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Moab Trail Marathon


A unique destination race with vibrant red rock canyons and pristine slickrock singletrack.

Trail Running Difficult

38 km
1.2 km
1.2 km
6-7 hrs
Low Point
1.2 km
High Point
1.6 km
Moab Trail Marathon Map

Held annually in fall, the Moab Trail Half and Full Marathons offer a race experience that stands apart from others in many ways. Unique to other regional races, the marathon course travels along faint jeep roads through the backcountry and scrambles across slickrock formations at times. In addition to the vibrant red rock canyons and arches along the course, views of the distant snow-capped La Sal Mountains are frequent.


The event is also part of the 2019 USA Trail Marathon Championship, and the event promoter proudly proclaims that they have been considered "A Trail Runner Magazine "Bucket List" Race." If you're looking for incredible views of Moab's red rock landscape, arches, sandstone domes, and an array of slickrock trail, the Moab Trail Marathon is for you.

The first 9 miles of the marathon course are shared with half marathon racers - before passing into remote backcountry and private property. You'll begin with Pritchett Canyon and Hunter Rim, with incredible close-up views of towering red rock canyon walls at your side. Though accessible to jeeps, the trail sees infrequent use due to its difficulty. Passing over slickrock formations and through sandy washes, the path could be obscure at times, but it's rare for runners to lose track of the trail. Through this section, you'll also be able to catch a glimpse of Pritchett Arch in the distance.

About 3.5 miles in, look for trail marker leading right (south), leaving the main canyon and climbing gradually to the canyon rim. 6 miles in, you'll reach a junction with Behind the Rocks Trail. Keep right to continue on the loop on the Hunter Rim Trail. A jeep road at first, the path transitions into singletrack after some time and continuously rewards runners with incredible views of Hunter Canyon below.

The trail terminates at the Kane Springs Road, where half marathon racers turn right and marathoners turn left. After a brief stretch of road, the course veers into unblazed backcountry, as well as private property at times. Because of this, running the entire course is only allowed during the race. Otherwise, you could be fined with trespassing. Alternatively, the Half Marathon course is a great year-round loop with plenty to offer.

Through the next section, the course has changed over the years, and the exact route is subject to change. Some sections include brief scrambles and short climbs, all of which contribute to the variation in mileage on this mapped route.

After merging back onto a clearly defined jeep road, the race course continues through the infamous Amasa Back area. Winding slickrock singletrack and views of the La Sal Mountains welcome runners for the last several miles. After crossing through the finish area, racers are faced with a short 5k to finish up the official 26.2 mile race.

Other than special events, there is no potable water or restrooms anywhere on the course. For the race, aid stations are typically spaced 3 - 6 miles apart, though most racers typically utilize a hydration vest over handheld bottle. Poles can be used, but shouldn't be necessary since there are no sustained climbs on the route.

Due to the size of the event, runners depart in waves that leave every few minutes beginning at 8am. While top runners will finish in under 4 hours, 5 - 6 hours expected for most. It's also worth noting that this event has occurred on the same weekend as daylight savings time, so be mindful of that when you set your alarm the night before.

An important notice from the race promoter:

"Two sections of the marathon course cross private property. Please do not travel on these sections. Travel on these sections are allowed ONLY on race day for registered runners within the cutoffs. Anyone caught on these sections otherwise will be charged with trespassing.

The two sections are Mile 14-16 of the Marathon, and the section between the two fixed lines which are Mile 2 of the 5k and Mile 25 of the Marathon."

Source: https://stuckintherockies.com/2018/11/pritchett-canyon-to-hunters-rim/ http://www.moabtrailmarathon.com



Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

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


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

all year round

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area