Race Course Map
Start: South Pass City
Race Course Description-120K
The race course has been strategically mapped so that runners experience the most unique and wild features of the Northern Red Desert. This includes historic landmarks such as the Oregon and Mormon Trails, multiple Wilderness Study Areas, the Sweetwater River, Continental Peak, and South Pass City.
The race will begin at South Pass Historic Site in South Pass City and go south losing a small amount of elevation to the Sweetwater River. After crossing the Sweetwater, runners will intersect the Oregon and Mormon Trails and begin the climb up to Whitehorse Creek Wilderness Study Area and then loop around the imposing Oregon Buttes Wilderness Study Areas. The open terrain and surrounding relief on this section of the course will provide sweeping views s runners make there way west down from the Oregon Buttes they will cut into the painted badlands of the Honeycomb Buttes Wilderness Study Area. This martian landscape is dotted with fossils and relics from years past and appropriately lives up to its name - the Honeycomb Buttes.
Continuing through the buttes, runners will climb to the north until summiting Continental Peak at over 8,400 feet. This 360 degree view looking out over 100 miles of sagebrush steep in all directions will certainly be a course highlight. From Continental Peak, the race will track north back down to the Sweetwater River where runners will continue back to the finish at the historic past the mining town South Pass City.
120K — 72.4 miles and 4,300’ of elevation gain
45K — 22 miles and 1,500’ of elevation gain
Half-Marathon — 13.7 miles and 1,100’ of elevation gain
Aid station information and cutoffs
DescriptioN of the Landscape
South Pass is an isolated little saddle that straddles the Continental Divide in the middle of Wyoming, still the least populated state in the country. South Pass was used by American Indians for millennia due to its moderate topography and abundant wildlife and natural resources. In the 1800s, European emigrants depended upon South Pass for a direct land route across the Continental Divide. Today, visitors can still see the paths on the landscape left behind by American Indians and European emigrants.
National Historic Trails, including the Oregon Trail, Mormon Trail, California Trail, and the Pony Express retain their unspoiled viewsheds and intact ruts. In some places, the experience of the trails are eerily similar to when they were passages used by Native American tribes. Continental Divide National Scenic Trail also passes through South Pass City. Popular among serious hikers and mountain bikers, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail runs the length of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to Mexico.
The Northern Red Desert contains some of the last remaining unspoiled desert landscapes in Wyoming. The Northern Red Desert harbors an extraordinary array of resources and values, including the longest mule deer migration ever recorded. The area hosts numerous recreational visitors from Wyoming, and outside of Wyoming, and serves as the entrance to the southern Wind River Mountains. Nine wilderness study areas (WSAs) anchor thousands of acres of other wilderness quality lands in the Northern Red Desert. The largely undeveloped sagebrush steppe supports 350 wildlife species, including the Greater sage-grouse.
The race will take place on Wyoming's first Public Lands Day, September 28th. To learn more about South Pass City and the Northern Red Desert, visit the sites below.
In order to minimize our environmental impact, all aid-stations at Run the Red will be completely cupless—so please plan on carrying your own water bottles, collapsible cups, or hydration reservoirs with you. If you need to purchase something to help you carry water, please consider supporting our wonderful sponsor, Ultimate Direction. We also encourage all participants, crews, and family members to bring their own reusable dishes for our post-race food.
Race Director , Gabe Joyes