Race Course Summary
The Mesa Falls Marathon and Half Marathon races are point-to-point courses that begin in the Targhee National Forest near the headwaters of the Warm River and end in the city of Ashton, Idaho. Due to our geographic location and proximity to Yellowstone National Park, a wide variety of wildlife reside in the area including elk, deer, moose, bison, cougars, wolves, and bears. The race committee makes every attempt to clear the race course of unofficial entries prior to the race. However, recognizing that wildlife may not always follow our course rules, there may be four-legged “bandits” on the course at any point. Runners are reminded to use caution if and when encountering wild animals. Please give elk, deer, moose, and bison the right of way—they are bigger than you! If a bear or cougar are spotted, just remember that you don’t want to be the first runner—nor the last!
General Course Description
The Marathon starting line is located on Idaho Highway 47 the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway. Most of the course is on the pavement. Vehicle traffic is generally light during the early morning hours but will increase in numbers and speed as the day goes on. The road shoulder is very narrow and does not allow a lot of room for runners. Please be very cautious of vehicle traffic!
The course proceeds south for to the Lower Mesa Falls Scenic Overlook. At this point, runners will be diverted to the right, through the parking lot, and along the pedestrian path for a spectacular view of the Lower Mesa Falls on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River to the right. Restrooms are available in the parking area. From here, continue along the marked path back to Highway 47, turn right and continue south. At mile 13, the course drops downhill.
At the Bear Gulch parking area, the runners will loop through the north end of the parking lot and follow the trail under the road through the short tunnel. Everything is well marked with flagging, a flour line on the ground, and volunteers to direct the runners. After approximately 400 yards, the course turns right ( south )
Runners proceed south beyond the green gate located at the south end of the Railroad Bed for the next .2 miles to the trail intersection with the exit road leading from the Warm River Campground. Restrooms are available at the campground. The course turns right and follows the campground entrance/exit road to Fish Creek Road and continues south to the Fish Creek Highway 47 intersection, a distance of .4 miles to mile 17. From this point to the finish, the course is on paved roads.
At mile 17 the course goes over the bridge across Robison Creek and at mile 17.1, begins a significant climb up the Warm River grade on Highway 47 for the next 2.8 miles topping out at mile 19.9 and turning west (right) on County Road 1400 N. The elevation gain here is 300 ft. in 2.8 miles.
The course follows 1400 N. for 3.7 miles before turning north (right) on County Road 3700 E. It continues north on 3700 E. for .6 miles before turning west (left) on 1425 N and continuing for .5 miles to 3650 E. and turns south (left) on 3650 for .1 miles and turns right (west) on 1425 N. The course then follows 1425 N. for just over .5 miles and turns south (left) onto 3600 E. The course then follows 3600 E. south for about 2.25 miles. It then turns west (right) onto Main Street on passes North Fremont High School before turning north (right) into the high school parking lot and proceeds to the high school track. The race ends on the track.