Held annually on the first Saturday in August in the remote, rugged, and wild Elkhorn Mountains near Helena, Montana in Jefferson County.

All three distances feature spectacular Montana scenery, breathtaking climbs, technical descents, miles of challenging single track trail, primitive roads, dirt, rocks, forests, meadows, and cold, clear creeks to splash through. Not one step on pavement.

Take a run on the wild side, join us in Montana for a run you won’t soon forget.

Hello HURL Elkhorn Runners,

I hope your training is going well and that you are excited about the upcoming Elkhorn Endurance Runs.  After taking last year off due to the pandemic, we are excited to get back on track with another epic adventure in the Elkhorn Mountains on August 7, 2021.

Download/Print the 2021 Course Maps

Download/Print the 2021 Race Schedule

Read the latest message from the Race Director

This year’s event will feature a few changes to all three courses. The changes will result in runners and aid station volunteers being out of the most remote sections of the course before dark. The difficulty of extracting runners from these remote locations is compounded after nightfall. For those familiar with the course, you will run the southern loop first, which also means you’ll have fresh legs for the big climb to Elk Park aid station! On the northern return loop, you will no longer be going through Jackson Creek. The changes mean all three events will be a little shorter; the distances now are approximately 50 miles, 50 kilometers, and 13 miles.

The decision to alter the Elkhorn course was in the interest of safety and was made prior to the tragic event in China. Sadly, the loss of life there was a reminder of the inherent risks of trail running in the mountains. The Helena Ultra Runners League Board and Race Committee are examining its safety protocols to ensure we are doing our part. In turn, we expect runners to do their part by preparing for the possibility of inclement weather that can occur suddenly and without warning. Carrying precautionary clothing and survival gear is highly recommended whenever running in the mountains, especially where cellular coverage is limited or nonexistent.

Adventure On,

John Hallsten, Elkhorn Race Director


Elkhorn Logo


We are just off Interstate 15 – 6.5 hours from Salt Lake City, 6.5 hours from Calgary, 4.5 hours from Spokane, 7.5 hours from Boise, and 3.5 hours from Billings. Helena is centrally located between Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks – 3-1/2 hours from the Saint Mary Visitor Center at Glacier National Park and 3 hours from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park at West Yellowstone.

Experience Real Montana….leave civilization behind!

Don’t just take it from us….check out the following links for comments from survivors:

HURL Elkhorn 50 Mile, a good pain

HURL Elkhorn 50K – Life is good


Eric Ashley – HURL Elkhorn Race Report

Bob Johnson Race Report – 50K

HURL Elkhorn, A Volunteer’s Perspective – Andrew Cupino


Race Buzz

The HURL Elkhorn Endurance Runs are a 100% volunteer effort, from aid station volunteers up to the race director.  We put on this event to show off the incredible trails we have in our backyard.  All left over entry fees are donated to local non-profit organizations, or organizations that help us with our event. In 2018 we donated to Prickly Pear Land Trust, Capital City Amateur Radio Club, Elkhorn Search and Rescue, Capital Trail Vehicle Association, and the Montana City Volunteer Fire Department.

In co-operation with the Helena National Forest


Special Thanks to:





The 2019 HURL Elkhorn 53 Mile was worth 4 qualifying points and the HURL Elkhorn 52K was worth 2 qualifying points for the  Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®. Click the logo above for more information. 

Questions? Comments?  Email the Race Director at: hurlelkhorn@gmail.com

16 thoughts on “Home

  1. Is there a wait list for the 50 mile. In case a spot opens up?
    I’m running beaverhead 100k and just learned about the “ultimate challenge”

    • Manuel,

      Yes there is a waitlist. There are around 20 on it now. I think you would likely get in if you get on the waitlist. You can get on the waitlist through ultrasignup.com.

      Steve Engebrecht,
      Race Director

  2. Hi my name is Manuel Whiteman and i was just writing to check my status on the wait list? I’ve already registered witb ultrasignup also
    I’m running Beaverhead 100k and just recently found out about the “Ultimate challenge” and woild love to Go For It!

  3. When does registration open for the 53miler?? Do you have a date for 2020? I’d like to do the ultimate challenge next year 😀

  4. I want to register for the 50k Hurl and the grand challenge as I am already entered in the Beaverhead 55k. When will registration open and how will I know it is opening?

  5. Is the 100k actually 62 miles and does it take place in Helena too??
    Does the 100k mostly remain on trail not cement or road?

    Can one upgrade from the 50k to the 100k??
    I signed up for the 50k past weekend.

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