Yellowstone Gateway 30K

Sun September 18, 2022 Pray, MT 59065 US Directions

Yellowstone Gateway 30K

$65 9:00AM MDT - 3:00PM MDT Registration ends September 18, 2022 at 9:00am MDT
163 Chico Road
Pray, MT US 59065

Yellowstone Gateway 30K runners will know why “Yellowstone is more Valuable than Gold”!


This Paradise Valley race is suitable for beginning trail runners to top racers and covers 18 miles of trail, gravel road, USFS dirt and scree covered jeep roads, with much of the race and aid stations taking place in the upper elevations of Emigrant Gulch and under Emigrant Peak. In general it is a 10 mile uphill that starts out easy and increases steadily but is mostly very runnable and at the St. Julian Aid Station it becomes a fast 8 mile downhill flattening out with a couple rollers near the finish. Starting near the Yellowstone River at the Sage Lodge you run double track trails over rolling hills past Chico Cemetery, then past the historic Yellowstone City gold settlement (c. 1864-1866) where some of the first gold seekers came to Montana to find fortune. Continue to Old Chico, and turn right up Emigrant Gulch to a dirt/scree jeep road that travels between steep canyon walls and past abandoned mines four short but steep sections. Your feet will get wet crossing Emigrant Creek two times. After the turn-around at the aid station near the St. Julian Mine (c. 1906) you will descend out of the gulch, turn right at Old Chico road and run the gravel Chico road to a sprint finish at Chico Hot Springs. Total ascent in feet is 2,778 and total descent is 2,449. Elevation varies from 4,990 feet at the start at the Sage Lodge in Emigrant to 8,000 feet at the top aid station east of Emigrant Peak, and 5,250 feet at the finish at Chico Hot Springs in Pray Montana. 

Cutoff times are for the sake of our volunteers and are generous at an average of 20 minute miles, a fast walk, and adjusted for climbing and descending pace. See aid stations below for specific cutoff times. The Old Chico and Emigrant Creek Aid Stations (1, 2, 4, and 5) will have Tailwind, water, gel packs, and snacks. St. Julian will have water only. For more information visit Yellowstone Gateway 30K Facebook page. 

Yellowstone Gateway 30K Details

Packet Pick-Up

  • Stand by for early pickup times and locations. 
  • Race Day: Sun (9/19) 7:30 AM-8:45 AM -- Sage Lodge Mud Room (55 Sage Lodge Drive, Pray, MT) 

Aid Stations

There are three aid stations on the 30K course. Each aid station will be stocked with water coolers (BYO bottle), electrolyte drink, gels, pretzels and gummies -- not to mention energetic volunteers! *Please note aid station cutoff times in bold

                           Outgoing Stations                                                                                                                     Return Stations

Old Chico Aid Station (Station #1): 3.8 miles from the start                                          Emigrant Creek Crossing Aid Station (Station #4): 12.0 miles
Emigrant Creek Crossing Aid Station (Station #2): 8.0 miles *11:45 am                      Old Chico Aid Station (Station #5): 16.0 miles *2:35 pm
St. Julian turnaround (Station #3): 10 miles *12:35 pm (Water only)                           Chico Finish! (Station #6): 18.0 miles  


Racing downhill can be hazardous, watch your footing on the scree sections and even on the roads where a fall or rolled ankle could injure you. Emigrant Creek is ankle to shin deep at the crossing this time of year.  It could be cold and snowy or hot and dry, check the weather and plan accordingly but September weather is often perfect for running. This is grizzly bear country but there will be a lot of runners and volunteers on the course on race day which is a natural deterrent for bears. Runners ask every year about bear spray, we say that carrying bear spray is your choice. If you like using running or trekking poles you might like them for the section between the Emigrant Creek and St. Julian aid stations. Park County Search and Rescue Volunteers will be on the course with off road vehicles to assist if there are any racers who require assistance.  

Our Commitment to Sustainability

Yellowstone Gateway 30K is a race that takes you through some of the most beautiful country in the greater Yellowstone area. This is our backyard. This is your public land. As Directors and racers, we choose to tread lightly and steward the landscape responsibility.

  • Cupless - Please bring your own cup/water bottle/hydration pack. We won't provide you with a cup because that defeats the purpose. 
  • Reducing - At the post race picnic, we'll be using reusable or industry standard compostable service wear to limit our dependency on single-use service ware. Thank you in advance for disposing of your goods in the proper receptacle! 

Course Markings

The course will be marked with flags and paint. It is easy to follow. Race volunteers will be placed at the major turn up Old Cemetery Rd and on the way back, racers will be directed to turn down Old Chico Rd to end at the lower lawn at the historic Chico Hot Springs. Race volunteers at aid stations will cheer and direct racers.


Due to limited parking at Sage Lodge and the nature of finishing at a different location than the start our kind sponsors are offering a shuttle. Parking is at the “Field of Dreams” parking lot above the Day Spa at Chico Hot Springs. Signs and attendants will direct guests to parking and how racers can catch the shuttle from the parking lot to the start line at Sage Lodge. 

In the case that a racer would like to be dropped off at Sage Lodge, there will be signs and attendants to direct vehicles to the drop off zone (by the flagpole in front of main lobby). After dropping off the racer, please park at Chico Hot Springs "Field of Dreams" parking lot. Thank you for your cooperation! 

Shuttle - Chico Hot Springs to Sage Lodge 

Park your car at the finish location and catch a ride to the start - how convenient is that?! Shuttles will depart Chico “Field of Dreams” Parking area above the Day Spa at the following times: 7:10 AM, 7:30 AM, 7:50, AM 8:10 AM, 8:30 AM.   

Drop Bag Transport

Participants may drop one bag off at the Sage Drop Bag Station (near Sage Lodge Mud Room). Bags will be taken to the finish line and piled in the finish area prior to the first finisher's arrival. Please write your name on your drop bag. Directors can not be responsible for missing bags. 


Everyone will receive a Yellowstone Gateway 30K hat with the Lynx logo; additionally, there will be really nice awards for top three male and female finishers and 1st male and female masters. 

Support and Spectating

We encourage spectators to get out on the course and cheer for family and friends but due to the nature of the out-and-back and safety of our volunteers and racers, we ask that spectators refrain from driving any vehicles up Emigrant Gulch. Spectating by foot and mountain bikes in the Gulch is a great way to view the course just watch for racers. 

Additionally, there is a great pullout where Conlin Rd joins Chico Rd near Old Chico where racers can be cheered at mile 3.75 and mile 16.


We love dogs! And we love running with our dogs; but for the safety of all participants, no dogs will be allowed on the course.

Opting Out

Please inform the nearest aid station if you need to drop out of the race and give them your race number so we don't search for you all night! If you need assistance getting off the mountain, please request so at the aid station, our volunteers will be happy to assist you.

Post Race

Afterward, shake out your legs in the shade tent on the Chico Hot Spring Main Lodge lawn with a beer and sandwich sponsored by Chico Hot Springs. Post-race libations are free for racers and volunteers only.  Also, what’s better than a post-race soak?  All finishers get a free swim pass! With two pools of varying temperatures, we’re sure everyone in the family can find a comfortable spot to relax!


This area has a long and fascinating history of indigenous peoples, hard rock mining, settlements, and tourism. Historic structures occupied and abandoned are seen all along the course. In 2014 a Canadian mining company threatened Emigrant Gulch with an industrial size gold mine on public and private lands. This gold mine would have caused irreparable damage to the landscape, water quality, environment, wildlife and communities in and around the Gulch. The community came together to protect the Gateway to Yellowstone National Park and their community and engaged in a 5 year battle that ended with The Yellowstone Gateway Protection Act. This act of Congress withdrew the mineral rights on public lands in the Gulch, protecting them for perpetuity. The Yellowstone Gateway 30K is a celebration of a community’s determination, dedication, and love of place so that we may all enjoy it’s splendor forever. 

Proudly brought to you by the following community partners and sponsors...


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Course map and elevation

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