Beitreten Naatsisaan Trail Ultra
Navajo Mountain [Naatsis’áán, meaning Head of the Earth] straddles the Arizona-Utah border and rises to a height of 10,416 feet. Two trails (each 14 miles long) to the largest natural arch in the world, Rainbow Bridge [Tsé naní’áhí], begin near this mountain. Neither trail is maintained and both cross rugged and incomparable scenery.
The rugged nature of the land and the fact that Navajo Mountain [Naatsis’áán] provides a natural shield, it allowed a small band of Navajos to find a safe haven here when many of their fellow tribesmen were removed to the Bosque Redondo in 1864. Rainbow Bridge [Tsé naní’áhí] was discovered by Blind Salt Clansman of this group (and also possibly independently by others from other Native American tribes) while rounding up horses. As the Navajo are fortunate enough to realize that the universe around them is filled by the holy, it was natural to interpret this incredible structure as a petrified rainbow.
The Naatsis’áán Trail Ultra is a 50-mile run from Navajo Mountain Chapter House to Rainbow Bridge, and back. This is the inaugural running of this race.
The race begins on a paved surface of N16 to the “four-way” near Navajo Mountainʼs schools. After hitting the dirt, the road quickly becomes more rugged and then a 4 x 4 route before arrivingat the Rainbow Trailhead at 8.5 miles in from the chapter house. This major checkpoint is the final vehicle-accessible spot for atleast the next 32 miles.
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 Rainbow Bridge. The turnaround point is the final checkpoint on the course, 25 miles from the chapter house. Second-leg relay runners: welcome to the trail.
The second half of the 50-mile race re-traces the first 25 miles, with significant climbing on the route back to the chapter house.
The Navajo Mountain Chapter House is offering camping space and indoor camping on both Friday and Saturday nights. The closest hotel is Anasazi Inn (about 85 miles from the chapter house), which is ten miles west of Kayenta, Arizona. Page, Arizona (about 105 miles from the start line) has multiple lodging and camping options, north on U.S. Highway 98.
Service nach dem Lauf
Post-race food at Navajo Mountain Chapter House.
All checkpoints will have energy gels, salty and high carb foods, medical support, communication and some fluids. Each checkpoint will include some shelter, sleeping bags/blankets and heat sources.
Long-sleeve tech shirt, race poster, finisherʼs medal.
On Sunday, Ongoing food (stew, soups, salads, breads, hot drinks) at chapter house throughout night and morning/early afternoon.
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