Monument Valley

Friday-Saturday, March 13-14th, 2015 – Monument Valley Ultras- 100 mile/50 mile/50k


Situated within the Navajo Nation, Monument Valley boasts amazing formations that reach over 1,000 feet into the sky and draw your gaze in wonderment. You will likely recognize these formations or “monuments” from the hundreds of movies that have been filmed in this desert backdrop over the years. Vibrant colors and dramatic shadows cast along the valley floor will give you a sense of becoming “in tune” with nature, experiencing the same inclusion with the natural world that the Native Americans have practiced for generations. Running becomes less of an activity and more of an intrinsic way in which to absorb the landscape.

Join us at Ultra Adventures to share the experience in this beautiful setting as we wander and wind our way around the majestic towers and entwine Navajo culture into our event, which will leave you with a new understanding and respect for the natural environment and appreciation for the Navajo lifestyle.

Click here to view the map, elevation profile, and read a detailed course description with photos.

Click here to register via   

Click here to view images and video taken on this course, as well as any race reports, blog posts, etc.

SCHEDULE   ****Please note that the starting line is in Utah, which observes Daylight Savings time (AZ does not).


Check in for 100 milers from 2-8PM at the View hotel, inside Monument Valley Tribal Park  Click here to view map


7am- The 100 mile runners begin in front of the Monument Valley Tribal Park visitor’s center (next to the View hotel).  Click here to view map

Check in for the 50 miler and 50K  from 2-8PM at the View hotel, inside Monument Valley Tribal Park  Click here to view map


7am- 50 mile and 50K events start in front of the Monument Valley Tribal Park visitor’s center (next to the View hotel).  Click here to view map

100 mile race ends @ 12pm (30 hrs)


100 mile, Overall cutoff- 30 hours

50 mile, Overall cutoff- 15 hours

50K, Overall cutoff- 11 hours

Hogan Aid cutoff- 7:30pm

North Aid cutoff – 10am


You can leave a drop bag for either of the aid stations and the finish line.  (Note that 50 mile/50K only use the Hogan Aid Station and do not pass through North Aid Station).

The 100 miler will pass through the fully stocked aid stations 13 times, the 50 miler will pass through Hogan Aid 6 times, and the 50K 4 times.

Click here to view more detailed aid station information, including directions for crew/pacer access.

Aid stations will be stocked with: water, ice, Gatorade, a variety of soda, fruit, boiled potatoes, tortillas w/ Nutella, PB&J, turkey sandwiches, dill pickles, chips, Ensure (or similar drink), hard candies, granola bars, fig newtons, anti chafing agent, sunscreen, first aid supplies.  We will have a limited supply of gels, salt caps, and electrolyte caps.

The Navajo family that owns the hogan that we use for the aid station will be preparing mutton stew, veggie stew and fry bread for runners in the afternoon on Friday and Saturday.

In addition to the standard fare, any night aid stations will have different warm food items such as broth (vegan), ramen noodles, rice/bean/cheese/salsa burritos, grilled cheese, quesadillas, coffee, hot chocolate, and pancakes/eggs/bacon in the morning.

Birthday cake will be served at the Hogan aid station, celebrating all of the runners with March birthdays!

We are so pleased to have the great Turd’l Miller overseeing all aid station operations at each of our events this year, bringing runners back from the dead left and right!


Crew access is allowed at the Horseshoe Bend and Lake Powell aid stations.  An additional crew access point will be near the start/finish line when runners pass through the large parking area before starting their Page Rim loop.  This is where pacers can be picked up for the 50 and 100 mile race.  The 100 mile pacers can switch out at any aid station after that.  No  pacers allowed for the 50K.

Click here to view more detailed aid station information, including directions for crew/pacer access.


All UA events are zero waste, with less than 1% of the trash produced at the event going to the landfill (and no portapotty chemical sludge being sent to the wastewater treatment facilities.)

Here’s how we do it-

1-  We separate all organics/compostables as well as the normal recyclable materials at the start/finish line and each aid station.  Please help us to keep recyclables and compostables separate from the other trash.  We will have labeled bins at each location.  We have an Ubuntu Blox machine that compacts our non-recyclable trash into bales which are used as a sustainable building material.  The beauty of the Ubuntu Blox system is that it provides a use for the non-recyclables such as wrappers, plastic bags, etc.  With this system, we were able to “upcycle” nearly 100% of our landfill bound solid waste.

2-  Eco Commode composting toilets. All human waste collected is composted after the event, becoming a nutrient-rich soil amenity as the end product.  You will find a bin of cover material next to each of the toilets at the event.  Please add a scoop or handful of cover material after each use of the toilet to keep things fresh for the next user and to help maintain proper carbon/nitrogen ratios.  This cover material is usually sawdust, but can also be shredded newpaper, ash, peat moss, coffee grounds or another carbon source.

For more information about our Zero Waste system, see this blog post.


The post race meal is a Navajo taco, prepared by the Navajo family which also makes the finisher awards.  You must present your bib to redeem your meal.  Crew and spectators can purchase a Navajo taco for $8 (includes drink).  This family will also be selling some of their hand made jewelry at the start/finish line.


By far, the best option for lodging is The View hotel, cabins (sleep 4-6), and campground.  Not only are the views here unparalleled, but the staging area for the event is within walking distance of each of these.  Rooms and cabins book fast, so make your reservations early.  Campsites are only $20 per night and include shower facilities.

Gouldings is the next best option and is just 4 miles west from the park entrance, tucked up against the cliffs.  They also will sell out, so book early.

If traveling from the north, Mexican Hat offers lodging options and is just 20 minutes away. Here are the 3 hotels in Mexican Hat:
San Juan Inn
Hat Rock Inn
Canyonlands Motel (Mexican Hat)- (435) 683-2230

If traveling from the south, Kayenta is also 20 minutes from the starting line and also has 3 hotels:
Hampton Inn Kayenta
Wetherill Inn
Canyon Inn Motel: (928) 697-8248


Are you ready to see some beautiful country? It is about 6 hours from Phoenix to Monument Valley, but a quick side trip to the Grand Canyon half way along the route might make traveling this route worth your time.

The approach from Salt Lake City is about 6 hrs 45 min but the route passes through Moab, Arches, and Canyonlands about half way through the trip.  A 7 hour drive from Las Vegas takes runners near Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks as well as the Grand Staircase National Monument and Lake Powell.

Albequerque, NM is just over 5 hours away.

An 8 hour drive from Denver would take you over the Rocky Mountains and through Moab, Arches, Canyonlands, and Mexican Hat. Looping back through Mesa Verde National Park and through the San Juan mountains would make for one of the most scenic road trips ever.


We realize that these are destination races for most folks, and it may be the only time that you visit this uniquely beautiful area.  One of our biggest desires at Ultra Adventures is that you walk away from this event having fully experienced what the area has to offer.  Even a 100 mile course can only capture a portion of the highlights of this diverse region.  We want you to get into and explore the heart of the national park, walk through that remote slot canyon, see that most amazing overlook that is not part of the course.  Most often, these spectacular areas are protected as part of a national park, monument, or wilderness area where races are not permitted as part of the management plan.  These are often the areas most frequented by tourists, but  are nevertheless places that we feel you must see while you’re visiting.  It is our hope that through a more in depth exploration of the area, you will become more connected to the local landscape, thus creating more stakeholders in its preservation.

For each event, we have created a “Trifecta” list-  Boiled it down to 3 “must see” areas that are within a reasonable travelling distance of the race course.  For each of the 3 “legs” of the Trifecta that you complete, you will receive 10% discount credited towards the next Ultra Adventures event that you participate in!  Complete all three legs of the Trifecta and you have earned yourself 30% off of the next event!  These discounts can also be accumulated, so after 3 events, you can earn 90% off of the 4th event just for getting out and doing what you love!!

Trifecta Rules:  To get credit for completing a leg of the Trifecta, you must submit a picture from each of the required locations of that particular leg of the Trifecta.  There is a two week window in which these pictures can be submitted- between one week prior to the event date until one week after the event has taken place.  Any pictures submitted before or after this time window will not be accepted.  Pictures must include:

1)  A clear view of your face

2) A clear view of your bib # (Race bibs will be assigned and available to view on 7 days prior to the event- if you visit one of the Trifecta sites prior to packet pickup, you will have to write your bib # on a piece of paper and have it visible in the photo.)

Pictures can be submitted in two formats:

1) Instagram- Use the hashtag #2015monumentvalleytrifecta

2) Email the picture to

***Race credit must be redeemed within one year from the race date and the amount credited is based on the amount that you paid for the event that you participated in- (ie. for a $100 registration fee you would earn $10 credit for each leg of the Trifecta, for a $200 registration fee, you would earn $20 credit for each Trifecta leg completed).

The 2015 Monument Valley Trifecta will be:

1) Honaker Trail: (5 miles- in Goosenecks state park)- Take one photo from a Goosenecks overlook and one when you reach the San Juan river.  Click here for trail description.

2) Grand Gulch Leg-

A) Drive up the Moqui Dugway on Hwy 261 and take a left out to Muley Point overlooking the Valley of the Gods and the Goosenecks of the San Juan River. These switchbacks rival those on the Burr Trail. Take a picture from the overlook. Click here for trail description.  

B) Grand Gulch Primitive Area (mileage varies, depending on access canyon)- Don’t miss this one.  You can use either Kane Gulch or Bullet Canyon  to access Grand Gulch. Kane Gulch is 10 miles round trip if you go a mile past the Grand Gulch junction to Stimper Arch and Turkey Pen Ruin. Bullet Canyon is 14.5 miles round trip and a bit more technical but has amazing ruins. Pay BLM day use fee ($2) at trailhead or BLM office.

3) Natural Bridges National Monument (loop trail-8.7 miles)-  Run the loop trail which goes by all 3 natural bridges.  Click here for trail description.  Take Hwy 261 to Hwy 95 despite what your navigating device tells you- much more scenic and direct route.

***Other amazing options (which can replace any of the above trifecta legs but are not required due to price and/or distance):

Moon House Ruin Amazing ruins near the Grand Gulch BLM office.  Special permit required, only 20 people per day are allowed to visit. Take photo at the ruins.  The trail is 3 miles round trip.

- Canyon de Chelly: Only 2 hours from Monument Valley, it would be a shame to miss this national monument.  There is only one hiking trail into the canyon that tourists are allowed on without a Navajo guide, the White House Ruin trail.  Take a photo from the ruins at the bottom of the canyon.  The trail is 2.5 miles round trip.

- 4 Corners Monument- The only place in the U.S. that you can be in 4 states at once.  1.5 hours from Monument Valley. Take a quad-state picture and send it in.

- Mesa Verde National Park- At 2 hours 15 minutes from Monument Valley, why not go visit this amazing national park?  Take a picture in front of the Spruce Tree House ruins

- Rafting or kayaking the San Juan river.  Fast moving water allows you to float this 26 mile stretch in just one day, while stopping to see two remote ruin sites and icing the legs along the way :)  Cost is $175 for the one day trip between Bluff and Mexican Hat (and well worth it IMO) or you can float it w your own equipment. Take picture anywhere along the river.


The belt buckles (awarded for the 100 miler finishers only) are each hand crafted using organic materials gathered on the course and preserved in resin.  The finishers’ award for the 50K and 50 mile distance is your choice of hand made Navajo jewelry pieces, created specifically for this event by a local family.  Each of our awards is unique- you can choose the one that speaks to you.  Special awards will be given to the top 3 overall male and female finishers for each distance as well.

We hope that you will join us at the finish line for as long as you’d like to welcome home the other finishers.  One of our goals this year is to create a welcoming environment for you to hang out with old and new friends.  To make this possible, we will have the following amenities present at the finish line to keep you comfortable- shade, seating, Navajo tacos, heated tents, drinks, hot showers, a wood-fired cedar hot tub, massage tent, recovery tent, medical tent, and a camping area.  We are so pleased to have the infamous “Whiskeytown” George Walsh (a.k.a. “GW”) overseeing the start and finish line operations at each of our events.


We are proud to offer one of the best refund/rollover policies out there.  The amount refunded will be determined by how much advanced notice you give us, since many costs involved with the race are incurred early.  If you notify us prior to 60 days before the race, you are eligible for a 100% refund or rollover towards any Ultra Adventures event.  If you notify us prior to 30 days before the race- a 75% refund or rollover will be issued.  If you let us know between 15-30 days prior to the event- a 50% rollover can be applied (sorry, no cash refunds issued within 30 days).  Within 15 days of the event- no refunds/rollovers will be issued.


Earn $$ off of your next Ultra Adventures race registration fees by volunteering! Volunteer hours are transferable, so if you can talk your non-runner family/friends into it, they can transfer their credit towards your next race!

Individual Volunteer Form- Please fill out this form to let us know when you’ll be available to volunteer and in what capacity you’re interested in volunteering or email

20 Responses to “Monument Valley”

Jeff GipeJanuary 18th, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Attempted to run up Mitchell Mesa today, but ran out of trail. May have gone wrong somewhere. Very rocky will need to use extreme caution.

Mark Vickers-WillisFebruary 6th, 2014 at 1:34 pm

This is my first 50 K. I’ve run marathons. Does anyone recommend taking your own water source or supplies other than gel?

Rick WhitelawFebruary 7th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I think you picked a good one for your first Mark. Tim and Matt put on some great events. With any trail run or race I strongly recommend carrying hydration (handheld, belt, or pack) and a little fuel. The aid station is very well stocked (check faq page if these items will work), but it looks like one leg of the course will be 9,5 miles between aid. Take advantage of a drop bag at that aid station. At a minimum I would put a spare long sleeve shirt, hat, gloves, spare socks, and extra fuel in the bag. Check the weather and study the course prior to the race. See you out there.

MattFebruary 12th, 2014 at 11:53 am

You are indeed blessed to live where you do, Jeff! I’ll be out on the 22-23, would you be interested in joining me on a run? Maybe up Mitchell Mesa?

Mark Vickers-WillisFebruary 18th, 2014 at 9:47 pm

Thanks Rick, I really appreciate your tips and suggestions. I’ve purchased my hand held and have been running with it for 10 days or so. Getting really excited and look forward to seeing you out there. Cheers

adminFebruary 19th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

Looks like it- still waiting for an appointment to confirm that might push it back to next weekend. I sent an email about an hour ago- If I do come this weekend, I won’t be there till Sat. afternoon so Sun. morning works best for a run. I’ll confirm via email either way. Will you still be around?

MattFebruary 19th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

Si, señor. But likely won’t arrive until Saturday night. Do you want to go for a run Sunday morning? Text me at 435-632-8678

Pam ReedMarch 9th, 2014 at 3:26 pm

I am thinking of running the Monument 50 miler are there still rooms available. From Pam Reed

Matt GunnMarch 11th, 2014 at 12:07 pm

The View still has rooms available.

If traveling from the north, Mexican Hat offers lodging options and is just 20 minutes away. Here are the 3 hotels in Mexican Hat:
San Juan Inn
Hat Rock Inn
Canyonlands Motel (Mexican Hat)- (435) 683-2230

If traveling from the south, Kayenta is also 20 minutes from the starting line and also has 3 hotels:
Hampton Inn Kayenta
Wetherill Inn
Canyon Inn Motel: (928) 697-8248

Stanford LakeMarch 14th, 2014 at 9:47 am

I have two questions for tomorrow’s race?

1. Will the race be on Daylight Saving Time or Arizona Time? I know Navajo Nation observes DST.
2. Can we pick up bib number packet in the early morning before the race event?

Thank you.

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