23,800′ of gain, 23,800′ of loss
10,900′ gain, 10,975′ of loss
5,400' gain and 5,400' of loss
The Scout Mountain Ultra Trail will take the competitors on a very challenging tour of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest outside of Pocatello, Idaho. It should be noted that this is an mountain running event taking place in the spring-time, in Idaho. Translated this means potentially very tough course conditions, and very unpredictable weather as was proven in 2010. Approach this course and the area with respect and come prepared for just about anything. This isn’t your typical 100 mile trail run…..
The full 100 mile race will consists of running three consecutive “legs”. We will also be hosting a 50 mile (legs 2 and 3), as well as a 35 km (21 mile) (leg 3) option. All three of these categories will be run solo (no relays or teams). For the truly “hardcore” runner, the entire 100 mile course is for you. This is a serious test of endurance as runners navigate this challenging course with ~23,800 ft of vertical gain.
For the slightly less masochistic runner the 50 mile course is sure to provide an incredible challenge. With over 10,900′ of vertical gain and the potential for very snowy and muddy conditions, this 50 mile course takes runners through it all.
Our favorite section of the course is the last leg, which is exactly why we settled on it as the shortest (21 mile) option. A glorious loop from the Mink Creek Pavilion up and over Scout Mountain and back. With over 5,400′ of gain and the best single track of the whole event, this is one incredible loop. This leg will most certainly have some snow. With a strong winter, this leg could be mostly snow-covered.
See the course tab for further information. It should be noted that the 100 mile runners will likely encounter difficult snow covered trails, and should come prepared with some type of traction device (i.e. microspikes) to be used in firm conditions.
Weather and Conditions
You might ask, “A trail race in spring, are the race directors crazy, won’t it be snowy?” And our answer would be, “Yes we’re a bit crazy, and Yes hope there is snow”. If Pocatello gets a “normal” amount of snow this winter, the course could have some of the finest glissading around in early June. If this doesn’t tickle your fancy you can opt for a parallel, but far less efficient, route down the neighboring hillside. We liken it to the terrain on parts of the Lake City 50. If the conditions pose any real danger, appropriate provisions will be made to ensure the safety of all runners. In 2009 we strung up 700′ of rope, but hardly anyone used it. Most either skied down it on their feed or sat on their butts and slid down. No special equipment should be needed for the glissade, but if you want to bring something like microspikes you are welcome to.
Some history: Two weeks before the 2009 race you could have skied the last half of the course, one week before the 2009 race Pocatello saw record high temperatures in the high 90s. Race day in 2009 was near perfect. The 2010 race brought one of the most intense storms on record in May and the race was cancelled for safety reasons. 2011 was dubbed the snow course and the course had to be altered due to a very deep snow pack, and 2013 returned to the full original course in great, sunny weather. In short, you really must come prepared for the anything, but hope for the best. We don’t want to have to cancel another race, but much of that hinges on runners being prepared and ready for the conditions. Come race day, it is the prerogative of the aid station captains as to whether runners are allows to proceed or not. If you are ill-prepared you will likely not be allowed to continue.
This event is extremely demanding and should only be undertaken by athletes in excellent physical condition. All entrants should be familiar with basic first-aid, and know the symptoms and treatment for heat exhaustion, hypothermia, frostbite, and altitude sickness. Some course sections between aid stations are over 10 miles. Runners should be well equipped to care for themselves and effect self-rescue if necessary.
IMPORTANT: NO DOGS ALLOWED! We love our dogs, but no dogs can be allowed at the race. Runners and their crew, family, friends are all asked to leave dogs at home. Dogs cannot be at the start, aid stations, on course, or at the finish area. Any runner associated with a dog that is brought to the race, even if it is brought by crew, friends or family, will be disqualified. We apologize for not allowing this but we have had trouble in the past and our permit does not allow it. Thank you for your help with this matter.
Service Requirement The 100 mile race has an 8 hour service requirement. This can either be done in service of another ultra-marathon or for an environmental group doing work that has impact on the trail running community. Note that generic trail work is not acceptable – it must be a trail on which an ultra is run, and must be coordinated with the Race Director of that ultra. Pacing another runner at an ultra does not count. The environmental work must be dedicated to a specific project or issue, just filling out survey’s or other forms of clicktivism do not count. The form can be found here.
The start times will differ for the different races as described below. See the Google map here for directions to key locations of the race. You can create your own maps and directions for wherever you are coming from. Once in Pocatello, use the following .pdf document for directions to the start/finish area (Mink Creek Pavillion).
- The 100 mile race will start Friday at 12:00pm sharp at the Lead Draw Trailhead (2.5 miles from Mink Creek Group site and race HQ).
- Sunrise – just before 6AM ; Sunset – just after 9PM
- The 50 mile race will start Saturday at 5:00 AM sharp at the Gibson Jack Trail-head.
- Multiple shuttles will be offered from the finish line back to the start of the 50 mile race available after you finish.
- The 21 mile race will start Saturday at 9:00 AM sharp at the Mink Creek Pavilion.
100 mile: Check-in will be held from 8:00am to 10:00 am at the Mink Creek Group Site Campground Finish area) on Friday, June 1st, 2018. If you can’t make this check-in, you may also check-in after the 100 mile pre-race meeting, also at the start/finish area, until 11:00 AM. If you have not checked in by 11:00 AM we will consider that you are NOT running.
50 mile : Check in for the 50 mile will begin Friday at 4:00 pm and go until 6:00 pm on June 1st at the Mink Creek Group site. However, you will have a last minute check-in option Saturday between 4:15 AM and 4:45 AM at the Gibson Jack Trailhead. If you have not checked in by 4:45 AM we will consider that you are NOT running.
35 km (21 Mile) : We strongly encourage you to check-in at the opportunities described for the 50 mile race. However, you will have a last minute check-in option Saturday between 8:15 AM and 8:45 AM at the Mink Creek Pavilion. If you have not checked in by 8:45 AM we will consider that you are NOT running.
100 Mile: Pre-race briefing for the 100 mile race will be held between 10:00 AM and 11:00AM on Friday, at the Mink Creek Group Site . Questions regarding the course will be answered and final instructions will be given at this time. Runners should have their drop bags completely prepared, marked, and ready for pick-up prior to the pre-race briefing.
50 mile and 21 mile: Pre-race briefing for the 50 mile and 21 mile races will be held at 6:00 pm on Friday evening at the Mink Creek group site. Questions regarding the course will be answered and final instructions will be given at this time. Runners should have their drop bags completely prepared, marked, and ready for pick-up prior to the pre-race briefing.
100 mile runners: At the start-line you’ll need to inform race officials by 11:00 AM on Friday that you have shown up and are ready to run. 50 mile runners will need to have checked in Saturday by 4:45AM at the Gibson Jack Trailhead, 21 mile runners by 8:45 at the Mink Creek Pavilion.
Cut-off times will be enforced. There are cut-off times at the following aid stations:
- Walker Creek 1:50 PM
- Goodenough 5:15 PM
- South Fork Road 9:55 PM
- West Fork (early) 12:20 AM
- Gibson Jack 4:30 AM
- City Creek 10:00 AM
- West Fork (late) 4:00 PM (any runner leaving after 3:00 PM we recommend a headlamp)
- South Scout 6:00 PM (any runner reaches the South Scout 5:00 PM they must have a headlamp to continue on for the remaining miles)
- Big Fir 9:30 PM (any runner leaving after 7:00 PM must have a headlamp to continue).
- Finish line 12:00 AM, any runner arriving after that time is a DNF.
The major aid stations will have the typical ultra marathon fare; water, hydration drink, fruit, salty items (pretzls, chips, etc.), sandwiches, etc. The “minor” aid stations will have water and basic food. If you have any specialty food or beverage needs, they should be placed in your drop bags or provided by your crew.
Drop bag service will be offered at Goodenough Creek (15.1), South Fork Road (28.5), West Fork (35.5), Gibson Jack (47.8), City Creek (63.5), West Fork (79.7), Big Fir (94.7). Runners using drop bags must ensure that their bags are securely tied and clearly marked, with name, race number, and aid station. They should also be in a weather proof bag, as they will likely be exposed to the elements. All drop bags left over after the race will be donated to Goodwill the Friday after the race if arrangements to pick them up have not been made.
50 mile and 21 mile: Pacers are not allowed for the 50 mile or 21 mile events unless permission is granted by the race directors. Please contact us if you have any special circumstances.
100 mile: Pacers are allowed after mile 35.5. Pacers can join there runner at the following aid stations only: West Fork (35.5), Gibson Jack (47.8), City Creek (63.5), West Fork (79.7), Big Fir (94.7). Pacers must be wearing a pacer bib, and must sign a waiver prior to starting with the runner. Aid station captains will have waivers if not signed at packet pickup.
Crew access is one of the most challenging aspects of the race and our permit process. We understand the community aspect of crewing at ultras and will attempt to accommodate it. Crews are encouraged to drive slowly and with caution, mountain roads are dangerous and will be crowded due to the race and other users. Crews found to not be obeying the law or that are disrespectful to other users will be asked to leave and their runner disqualified. 100 and 50 mile runners will be given a crew access tag, one per runner, that must displayed on the dash of the crew vehicle. If a runner is found to be crewed by a non-permitted vehicle they are subject to disqualification. We discourage crewing for the 21 mile race, but accommodations can be made if necessary. Please speak to race management if you need an exception. Most of the race is on remote trails that are difficult or impossible to access in a car (which is why we like trail running right?). Finally, in adherence to our permit and policy for runners, NO DOGS ALLOWED. Crews that bring dogs will be asked to leave and their runner disqualified. Crews can see runners at the following aid stations:
- Goodenough Creek (15.1) – Crews must park at the additional parking at the entrance to the campground and walk in. It is less than 1/2 mile.
- South Fork Road (28.5) – Please park well off of South Fork Road so other vehicles can easily pass.
- West Fork (100 mile– 35.5) Parking is limited at the trailhead. Please park at either the Mink Creek Group Site (1/2 before the aid station) or South Fork Road (1/2 mile passed the aid station). DO NOT PARK ON MINK CREEK ROAD.
- Gibson Jack (47.8) There is a large parking lot here, please do not block in other runners and use caution on the dirt road. Yield to runners as they enter and exit the aid station.
- City Creek (63.5) The trailhead will be closed to traffic, please park at Centennial Park and walk up.
- West Fork (100 mile– 79.7 50 mile- 29) Parking is limited at the trailhead. Please park at either the Mink Creek Group Site (1/2 before the aid station) or South Fork Road (1/2 mile passed the aid station). DO NOT PARK ON MINK CREEK ROAD.
- Big Fir – (94.7) We aren’t going to disallow crew here for now, but we also don’t encourage it given that there is extremely limited parking. Please park on the dirt road on the right side of the road prior to arriving at the trailhead. It is 1/2 mile to walk from there.
Post Race Dinner and Awards Ceremony
Dinner will be served at the finish line and is included as part of your entry fee. Dinner will be ready early afternoon Saturday and will be available through until the finish line closes at midnight. We will be serving baked Idaho potatoes with a host of toppings as well as salad and a variety of deserts. If you anticipate having support/family/crew members that would like to participate in dinner, consider making a donation (during registration) to cover their food costs.
In previous years, 1st place men and women received a limited edition, hand thrown piece of pottery, specifically commissioned for the Pocatello 50 or the Scout Mountain Ultras. Second and third place men and women also received a customized piece of hand thrown pottery from local artists Dwight and Regina Masak. We have also done other pieces of custom art done by local artists. This edition will also feature similarly unique prizes.
Every finisher will take home a small prize in rememberence of their great achievement.
Instead offering all runners a shirt we are once again planning on making a custom item for all racers. In the past we have done Buffs, Arm Sleeves, and hats. Shirts will be available for purchase at an extra cost with registration prior to the event.
Where to Stay
Your best option (in our opinion) is to take advantage of the free camping at the start/finish line, which is the Mink Creek Group Site Campground Pavilion It is incredibly convenient, a great location, should be a fun atmosphere of exciting people, and it’s free for you and your crew/family. If camping is just not your thing, then we suggest that you look in and around Pocatello for other accommodations. We do not have any special arrangements with any local hotels so you’re on your own if you go this route.
Okay, should you decide to stay at the start finish we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO CARPOOL! Last year we had ample tent area, but the parking became a bit of a mess. This year will be different, more organized, but will limit what type of vehicle and the number of them that we let in. We will dedicate about 70% of our parking area to cars/trucks and the remainder to small RVs (like this size and smaller), pop-up campers, or similar. No runner will be allowed more than 1 parking space. If you bring a trailer, it must be unhooked and the vehicle parked at at either South Fork Road or Corral Creek. If you have anything larger than the small RV shown above, everyone would appreciate it if you find other arrangements, such as driving up to the Scout Mountain campground (about a 10-15 minute drive drom the Start/Finish). Another option is to drive past the start/finish pavilion between 1 to 2 miles where there are several pullouts that might work for you. There are many options for dispersed camping in near the Finish area.
So, carpooling with friends and staying in your car/truck or a tent are the best options. The camping is a free-for all, there are no designated “sites”, rather it is a large grassy field. You do not need to email us to let us know what your plans are or ask permission to camp or park your Winnebago, please just follow our suggestions above. Below is a rough layout of the start/finish area.
Layout of the start/finish, camping, dinner, and awards ceremony location
Thank you for a great, well organized race and a beautiful course. While I had my internal battles on the course, I was never lost and always had what I needed at the aid stations. It was a great intro to ultrarunning – I’m already hungry for another.Jason Johnson
This event is held in part on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, under special use permit with the Westside Ranger District
This event is a USATF sanctioned race.