looking for a longer race, the "50 Mile course is among our most challenging events" according to Mad Moose Events. While the faster runners have completed the course in under five hours, mid-pack runners typically finish between 6 and 7 hours, with a course cutoff of 7pm. Due to the remote wilderness setting, the 50k course includes only four aid stations, making a hydration pack necessary for most runners.

The start and finish area are located along Behind the Rocks Road, a ~30 minute drive from town. When driving from Moab, the right turn from the highway can be difficult to spot - look for mile marker 113, the turn is just beyond. Give yourself plenty of time to make the 2.5 mile drive up the "technical, but passable" road to the start/finish area and adhere to all parking attendant instructions upon arrival. RV/Camper parking is also available in addition to free on-site camping all week. It's also recommended to bring plenty of food, water, and adult beverages along since the drive to town can be monotonous.

Source: https://www.madmooseevents.com/behind-the-rocks-home



Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

all year round

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area