The HURL Elkhorn Races

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 race you won’t soon forget.


It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the cancellation of the 2021 Elkhorn Endurance Run due to the high likelihood of hazardous air quality and extreme fire danger.  The smoke from wildfires burning throughout Montana and much of the West has increased significantly over the past week and degraded air quality poses a serious health concern to runners and volunteers alike.

Read the Race Cancellation Notice

Registered Runners: To receive a 75% refund or to defer your entry to next year, please send an email to to the address noted in the Race Cancellation Notification. The deadline choose these options is September 15, 2021. If we do not heard from you by then, we’ll assume you want to donate your entry fee and provide a receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

The Elkhorn Endurance Run is organized by volunteers. No one profits from this unique running experience. Each year the 501(c)(3) Helena Ultra Runners League (HURL) donates a portion of Elkhorn entry fees to volunteer organizations that help with aid stations, race communication, runner safety, and trail work. Without their efforts, the Elkhorn Endurance Run would not exist.

A special thanks to Elkhorn Search and Rescue, Capital City Amateur Radio Club, Capital Trail Vehicle Association, Montana City Volunteer Fire Department, the Prickly Pear Land Trust, the US Forest Service, and all the volunteers who helped clear trails this year.

We look forward to seeing you next year under better conditions.


John Hallsten, Race Director

HURL Board of Directors



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:

16 thoughts on “The HURL Elkhorn Races

  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

      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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