Yaateeh runners! Welcome to the Naatsisaan Trail Ultra!
REGISTRATION – Online registration for the Naatsisaan Trail Ultra is now open and will
remain open until Monday, October 22 or until the race hits the 50 runner cap. There will be no
on-site registration. Details, photos, map and registration can be found at the NavajoYES
The 40-mile trail run from Navajo Mountain High School to Rainbow Bridge and back is a
challenging trail run that is open to experienced trail runners from the Navajo Nation and
The competitive 10K trail race is a scenic and challenging run on local dirt roads; there are
overall and age-group awards for this event.
COURSE & CHECKPOINTS– The 40-Mile NaatsisaanTrail Ultra begin and finish at Navajo
Mountain High School on the southern flank of Navajo Mountain. Checkpoints will have energy
gels, salty and high carb foods, medical support, communication and some fluids. Each major
checkpoints will include some shelter, sleeping bags/blankets and heat sources. The course is
marked with pin flags, some signage and there will be spotters in key places; however,
runners must study the course map, attend Friday’s runner meeting and be familiar with
the route; runners should possess some basic route-finding skills. Runners may choose
to include GPS system, personal locater device/SPOT and/or satellite phone in their personal
Below is a description of the route (subject to minor revision):
The Naatsisaan Trail Race starts at Navajo Mountain High School and follow the route
toward the north trailhead, 5.5 into the race.
The first seven miles on the Rainbow Trail are rugged challenging terrain, including
crossing of Cha Canyon and the daunting Bald Rock Canyon. After climbing out of the
west side of Bald Rock, the route skirts the canyons and eventually drops runner in to
Surprise Valley, where the second checkpoint awaits you.
After departing the checkpoint, the trail climbs out of the Valley and skirts the dramatic
northern flank of Natsisaan. The trail dips through Oak Canyon and down 1.5 miles
through “the furnace” en route to Bridge Canyon.
Upon entering Bridge Canyon, the trail winds 4.0 miles through the canyons on your way
to the turnaround point at the park fence at Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The
turnaround point is the final checkpoint on the course.
The second half of the 40-mile race re-traces the route back to the Rainbow trailhead
and then 5 ½ miles on the dirt road back to the high school.
RUNNER RESPONSIBILITIES: Runners must have a water purification system and be
prepared to utilize the perennial water sources on the route: Cha Canyon, Bald Rock
Canyon, Surprise Valley (Nasja Creek), Oak Canyon and Bridge Canyon. Runners will need
to be prepared for extreme weather conditions and have the appropriate gear to
accommodate such conditions. Appropriate rain gear and footwear are essential.
Hypothermia can be a real threat in the high desert in the fall season, and runners must be
prepared for the potential onset of such conditions. This is a cupless event so runners
should plan to bring their own hydration system.
DROP BAGS: Runners in the 40 mile race may have one drop bag, which will be available at
the North Rainbow Trailhead (34.5). Please have your drop bag to Friday’s dinner. Bags
brought on Saturday morning will not be able to be delivered to the drop bag locations. There
will be no drop bags at Rainbow Bridge.
PACKET PICK-UP & MANDATORY MEETING – Packet pick-up will be available at the Navajo
Mountain Chapter House on Friday during the runner meeting and dinner, which begins at 1:00
p.m. The runner meeting at the Navajo Mountain High School will provide essential
information about the race course and logistics for race day. All runners are required to
attend this meeting.
The meeting will commence at 4:00 p.m. and will include a full course description and other
pertinent race information, gear check, a weather outlook and emergency preparedness
discussion. Race officials, Navajo Rangers, our EMS team, Parks & Rec staff, course marshals
and tribal officials will also be in attendance at this meeting. Dinner will follow this meeting.
LODGING/CAMPING – The Navajo Mountain Chapter House, located about five minutes from
the start/finish, is offering camping space on both Friday and Saturday nights. Both Kayenta and
Page, Arizona (about two hours from the chapter house) have multiple lodging options.
AWARDS – Pottery awards will be presented to members of the top three tribal challenge
teams. In the 40-Mile Rainbow Trail Ultra, there will be pottery awards to top two male and top
two female overall, plus pottery awards for those finishing 1st place in their age groups.. All
finishers will receive a finisher’s medal. Overall pottery and age-group gear awards will also be
presented in the 10-Mile Trail Race.
WEATHER – The weather in the Navajo Mountain area, including the surrounding canyons, can
be very volatile. Runners should be prepared for rapid changes in conditions, including rainy
conditions, wind, snow and cold. Conversely and less likely, there may be opportunities for heat
issues on this route, even in late October. Sections of the trail (between Cha to Bald Rock
Canyon and Surprise Valley to Oak Canyon, for example) are extremely exposed to the
elements. During heavy rains, there is high risk of flash flood in Cha Canyon, Bald Rock
Canyon, Nasja Creek, Oak Canyon, in “the furnace” and for the five-mile length of Bridge
Canyon. There are no structures or vehicle support on the Rainbow Trail. Please be aware of
your surroundings and be prepared for any extreme weather and trail conditions that may arise.
The Naatsisaan Trail Ultra and the Navajo Parks Race Series are organized by the nonprofit
organization NavajoYES in collaboration with Navajo Parks & Recreation. The event has major
sponsorship and/or logistical support from Navajo Mountain Chapter, Office of Navajo President
& Vice President, Division of Natural Resources, the Navajo Rangers, Lake Powell Navajo
Tribal Park, Navajo Telecommunication & Utilities, Navajo Fire & Rescue, Tailwind Nutrition,
Honey Stinger, Navajo EMS, National Park Service-Rainbow Bridge, Teec Nos Pos Trading
Post, Monument Valley View Hotel, Navajo United Way and NTEC/North American Coal.
Tom: 928.429.0345; [email protected]; www.navajoyes.org
Navajo Parks & Recreation: 928.871.6647