7 - 8
FATMAP difficulty grade
First held in 2018, Arches Ultra is one of Moab's newest races presented by [Mad Moose Events](www.madmooseevents.com) and offers 9k, half marathon, 50k, and 50 mile options.
Bordering Arches National Park, racers are awarded incredible views of Moab's beautiful red rock terrain, sandstone domes, towering cliffs, and the snow-capped La Sals to the southeast.
Whether you're in Moab for the race, or there to explore on your own time, the 50k route can be run year round, or split into two separate runs thanks to its roughly "figure-8" layout.
"Arches Ultra is [also] the second event in The [Triple Crown of Moab](https://www.madmooseevents.com/triple-crown-of-moab)," a multi-race challenge that includes the Dead Horse and Behind the Rocks Ultras.
The event is held in the middle of winter each year and pairs several lower elevation trail systems, specifically Bar M, Klonzo, and Klondike Trails, according to the race director.
While snow is possible, accumulation is unlikely at these elevations.
Average high temperatures during January typically linger in the mid-40's, while freezing temperatures are expected overnight.
All racers start and finish at the Gemini Bridges Trailhead, just 20 minutes north of Moab on US-191.
With limited parking available, the race director suggest carpooling from town.
Other than special events, neither water nor restrooms are available, so bring plenty with you.
If you're running this loop on a day other than the race, you might prefer parking at the Brand Trails (Bar-M) Trailhead on the opposing side of the highway.
The two trailheads are simply connected by uneventful doubletrack. With a 8am start on race day, the 50k runners climb a total of 3,000', exploring a mixture of doubletrack, slickrock, and sandy washes.
The course begins with doubletrack paralleling the highway, then transitions onto groomed singletrack as it winds across the desert floor.
Runners first visit Lazy Trail, Circle O, and Rockin A trails in the Bar M network, then make their way north to the Klonzo trail system to the north.
Only visited by the 50k and 50 mile runners, this area takes racers on a tour through rolling desert terrain with beautiful including slickrock formations and a handful of rock gardens.
While a handful of racers will finish in less than five hours, mortals will likely finish between six and seven hours. Source: https://www.madmooseevents.com/arches-ultra