Overall Rating
Overall Rating (18 Reviews)
4.9
(18 Ratings) 🏆 (18 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.1
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4.9
SWAG
5
The Grand Circle Trailfest is a 3 day trail-running festival which takes place in the heart of North America’s most scenic national parks: Bryce Canyon, Zion & Horseshoe Bend. Each morning, you’ll run a gorgeous timed race on one of the world’s most uniquely beautiful trail courses. You’ll earn a … MORE
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Recent reviews

    CandieMM REPEAT RUNNER '21

    Great adventure. This was my second time completing this race. Very well run and the scenery cannot be beat. They have generous cut offs (20mm) and amazing support for all … MORE

    Great adventure. This was my second time completing this race. Very well run and the scenery cannot be beat. They have generous cut offs (20mm) and amazing support for all levels of runners. Their race guide is comprehensive and informs you of everything you could need to know. Overall a fulfilling , easygoing experience that I will continue returning for.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    chadley320 FIRST-TIMER '21

    Trailfest is a 3 day event that takes you to some amazing places. Bryce, Horseshoe and Zion didn't disappoint. Race was well organized and it's one that I will most … MORE

    Trailfest is a 3 day event that takes you to some amazing places. Bryce, Horseshoe and Zion didn’t disappoint. Race was well organized and it’s one that I will most likely repeat.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    If you love trail running, this trailfest is for YOU! Three EPIC days of running in beautiful Utah. Bryce half marathon, then Zion 10.5 miles, and horseshoe bend 10.8 miles. … MORE

    If you love trail running, this trailfest is for YOU! Three EPIC days of running in beautiful Utah. Bryce half marathon, then Zion 10.5 miles, and horseshoe bend 10.8 miles. Worth the long drive to UT, the cost, and the metals are awesome. Best race experience by far! So beautiful. And you explore the national parks afterwards. Kanab was a nice little town with their own trails too worth exploring. The staff was amazing and production spot on. Don’t miss out!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Leslieyp FIRST-TIMER '21

    The three day trailfest was the best run race ever! From the time we arrived at the venue everything was seamless. The "home base" was perfect. Check-in was flawless, with … MORE

    The three day trailfest was the best run race ever! From the time we arrived at the venue everything was seamless. The “home base” was perfect. Check-in was flawless, with great swag and lots of evening activities from movies, bands, performances, smores and more. The Bryce course was amazingly difficult, but beautiful. Of the three days Zion was the easiest. Horseshoe Bend was filled with lots of sand. Honestly the best run event I have ever been too. Such a great feeling of accomplishment with the most supportive participants and staff.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    bravoinmotion FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race was an unbelievable experience and one that I would recommend to all - first time runners or long time runners. The courses were challenging and breathtaking in all … MORE

    This race was an unbelievable experience and one that I would recommend to all – first time runners or long time runners. The courses were challenging and breathtaking in all the right ways. As a long time road runner this was my first real trail experience and I am ready for more. I plan on supporting this company and their races for years to come – the logistics, the courses, the campsites, the shuttles, the food – every detail was managed and well handled.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    ehedglen FIRST-TIMER '21

    Such a well-run event, as are all VR events (my third). Spectacular scenery surrounded by beautiful national parks and monuments throughout southern Utah and northern Arizona. So much to do … MORE

    Such a well-run event, as are all VR events (my third). Spectacular scenery surrounded by beautiful national parks and monuments throughout southern Utah and northern Arizona. So much to do and see! Challenging, interesting courses, something for everyone and a few surprises. My favorite was Day 2, Wire Mesa, Zion’s “Front Porch.” Also running through Waterholes slot canyon on Day 3. Volunteers and VR staff are amazing, so supportive, encouraging, energetic, and informative. Camping in tent city was fun, even for my non-running, non-camping husband! We made a wonderful vacation out of the trip, stayed in the area another week and visited other parks like the Grand Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, and Canyonlands. It was truly a Grand Circle for us! The weather was perfect, great time of year despite a frigid start on day 1 (Bryce) and a couple of warm days at Zion. Be prepared for varied temperatures due to the different elevations throughout the area! Great swag, always quality and appealing medals from VR, nice race shirt, cinch bag and hoodie that fits well. Grab & go breakfast was great, oatmeal, fruit, smoothies, bagels, energy bars, hot drinks. Recovery/post-race food was good, dinner buffet could have been better, but good menu variety. Overall a fantastic experience, put it on your bucket list!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    paulcanez520 FIRST-TIMER '21

    There are a few times in life when you come across an event and a group of people that leave such a lasting impact on you that after you go … MORE

    There are a few times in life when you come across an event and a group of people that leave such a lasting impact on you that after you go through three grueling days of half marathons or near half marathons in the most beautiful part of the country (AZ/UT) and all can think about is when can we do it again! My fiancé and I are new to trail running and of course we chose the hardest race and jumped in with both feet first. From the initial sign up online, to the communication prior to the event, to the mailings which got us excited, do you the great swag we received upon arrival, to the course layouts and scenery, and to the most important part of any event, the crew and volunteers who made the overall race feel like a family get together. We would highly recommend this event in the future and we are already looking at other Vacationraces.com in anticipation of being associated with such a well run and fun organization. As I mentioned before, it is the people that made this event and just how fun and engaging everyone was, we highly recommend this race to anyone who wants an experience of a lifetime and cannot wait until the next available date that is open to participate.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    cassidymegan3 Jan 14, 2022 at 11:32am

    Hi, Paul. Did you camp? If so- is the campsite your "hub" and every morning, they shuttle you to each of the parks? I'm very interested in doing this race… MORE

    Hi, Paul. Did you camp? If so- is the campsite your "hub" and every morning, they shuttle you to each of the parks? I'm very interested in doing this race - I just want to figure out the logistics on MY end since everyone raves that the management team does a great job with the production of the event. Thanks in advance -💖 #thefeistyrunner LESS

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    It's ran in the Dixie national forest which is literally right next to Bryce canyon. It also has hoodoos and fantastic views. The course was the perfect challenge for an … MORE

    It’s ran in the Dixie national forest which is literally right next to Bryce canyon. It also has hoodoos and fantastic views. The course was the perfect challenge for an average trail runner. Elevation was good. I would repeat this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    Cush57 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was a fantastic race and the scenery on the courses was absolutely stunning. If your not into camping there are other options such as Airbnb, VRBO and hotels nearby. … MORE

    This was a fantastic race and the scenery on the courses was absolutely stunning. If your not into camping there are other options such as Airbnb, VRBO and hotels nearby. I definitely would recommend driving yourselves to the race each morning instead of taking the shuttle just because it gives extra flexibility to check out the parks afterwards. Lots of great restaruants in the area as well. I would highly recommend this race. I’ll be back.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    caitlinnlewis FIRST-TIMER '21

    Every single bit of Trailfest was incredible. Each of the three trails felt once-in-a-lifetime beautiful. The weather was perfect. HQ and the camping area were clean and well organized. The … MORE

    Every single bit of Trailfest was incredible. Each of the three trails felt once-in-a-lifetime beautiful. The weather was perfect. HQ and the camping area were clean and well organized. The logistics were flawless (and there were A LOT of logistics to manage). The crowd ranged in age and running ability – if you wanted to race for speed that was certainly an option, but if you felt like walking and taking in the views, you’d have plenty of company. I was worried about running in sand and running at altitude – neither of which I had done before, but the trails were so fabulous that I barely noticed. Each of the twists and turns are totally manageable, and the stunning backdrops make it more than worth it. We chose to drive ourselves so we could explore the national parks after, which I definitely recommend. Also, if camping is not your speed, there are plenty of Airbnbs and hotels/inns in Kanab just a short walk from the campsite. I truly enjoyed every second of this event and will be returning annually!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    nobodyimportant FIRST-TIMER '21

    If your schedule can possible allow you to go; then do. The whole diversified experience is worth the logistics. Go. You won't be sorry. Run if you can; walk if … MORE

    If your schedule can possible allow you to go; then do. The whole diversified experience is worth the logistics. Go. You won’t be sorry. Run if you can; walk if you need to, but GO.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Just loved the race, on the horse shoe race, I would follow the river for 2-3 more miles and then turn to the finish. Loved the scenery, it was great, … MORE

    Just loved the race, on the horse shoe race, I would follow the river for 2-3 more miles and then turn to the finish. Loved the scenery, it was great, improve that if you can. Love trail running, so much more fun than street. Just returned from Chicago Marathon. This race beats that one 5 to 1. It was good but not grand. VR’s are just fine. Mostly, good folks. Who ever reads this, this “Trail Fest” is a must do. P.S. the medal is the 2nd best one I have received in 44 years and 150 races. The photo I posted is just the tip of the iceberg. That is Horse shoe bend from the top of the cliff, I diverted off the trail so to get the photo, no worries, your not running the edge. Safe as can be.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    jennykearsch FIRST-TIMER '21

    These were definitely the toughest 35(ish) miles I’ve ever run; but also, the most INCREDIBLE!! I literally can’t describe the beauty that we got to run in. From Hoodoos and … MORE

    These were definitely the toughest 35(ish) miles I’ve ever run; but also, the most INCREDIBLE!! I literally can’t describe the beauty that we got to run in. From Hoodoos and Horseshoe Bend to running through a slot canyon, it’s impossible to choose which course was my favorite. Like each day literally took my breath away. Truly. Without a doubt, the Grand Circle Trailfest is the ultimate adventure, and the neatest event I’ve ever participated in. Vacation races has is figured out. They were so organized in every aspect of the event. I cannot wait to come back!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    viktorh FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race is amazing! The coordination and race production is steller. You feel comfortable and confident the entire time, and you will never be without direction, hydration, or other smiling … MORE

    This race is amazing! The coordination and race production is steller. You feel comfortable and confident the entire time, and you will never be without direction, hydration, or other smiling faces.

    You go for the courses, but you stay for the atmosphere. Camp at night is so special, and the guest speakers and events are so much fun. It is truly a unique experience overall.

    Oh, and there is also beer!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    ktown7 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This was a super exciting challenging race with the most beautiful views. Vacation races puts on a very organized, professional, safe, fun and challenging event. Colleen is an amazing announcer … MORE

    This was a super exciting challenging race with the most beautiful views. Vacation races puts on a very organized, professional, safe, fun and challenging event. Colleen is an amazing announcer which made it super fun. Lot’s of great racers too!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    jrohlede FIRST-TIMER '21

    Grand Circle Trailfest is 3 trail races in 3 days on three different terrains on the edge of three National Parks. The races are limited to 650 people and it … MORE

    Grand Circle Trailfest is 3 trail races in 3 days on three different terrains on the edge of three National Parks.

    The races are limited to 650 people and it sells out within a month so if you are thinking of doing it register early.
    The race hq is a park in Kanab Utah. Kanab is used since it is approx an hour to an hour and half away from the start of each race. Lodging is camping in tents set up on the baseball fields in the park. So after an early morning drive to the start line (if you don’t have a car you can buy a shuttle pass and ride a shuttle to the start lines and back). So following review of all three courses.

    Day 1 – Bryce Canyon. Really interesting run. The course is length was listed as 12.6 miles but ended up as 14 miles. During the next day course briefing the race director tells you that the length of each race is ish as in 12.6ish. They can change the course the day before due to logistics issues.
    So the first 8 miles of the Bryce Canyon trail was single file rolling hills with rocky scree, roots and rocks. The last 6 was basically 5 miles of straight uphill switchbacks. Then a mile of downhill switchbacks.
    The elevation was 5,000 to 9,000 feet which made the uphills even more challenging.
    The Bryce Canyon run was the hardest

    Day 2 – Zion National Park – 10.6 miles. Trail was wider and flatter than Bryce Canyon. More downhill and way less elevation than Bryce Canyon. Trail had some rocks and roots but not nearly as bad as Bryce Canyon.
    Easiest of the three runs.

    Day 3 – Grand Canyon North Rim – 11 miles. Sand. Sand. Sand – did I mention sand? Mostly deep sand with stretches of shell rock to run on. Really nice views of the Grand Canyon and Colorado River. Also run on part of and Indian Reservation. Mile and a half of running thru a deep canyon was really nice.

    The camping / race hq – four days of camping and event. Every night there was entertainment and reviews of the races. Very well done. Food was adequate for running. Volunteers and race staff were exceptional. No issues at all. All questions and concerns handled immediately.

    On the down side and as a point of consideration- this is difficult hard trail running. It is not flat paved running. Courses are very challenging and can be dangerous. On our day one Bryce Canyon run a experienced trail running woman slipped on the course hitting her head and ended up dying on the course. So if thinking of doing it train on trails and altitude if possible.

    In closing – after each run we schedule tours of the National Parks. If you want to do tours be sure to book them early before you go as every tour we took was sold out.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    bborowicz FIRST-TIMER '19

    Awesome event for trail running! The scenery to, during, and after is amazing. It doesn’t even feel like running with the course views! The event held at the local park … MORE

    Awesome event for trail running! The scenery to, during, and after is amazing. It doesn’t even feel like running with the course views! The event held at the local park is amazing with the vendors, local Native American history and the conversations with other runners from all over. A must do event for not only trail runners but all who enjoy a challenging yet fun experience!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    kellyh FIRST-TIMER '17

    Three days of trail races at Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon with the festival located in Kenab, UT. The views were incredible. The inclines at Bryce were … MORE

    Three days of trail races at Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park, and Grand Canyon with the festival located in Kenab, UT. The views were incredible. The inclines at Bryce were brutal, but worth it. Well-marked trails. No waste aid-stations were very well stocked with a variety, but bring your own water bottles. The festival included speakers, movie night, vendors, food trucks, and recovery options like massage and yoga.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey Apr 26, 2018 at 12:59am

    What an amazing idea for a trail running vacation — Southern Utah is one of my favorite parts of the country, so I can imagine how epic three days of… MORE

    What an amazing idea for a trail running vacation — Southern Utah is one of my favorite parts of the country, so I can imagine how epic three days of running through the parks must be. Congrats on seizing the opportunity Kelly, and thanks for sharing your experience! LESS

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