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Yellowstone Gateway 30K
Yellowstone Gateway 30K runners will know why “Yellowstone is more Valuable than Gold”!
This race covers 18 miles of gravel road, USFS dirt and scree jeep roads, and trails directly below Emigrant Peak in Paradise Valley. It's pretty much one 10 mile uphill that starts out undetectable and increases steadily in steepness. Then it is a fast 8 mile downhill with a couple rollers near the finish. Total ascent in feet is 2,778 and total descent is 2,449. It climbs from 5,000 feet in Emigrant to 8,000 feet near Emigrant Peak and descends to the finish line at Chico Hot Springs in Pray Montana at 5,250 feet. Seasoned trail racers say that it is a fast course with a lot of runnable terrain. Starting near the Yellowstone River at the Sage Lodge on Chico Cemetery Road in Emigrant, Montana, you will run past the site of 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. This is a dirt/scree jeep road that travels between steep canyon walls and past abandoned mines and has several steep sections. Your feet will get wet running through Emigrant Creek and again near the St. Julian aid station. After the turn-around at the aid station near the St. Julian Mine (c. 1906). Descend out of the gulch, turn right at Old Chico road and run down to the sprint at the finish line at Chico Hot Springs.
For the sake of our volunteers, runners who are unable to meet cutoff times will be pulled from the race. Cutoff times are generous at an average of 20 minute miles over the entire course, and taking in to account a slower pace for climbing and faster for descending. See aid stations below for specific cutoff times. For more information visit Yellowstone Gateway 30K Facebook page.
Yellowstone Gateway 30K Details
There will be two days available for packet pick up:
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 (elapsed) in bold
Outgoing Stations Return Stations
Old Chico Aid Station (Station #1): 3.8 miles from the start Emigrant Creek Crossing Aid Station (Station #3): 12.0 miles
Emigrant Creek Crossing Aid Station (Station #3): 8.0 miles *2:43 Old Chico Aid Station (Station #1): 16.0 miles *5:34
St. Julian turnaround (Station #4): 10 miles *3:36 (Water only) Chico Finish 18.0 miles
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; there are a number of ways we'll be regulating and behaving to reflect our values and respect of this Earth.
The course will be marked with stake 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 performance trucker hat; additionally, there will be awards for top three male and female finishers and 1st male and female masters sponsored by Patagonia and Park County Environmental Council.
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. Mountain bikes are okay.
Race Organizers would like to recommend the following spots for those willing to hike to cheer on runners: culvert aid station, and up emigrant gulch. 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.
Please inform the nearest aid station if you need to drop out of the race. If you need assistance getting off the mountain, please request so at the aid station, our volunteers will be happy to assist you.
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? Racers earn their free swim pass at the St. Julien turn-around. With two pools of varying temperatures, we’re sure everyone in the family can find a comfortable spot to relax!
Yellowstone City was a site on the flat near the present dredge pond. It became the eastern-most town in Montana when snows in October 20, 1864, drove the miners down from the Gulch. The mining camps of Yellowstone City, and later, Old Chico became established by means of trespass on Crow tribal lands. In 1876, Crow scouts serving under Lieutenant James Bradley called Emigrant Gulch "Mu-Ni-Ah-Noot-Su," or "how they get their money."
Old Chico was where those living in Yellowstone Gateway moved to when they became hesitant to live there any longer after conflicts with local Crow Indians.
Source Emigrant Gulch, Searching for Gold in Park County, Montana - Doris Withorn, and Park County, Montana.
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