Moonlight on Mt. Ascension 12 Hour Night Trail Run

DATE:  JUNE 23, 2023 8:00 P.M. – JUNE 24, 2023, 8:00 A.M.


LOCATION: Old Shooting Range Trailhead Davis Gulch, Helena, Montana

Registration closes at midnight the Sunday before the race.

Registration fees:

  • $70 January 17 through March 31
  • $80 April 1 through May 31
  • $90 June 1 through registration closing

DESCRIPTION: The course is a modified figure 8 loop on Helena’s South Hills trails (Mount Ascension and Rodney Ridge areas). Each figure 8 is 100% singletrack, 11.57 miles, and 2,645 feet of elevation gain.

  • You’ve got 12 hours to cover as many complete loops as possible.
  • You don’t have to run all night, one complete figure 8 loop anytime during the 12 hours and you are a finisher.
  • You don’t have to run continuously. Do one loop, go sleep somewhere, go dancing,  and come back later for another loop.

Even though this event takes place just outside the City of Helena, do not assume that you won’t run into wildlife. Deer, black bear, and mountain lion have been seen along these trails.

RULES: Runners must complete the Mt Ascension loop (clockwise), and then the Rodney Ridge loop (counterclockwise). The Overall and age division winners are determined first by mileage covered, then by time. Runners must complete one full figure 8 to be an official finisher. Each completed figure 8 counts as 11.5 miles, the Mt. Ascension loop counts at 7.5 miles and the Rodney Ridge loop counts as 4 miles. There is only mileage credit for partial loops when, after your first full lap and on your last lap, you can either complete the Mt. Ascension or Rodney Ridge loop only. Runners finishing a complete figure 8 after 6:00 a.m. will only be allowed to continue on the Rodney Ridge loop.

Anyone claiming they have been running but have really been hiding in the porta potty (or found to be cheating in any other way) will be locked in a porta potty and hauled off inside it.


RACE CHECK-IN:  Begins at 7:00 p.m. at the starting area.  We will conduct a race briefing at 7:45 p.m.

COURSE MARKINGS:  The course will be marked with ribbons, signs, reflective tape, and glow sticks.

AID STATIONS: There will be an aid station at the Old Shooting Range Trailhead.  It will be stocked with typical aid station food, HEED, Perpetuem, Hammer Gel, water, plus soup, coffee, and hot chocolate.  Stay (or come back for) the awards and for pancakes and bacon!

AGE DIVISIONS: Male and Female solo divisions as follows:  Open (0-39); Masters (40-49); Grand Masters (50-59); Super Masters (60-69); Super Grand Masters (70-79). If anyone over 80 signs up we’ll create an age division for them.

AWARDS: To be determined. Awards will be as soon after 8:00 a.m. as possible. Pancakes and bacon will be served.  Bring your own chair.

REFUND POLICY: $30 of the entry fee is refundable for requests received prior to June 1. No refunds will be made after May 31.

ROLLOVER POLICY: We will roll over your registration to the following year  for requests received prior to June 1 of the year for which you initially registered. You have to pay a $10 rollover fee when registering for the following year’s event. Rollovers are only good for the next year’s race. While we expect to continue this event annually, it is not guaranteed. If you chose to rollover your entry and there is no event the following year, you are not entitled to any refund.

DIRECTIONS TO OLD SHOOTING RANGE TRAILHEAD: South on Davis Street. At the edge of town it turns into a well maintained dirt road. Continue to the road approximately 1 mile from the edge of town and the parking area will be on your right.


  • Mt. Ascension Trail Loop: Head partway up Entertainment, first left at Archery Range Trail, next right at Easy Rider Trail, next right at 2006 Trail, left on Mt. Ascension Loop Trail to summit saddle. Left to go down Entertainment Trail, right at the bridge for Aftershock, and left onto 2006 Trail to return to Old Shooting Range TH the way you came. 7.5 miles, 1,630 feet gain/loss.
  • Rodney Ridge Trail Loop: Head up & over Rodney Meadow Trail, left on Waterline Trail, left on T.R Trail, right on Pinchot Trail, down Rent Money and back to Rodney Meadow and the TH parking lot the way you came. 4.0 miles, 1,015 feet gain/loss.

Moonlight on Mount Ascension is a 100% voluwnteer event brought to you by the nonprofit, HURL. We put on this event bring together our community and show off our incredible backyard trails. Volunteers (from race directors, to course markers and sweepers, to aid station crew) make our event successful. We are especially grateful for our medical volunteers.