Online Registration is now open for the 2020 Grand Canyon Trail half Marathon! Join us on Saturday November 7th for the Second Annual Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon in the beautiful Kaibab National Forest, just south of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Souvenir race medallion, beautiful long-sleeve shirt, race goodies, and more to commemorate your iconic journey through the trails near the South Rim. Walk or run a half-marathon, 5k, or the family mile -- then visit the America's greatest attraction, the Grand Canyon.
The 13.1 mile trail loops through the beautiful forest and high desert of the Kaibab National Forest, while the 5k is an out-and-back, partially on a paved multi-use path through the forest and partially on a forest service road. The courses do not descend into the Grand Canyon, but all race participants can purchase a National Park Service pass and from the race site easily enter into the Grand Canyon National Park.
Newsletters to participants: The Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon is a joint partnership between the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and Run Tucson, the premier local running company in Arizona. Here are emails we sent to the 2019 registered runners and walkers:
Staging Area: The start and finish will take place outside, of course, but at this point our plan is to have all other race activities inside the Visitor Center IMAX building. There is plenty of parking and there are plenty of bathrooms inside. The address is 450 AZ-64, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023.
Times 4:30 – 7:00 pm Race Registration and Packet Pick inside the IMAX Theater Our team of volunteers will be on hand to help you pick up your race materials, including your race number, your race shirt, a copy of the course map, and (if you ordered it) your National Park Pass, beanie, and souvenir shirt. Don't forget to check out the local restaurant specials and discounts that are just for runners, friends, and family -- see way below for details! YES: you receive a free ticket to the IMAX showing of The Grand Canyon Experience, and your friends can get a 25% discount! YES: we have unisex and women's sizing in the t-shirt YES: all shirts are first-come, first-served in terms of sizing YES: you can pick up for your friends and family; this is a small race, so no ID needed YES: please be patient with your fellow runners and please be nice to the volunteers YES: we will have your National Park pass if you purchased one YES: we will have additional souvenirs for sale NO: you cannot pick up your finisher's medal before finishing the race – you gotta’ do the race on Saturday!
7:00-7:30 Pre-Race Meeting inside the IMAX Theater: Join us at the IMAX for a 30-45 minute pre-race meeting. We will review the course, provide last-minute updates, and answer any questions you may have.
Saturday, November 7: Race Morning 8:00 am - 12:00 pm: Tusayan Fire Department Fundraising Pancake Breakfast-- $10 for adults and $5 for ages 12-and-under.
8:30 – 9:30 am: Packet pick-up, inside the IMAX building. Ends 15 minutes before each of the race events. NOTE: shirts are given away first-come, first-served in terms of sizing.
10:00 am: Half-Marathon Start on sidewalk in front of IMAX on the main street
10:15 am: 5k Fun Run/Walk Start at start/finish line just north of IMAX building
12:00 - 4:00: Post-Race Food and Beer Garden: A Taste of Tusayan. After the race, all runners can snag finger-food from local restaurants in the IMAX building. Here's the menu from 2019:
Grand Canyon Brewing for donating a free beer to all race registrants 21+ with additional pours are a few bucks.
Yavapai Tavern – Pork Sliders with slaw
Big E Steakhouse – Ribs with potato salad
Plaza Bonita Restaurant – Mini quesadillas, mini chimichangas, wings, taquitos, nachos, sour cream and guacamole
Best Western Squire Inn – Buffalo short ribs with mashed potatoes
IMAX - prickly pear and falafel
1:30 or so: Awards Ceremonies and Charity Give
Course Closure Times (Final details to be determined by Tusayan Fire Department and Kaibab National Forest personnel on event day as the situation warrants) 2:00 Runners need to be at Mile 11, and race organizers reserve the right to pick up athletes depending on weather and safety conditions 2:30 pm Timing at Finish Line Closes 3:00 pm Breakdown of Event Site
Pancake Breakfast On race day, from 8:00 - 12:00 the Tusayan Fire Department will hold a fundraising pancake breakfast, so tell your friends and family to bring a few bucks to snag some hot breakfast!
Wanna' know what else to do? Tusayan is your welcoming community nestled in the Kaibab Forest just a mile from the main entrance to the Grand Canyon National Park. Comfortable motels, a campground, restaurants, the world famous IMAX Theater, and the official Arizona State Visitor Information Center make Tusayan a perfect home base for enjoying the South Rim. Check out these local options:
The Grand Canyon Trail Half Marathon is a joint partnership between the Grand Canyon Chamber of Commerce and Run Tucson, the premier local event directing company in Arizona, directed by Randy Accetta, an RRCA-Certified Race Director.
Weekend Goodies: IMAX: Thanks to the IMAX Theater for providing one free ticket to each registered runnier for an IMAX showing of The Grand Canyon experience -- click here for movie details and schedule.
2019 Friday Night Dinner Discounts: We don't know yet the details for 2020, but here's how the community came together for the inaugural event!
We Cook Pizza and Pasta - location Runners Special $14.95 VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY FREE SAUTEED SPAGHETTI SQUASH with fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes, topped with fresh sliced scallions; CHARRED CORN AVOCADO QUINOA SALAD with spiced black beans on a bed of romaine lettuce; SWEET POTATO CHOCOLATE FUDGE PUDDING with dairy-free cream and Medjool dates, topped with chopped pistachios Also being offered: RUNNERS BREAKFAST TO GO: $ 9.95 VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY FREE PUMPKIN PIE BREAKFAST QUINOA with chopped walnuts – just add hot water! Fresh Banana, applesauce, Nature Valley Oat & Honey Bars (2)
Big E Steakhouse - location Runners Special $15.00 or $18.00 Jumbo '5 Cheese' Ravioli --- Sweet Basil Marinara ~ served with Canyon Blend Vegetables and Garlic Bread or Jumbo '5 Cheese' Ravioli --- Sweet Basil Marinara with Italian Sausage ~ served with Canyon Blend Vegetables and Garlic Bread
Grand Canyon Visitor Center - location Runners Special $10 All you can eat pasta marinara and pizza, garlic bread, green salad and drink
Harvey House Cafe- location Runners Special $20 Cajun Steak Fettucine topped w/shredded parmesan and garlic toast.
Grand Canyon Squire Inn Coronado Room Grilled Vegetable Pasta - zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach over linguini $20 - location
Plaza Bonita Grilled Skirt Steak or Pollo Asada with rice, salad, and warm tortillas. $20 - location
What Else To Do: After the race, you can relax on a sightseeing tour by vehicle, air, bicycle, or mule. Check out this link for possible tours: https://grandcanyoncvb.org/what-to-do/grand-canyon-tours.
Our family (including grandma from Durango and the two kids up from Tucson) and some members of our workout group in Tucson will probably hike and/or run one of the trails at the South Rim on Sunday morning.
For an easy recovery run, you may enjoy the flatter Rim Trail alongside the edge of the South Rim. The Bright Angel Trail is well-regarded as a tourist-friendly trail, while the Kaibab Trail is more rugged and steep, with no water available. Please remember that all trails into the Canyon are arduous and potentially dangerous, so we recommend that you take all precaution when running in and near the Grand Canyon. You can find more information on nearby Grand Canyon National Park options here https://grandcanyoncvb.org/national-park-area-info and here https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/hiking-for-fitness.htm.
Where To Stay - Six Hotels/Motels in Tusayan: Red Feather Lodge - yep RP's legacy is still open an operated by the family. This remodeled family friendly option can offer all the comforts of home - enjoy a beautiful grand entrance, fully remodeled rooms, a workout room, and laundry. Our race crew is staying at the Red Feather Lodge,
Grand Canyon Holiday Inn Express and Suites is our only local hotel that includes breakfast. 30 beautiful suites are also available. They have an indoor pool and hot tub.
The Grand Hotel is the only 3-diamond hotel in the region and one of the few area hotels with an indoor heated swimming pool and hot tub.
Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel beautiful rooms recently remodeled with a gorgeous atrium and an incredible mural as you enter the lobby. They also host a local favorite The Wagon Wheel Saloon. They have an indoor hot tub.
Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn This resort style property boasts a newly renovated indoor / outdoor pool and hot tub, indoor arcade and a bowling alley. A little side note - all the photo's in the hotel are different - each hallway and every room - all tell a story about the Grand Canyon.
7-Mile Lodge If you decide to stay at the last minute 7-Mile Lodge is perfect - they accept same day bookings only. This cute Lodge will provide you a welcoming local feel.
Want to be closer to the Rim? As of today they have availability at:
Maswik Lodge- Maswik is named for a Hopi Kachina who is said to guard the Grand Canyon. Originally cabins - in 1972 and 1981 the cabins where replaced with 2 story buildings. Maswik North is currently open - Maswik South is currently under construction.
Yavapai Lodge - The largest set of accommodations within Grand Canyon National park located just 1/2 mile from the Rim. Rooms have been recently updated and the Yavapai Tavern now has outdoor seating and on many weekends live music.
Thunderbird Lodge - Thunderbird is another contemporary Lodge located on the Rim. Half the rooms have partial Grand Canyon views.
Other hotels within the South Rim but currently not showing availability... keep in mind people do cancel so it may be worth checking.
El Tovar - This 1905 Historic property will have you staying right on the Rim. 78 rooms and history like none other!
Bright Angel Lodge - This 1935 landmark hotel / cabins were designed and created by the famous architect Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. While there be sure to check out the history of Mary Colter and the famous Fred Harvey and the Fred Harvey Girls.
Kachina Lodge - Kachina is a contemporary Lodge located on the Rim. Half the rooms have partial Grand Canyon views.