The snowy start of the Grand Canyon 100; all photos by Sean McCoy

100 Miles By Foot: Tackling Grand Canyon Ultra Race

If You Go

The Grand Canyon 100 is part of the Grand Circle Trail Series of races hosted by Ultra Adventures, a trail running group led by Matt Gunn since 2011.

The races are all located in the “grand circle” area, which is in a ring that covers sections of Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona where a high concentration of parks and spectacular scenery make for some world class ultra running.

Ultra Adventures also hosts races at Zion, Capitol Reef, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Bryce Canyon and Tushars.


The races are moderately priced ($275 for a 100 miler). I found aid stations well stocked with a variety of foods, the course was well marked, and volunteers helpful and positive.

Weather did complicate matters during the Grand Canyon 100, and organizers were forced to re-route some of the shorter races held concurrently. A truck getting stuck also delayed some drop bag deliveries, but, in the wilderness, those things happen. The race did go on, with a remarkably high finisher rate.

I will be back to run more races by Ultra Adventures, although the distance, well, that remains to be seen.

Sean McCoy

Editorial Director Sean McCoy is a life-long outdoorsman who grew up hunting and fishing central Wisconsin forests and lakes. He joined GearJunkie after a 10-year stint as a newspaperman in the Caribbean, where he learned sailing and wooden-boat repair. Based in GearJunkie's Denver office, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.