Overall Rating
Overall Rating (19 Reviews)
4.7
(19 Ratings)(19 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.1
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
3.8
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. The 10K, 5K and 1 mile races start and end in Ashton City Park. Because … MORE
Local Weather (Aug 22)
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H (°F) 69 69 80 78 65
L (°F) 50 42 36 46 40
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Recent reviews

    Mthro5 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I ran the Mesa Falls Half Marathon. This was my second year running this race and I plan on running it every year from now on! It is a beautiful … MORE

    I ran the Mesa Falls Half Marathon. This was my second year running this race and I plan on running it every year from now on! It is a beautiful coarse and the scenery is absolutely stunning. From the forested area of the Warm River, up onto the dry farms and the breath taking view of the Grand Tetons, you won’t find a more tranquil run! The coarse is a great mix of difficult and easy making it just enough of a challenge yet still totally do-able for first timers. The Race coordinators are amazing and make the whole atmosphere of the race fun, exciting and high energy. It is very organized and well put together. I highly suggest this race!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    ehrenhaderlie FIRST-TIMER '19

    The scenery is beautiful and the organizers are excellent. Plenty of water stations and things to help you keep going. Great cheering teams. I would 100% do it again, but … MORE

    The scenery is beautiful and the organizers are excellent. Plenty of water stations and things to help you keep going. Great cheering teams. I would 100% do it again, but the medal was a bit disappointing. It was small and made of wood. The image was nice, but the overall product looks cheap.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    mrs.jnetgreen REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is the best little hometown marathon you will experience. From the race swag put into a potato sack to the hometown volunteers, INCLUDING THE MAYOR, at the aide stations … MORE

    This is the best little hometown marathon you will experience. From the race swag put into a potato sack to the hometown volunteers, INCLUDING THE MAYOR, at the aide stations and the huckleberry shakes at the end…This race doesn’t disappoint. The scenery is so beautiful. The different terrain you experience and just an overall pride that Ashton, Idaho has for this marathon is so much fun. I love this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    KathyMorgan FIRST-TIMER '19

    This race features a very scenic course. There is a lot of support along the way -everything from people on 4-wheelers on the lookout for bears to frequent water stations … MORE

    This race features a very scenic course. There is a lot of support along the way -everything from people on 4-wheelers on the lookout for bears to frequent water stations and well-placed port-a-potties. Volunteers were very helpful and accommodating. I loved being able to leave clothing at a water station as I shed layers through the race and find it waiting for me at the finish line. This was my first marathon and the experience couldn’t have been better.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Mark Breznik
    markbreznikdev FIRST-TIMER '19

    Even though this was my first half-marathon I really enjoyed it and ended up in the top 20%! The first 4miles downhill is probably the most fun to run ever! … MORE

    Even though this was my first half-marathon I really enjoyed it and ended up in the top 20%! The first 4miles downhill is probably the most fun to run ever! The scenery is just amazing and running in groups is amazing, but then you see the first big uphill and it literally kills you. On the top, you’re like finally, until you realize that the rest of the run is just hills up and down we go.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Jill Dunbar McCaslin
    jdunbar2 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I’ve run this several times. Such s lovely little town. 15 minutes from the incredible Mesa Falls. The most beautiful place. The farmers market, the spaghetti dinner. The friendliest group … MORE

    I’ve run this several times. Such s lovely little town. 15 minutes from the incredible Mesa Falls. The most beautiful place.
    The farmers market, the spaghetti dinner. The friendliest group of people you’ll ever meet.
    A warm bus ride, runners breakfast. An incredible race that is supported by volunteers and awesome home owners along the way.
    Go early. Drive the route. Visit the breath taking falls,. Breath the clean mountain air. Walk a country road.
    Truly my favorite race of the year.
    Incredible views.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    awh143fe FIRST-TIMER '19

    Once you get tired of big city marathons and the hassle that goes along with them you should try this one. Everything is easy... registration, packet pick-up, they bus you … MORE

    Once you get tired of big city marathons and the hassle that goes along with them you should try this one. Everything is easy… registration, packet pick-up, they bus you to the start (tour bus, not a school bus). Then you run back into town. Lots of varied scenery and running surface. The people at the aid stations were enthusiastic and helpful.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Charlotte Terry
    chart94 FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first ever race so I did not know what to expect, and everything was perfect. The 3 mile hill was very tough and had most people walking, … MORE

    This was my first ever race so I did not know what to expect, and everything was perfect. The 3 mile hill was very tough and had most people walking, but the rest of the course wasn’t too tricky. My only complaint is that the half marathoners seemed to be clogging up the trail portion, walking, as marathons try to run through. It would be nice if they didn’t start at such a congested area, or if they didn’t start exactly two hours after the marathon. Very scenic, and my at first Begrudging boyfriend really enjoyed driving around and admiring the scenery before stopping to be my fan club here and there

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    rcturk262 FIRST-TIMER '18

    First off, weather was nice and cool for a half marathon in August. Scenery was amazing and varied. Buses used to transport us to the start were very comfortable. Course … MORE

    First off, weather was nice and cool for a half marathon in August. Scenery was amazing and varied. Buses used to transport us to the start were very comfortable. Course was challenging with a nice long uphill during the first half of the race and a nice flat finish. Very nice age group awards and even though it wasn’t a huge field, the age groups were every 5 years. Post race food was good and we were given a coupon for a free huckleberry milkshake…it was AWESOME!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    Ascherr FIRST-TIMER '18

    Small town hospitality and accommodating, friendly, knowledgeable staff and volunteers! Beautiful course with a mix of terrain. Great course to stop and smell the flowers or go for a PR! … MORE

    Small town hospitality and accommodating, friendly, knowledgeable staff and volunteers! Beautiful course with a mix of terrain. Great course to stop and smell the flowers or go for a PR! Phenomenal organization and set up, from packet pick up to finish! I was grateful for the aid stations a plenty offering water, electrolyte drink, and snacks at every table which was frequent and welcomed!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Jenifer VanMeeteren-Shaum
    jenifers REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I love this race! Beautiful scenery,( bring a camera), varying terrain. This is an event for any type of runners. Course stays open until the last person finishes. From packet … MORE

    I love this race! Beautiful scenery,( bring a camera), varying terrain. This is an event for any type of runners. Course stays open until the last person finishes. From packet pick up to past the finish line, the volunteers are amazing. There are so many aid stations and they are so well stocked, that you might just gain weight. Great food in the recovery area. The wooden finisher medals are a nice touch. I’ve done the half for the past 5 years. Maybe next year I get the courage to do the full.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Nate Moeller
    natmoeller FIRST-TIMER '18

    I came into this race thinking that this would be my one and only marathon. However after this experience I think I’ll have to run at least this one again. … MORE

    I came into this race thinking that this would be my one and only marathon. However after this experience I think I’ll have to run at least this one again. The race is small only 110 finishers this year and that was nice because I got to meet a lot of runners. The pre race dinner was great and I got to meet the race director and learn the history of the race. The course was great with changing terrain and scenery throughout. I will definitely run this race again

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    RedjacketRunner FIRST-TIMER '07

    This was my first half marathon, so it wasn't my fastest time, but it was one of the best times! I loved the combination of trail and road! It was … MORE

    This was my first half marathon, so it wasn’t my fastest time, but it was one of the best times! I loved the combination of trail and road! It was all so beautiful! You start out running through trees before moving on to the road and the rolling hills before the open potato fields outside of Ashton. The party after the race was worth sticking around for! Great race/awards announcer that really made everyone feel like a winner! Great atmosphere. I can’t wait to run the full marathon! This should be your choice for an Idaho race if you’re a 50-stater! It is the best of all Idaho has to offer! 🙂

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    The small town of Ashton ROCKS!! The aid stations very supportive, everyone comes outside tete house to cheer you on. Great snacks, ihad to stop... stopping and continue running they … MORE

    The small town of Ashton ROCKS!! The aid stations very supportive, everyone comes outside tete house to cheer you on. Great snacks, ihad to stop… stopping and continue running they were all so friendly … shirts are AWESOME! I got a polo but I wanted both.. pizza at the end.. this small town they definately know how to take care of you.. I will be back.. my parents live in Ashton now. My dad ran across the finish line with me.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    hara2051 FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was the easiest of the 3 half marathons I’ve completed. Very nice scenery on the course, and in the surrounding area, if you have the time to go explore. … MORE

    This was the easiest of the 3 half marathons I’ve completed. Very nice scenery on the course, and in the surrounding area, if you have the time to go explore. Well organized, plenty of aid stations. Did not stick around for the after party as we wanted to go explore Jackson, Wy immediately after

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    RunnerMeg FIRST-TIMER '15

    Mesa Falls is a beautiful and very small marathon in Idaho. It was a bit of an odyssey for me to travel there, going from central VA to Salt Lake … MORE

    Mesa Falls is a beautiful and very small marathon in Idaho. It was a bit of an odyssey for me to travel there, going from central VA to Salt Lake City, driving to Ogden and spending a night, then driving to Ashton, ID and spending a night there. I returned to Salt Lake City after the race before flying home. Well worth the effort!

    This is a low key event, my favorite kind! Packet pickup (which comes in a potato sack!) takes place at the local elementary school. Literally took 60 seconds. After I got my shirt (a nice green long-sleeve tech shirt) I drove to the upper and lower Mesa Falls, which was beautiful! It was a pretty drive too, with a few scenic overlooks. The only downside was that this was around the time of the wildfires in Idaho and surrounding areas, so there was some haze, though we were unaffected by smoke.

    Race morning they offer a runners’ breakfast, which was convenient. It’s in the same school cafeteria and after you get your coffee and use the facilities, you get bussed to the start, 26.2 miles away in the Targhee National Forest. It’s a comfortable charter bus, not school bus, and it’s a pleasant enough trip in the pre-dawn hours.

    The course is point to point and has the added benefit of running on several different surfaces. You start on about 10 miles of gravel roads (easy running) in the beautiful forest. It’s about 6100 ft but I felt unaffected. You meet up with the half runners on 2.8 miles of packet trails by the Warm River, which was really pretty. The only downside is it’s a narrow trail and some of the half runners are slow or taking up the whole trial, so you have to be aware and let them know you’re coming up on them. I didn’t have any problems, just be conscious of it. It is a beautiful segment of the course. Then you’re on about 13 miles of pavement to the finish, with one big hill between mile 17-19. The last 10k is pretty flat through the farmland leading into Ashton. We had great weather; cool with sunny skies. If it’s a warm year, that last portion could get hot, but it was fine for us. I carried my hydration pack so never hurt for water, but I can’t recall how often aid stations were available.

    The finish line is in Ashton, easy walking distance back to the school where most people park. Don’t forget to claim your free huckleberry milkshake at the local place around the corner – it’s so good!! The medal is actually a small wooden medallion with the logo on it. Small, but unique and nice. I got an age group place here which meant I got a nice wooden plaque. Swag is pretty good considering it’s such a small event.

    Overall: easy to maneuver this small, well-organized race. Book your lodging early because there aren’t a ton of places in Ashton, if that’s where you want to stay. I spent the night at Eagle Peak Lodge which was perfect and gave me a late checkout. If you can take advantage of where you are and explore the surrounding national forests, do so. And make sure you see the falls – you run right by one of the overlooks but you can see more at upper and lower viewing locations the day before or after the race. It’s worth seeing! And don’t forget your milkshake. Enjoy the scenery and excellent organization of this friendly, small-town event.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Donnald69 FIRST-TIMER '16

    First off, the registration fee is low, and you get additional discounts for everything. I think they ended up paying me to run. Expo: no real expo as this small … MORE

    First off, the registration fee is low, and you get additional discounts for everything. I think they ended up paying me to run.
    Expo: no real expo as this small town race, they set up a table outside the elementary school. The ladies handing out race numbers were super helpful and friendly. I was able to choose my race number, and since this was my 31st marathon, i chose bib #31.

    Race day: free breakfast for runners. Breads, cereals, yoghurt, fruit, coffee, juices and more. What a treat. A chance to visit with other runners, before boarding the bus to the start.
    Once the bus arrives to the starting point, you have the option of sitting on the bus up until about 15 minutes to race start. As it was a cool morning, this was helpful. Plus, there was a toilet on the bus!
    The course map itself shows steep downhill except a steep uphill miles 17-20. I was concerned about the downhills, but it really was not even noticeable until between mile 13-14, otherwise very gradual. The uphill was pretty steep, and lasted more like mile 17.5 to 19.5, and then again, a very gradual, almost unnoticeable downhill to the finish. The only part of the race that i found uncomfortable, was that the first 9.5 miles was on gravel forest service roads, so you really needed to watch your footing.
    Medal: a small wooden medal. I hate the monster medals thay so many races try to entice you with, this medal was great.
    Finish: for a small town, quite a large number of people cheering you on at the finish. Probably mostly family and friends, but it was a treat. Spectators along the course were minimal mostly because of running forest service roads, but at times there were cheering crowds.
    I would be remiss if i did not mention the huckleberry milkshakes that all runners are given. They are freaking delicious. A real treat after 26 miles. You do not have to get immediately, rather, are given a certificate to pick up at your convenience.
    If your goal is 50 states, this is the marathon to run in idaho. The scenery beautiful. The local people, friendly. Right along the grand tetons, and a quick trip to nearby Yellowstone park is possible. I sent an email to the race director, and he responded immediately. Hotels are scarce, you might need to stay 20-30 miles away, but not really a big deal. Drive in early race morning, park at the elementary school, eat a nice breakfast, and enjoy the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    DrewNYC FIRST-TIMER '16

    This is a small marathon (less than 150 marathon runners in 2016). You need to be prepared to see very few people - even running solo for miles (no other … MORE

    This is a small marathon (less than 150 marathon runners in 2016). You need to be prepared to see very few people – even running solo for miles (no other runners or spectators).

    I was affected by the altitude more than I thought I would be. It impacted my breathing as well as creating a feeling of dehydration.

    Course: About half of the course is on trails and half on open roads. The trails were, at times, rocky (literally and figuratively). Though they offered some spectacular views. I’m not a fan of open roads, but, luckily, traffic was light.

    The medal is quite small.

    No expo – it is just a packet pick-up.

    I realize it sounds like a lot of criticism above, but it is actually a nice race weekend. The volunteers are all incredibly nice. The gear bag was a potato sack. The pre-race dinner – for just $5 – included pasta and potatoes! In 2016, Ryan and Sara Hall spoke during dinner, which was a nice trip. This was an inexpensive race (~$60 registration fee) and well run. I would recommend to those who are looking to run a marathon in Idaho.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    CheriRichardson FIRST-TIMER '13

    The Mesa Falls Half Marathon was my first half marathon. Ever. I chose it because it ran through the campground I was managing in 2013. The race is run by … MORE

    The Mesa Falls Half Marathon was my first half marathon. Ever. I chose it because it ran through the campground I was managing in 2013. The race is run by a local grocery store owner in Ashton, Idaho. It takes you through an area worthy of Vacation Races fame – the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway.
    Marathon runners start on trails above the highway and actually run past the Lower Mesa Falls.

    The Half Marathon started in the parking lot at Lower Mesa Falls and started on a three mile trail down to Warm River Campground. The trail is quite narrow but otherwise not difficult. As we exited the campground we ran past potato fields and farmhouses, finishing in Ashton City Park to a crowd of cheering fans.

    The race was extremely well organized. We picked up our race packets near the finish line, so we knew exactly where to meet the bus that would take us to the start line. Personal race results were available immediately, and since the race was gun timed only we also knew immediately if we had placed in our age divisions. I placed 2nd in mine. Not bad for a first race!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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