Moab's Red Hot 33k

Moab

Moab's trail race season opener, offering endless views of the red rock landscape and snow-capped La Sals.

Trail Running Difficult

Distance
32 km
Ascent
767 m
Descent
935 m
Duration
5-6 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.6 km
Gradient
Moab's Red Hot 33k Map

Presented by Mad Moose Events, Moab's Red Hot Trail Race is self-acclaimed as "kicking off the ultra running calendar for most trail runners". Held annually in February, the event offers an epic point-to-point course, continuously rewarding racers with tremendous views of Moab's red rock landscape and the snow-capped La Sals.

Description

Those racing the 33k depart at 8:30am and have over 4,000' of climbing to tackle, a difficult race by most standards. The median finish time is four hours, and average high temperatures for this winter race linger in the low 50's. Below-freezing temperatures are possible in the early morning, so layer carefully and expect the possibility for rain as well.

The race begins 10 miles north of Moab on US-191, otherwise known as the Gemini Bridges Trailhead. On race day, parking is limited and the race director recommends carpooling from town. Other than for special events, there is no water or restrooms at the trailhead.

The finish line for all distances is the Poison Spider Trailhead along Highway 279, where runners are then shuttled back to the race start. Spectators must park at the Gold Bar Campground and catch a shuttle to the finish line due to limited parking. Self-shuttling outside of race day is possible with a easy 20 minute drive between trailheads.

All distances begins with a long, steady climb up Gemini Bridges Road, a high-clearance 4x4 road leading into a canyon. While 55k racers head out for a loop, the 33k route then aligns onto the Gold Bar Rim Trail, a picturesque area renowned for its slickrock singletrack.

Ahead, you're faced with the most difficult stretch of trail to navigate as you follow the Golden Spike Trail along the rim. According to the official race guide, "Even with the extensive effort put into flagging this 5 mile technical slickrock section, runners may still find themselves off-course at some point."

After a few miles loaded with incredible views, the course turns right onto the Poison Spider Trail, gently meandering its way south across the mesa. Before a final descent to the finish line, your efforts will be rewarded with a vista to the south and the Colorado River snaking through the canyon below. At the finish line, you'll be greeted with a pint glass and cold drink before taking the shuttle back to your vehicle.

33k racers have three aid stations along the course, all equally spaced apart. To run the course on a day other than the race, a hydration pack or equivalent system is needed since there is no reliable water on the route.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/running/comments/5v9iv1/racereportmoabredhot55k/ https://www.madmooseevents.com/moab-red-hot

Difficulty

Difficult

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area