Mammoth Trail Fest Takes Flight

Sep 22, 2022

Inaugural event hits the dirt with plenty of donuts

It’s been a dream in the making for several years, and now it’s time for the inaugural Mammoth Trail Fest to spread its wings and take flight.

The passion project of Mammoth Lakes local and ultrarunner, Tim Tollefson, the Mammoth Trail Fest aims to share the transformative power of trail running against the splendid backdrop of Mammoth Lakes. 

Tollefson created Mammoth Trail Fest as a way for those without the opportunity to travel abroad for ultra-running races around the world to have the big race experience on domestic soil.

As he told iRunFar earlier this year, “After spending nearly a decade traveling the globe to run some of the biggest and most competitive ultramarathons, I wanted to create something locally here in California to share all of my love of trail running and the Eastern Sierra, to help cultivate the community around these mountain events, and to have it stateside.”

Offering everything from world-class trail races and community-focused events to free live entertainment, storytelling, and great local food, Mammoth Trail Fest is a multi-day experience designed to increase access to trail and ultrarunning through opportunity, education, and trail stewardship. It is an event built by the community, for the community, right in the heart of California.

Runners have their choice from three race routes. The Hill Climb may sound like the easiest because of the mileage, but don’t be fooled, it is still straight UP with 2,400 feet of elevation climb over 2.75 miles. It’s not called California’s Highest Hill Climb for nothing!

Next up is the McCoy 26K named in honor of the man who gave us everything here in Mammoth Lakes, Dave McCoy. This route is a unique loop perfect for beginners or can be tacked on as a finale to an elite season. This 16.5 single loop track starts and ends in the Village. With nearly 4,000 feet of vertical gain, this course offers a mix of buttery singletrack, rocky technical trails, soft pumice trails and limited jeep roads.

Finally, the granddaddy of them all, the Mammoth 50k! Test yourself with 31.5 miles and 7,000 feet of elevation gain. This is true mountain running across the top of California.

The course was designed to showcase the area’s beauty, challenge the body, and maximize experience. Whether you hike, jog, or shred, be sure to appreciate the paradise that surrounds you as you meander through dense forest, around the Lakes Basin, and past umpteen alpine lakes.

Again, a single loop track with zero out and backs. Speed and flow are prioritized over contrived difficulty or vertical gain.

And then there is the party and the entertainment aspect of the Mammoth Trail Fest. The lineup of speakers is just as exciting as the races themselves. Everything kicks off Thursday, Sept. 22 in the Village at Mammoth. Hear from local and visiting athlete panelists, and enjoy films, demos, interviews and more.

You can also visit the sponsor booths or bring the kiddos to the 1k Fun Run on Friday. There is a little something for everyone at this inaugural community event. The dirt will be epic and the donuts are guaranteed to be delicious.

View the full event schedule here and jump into the fun.

Lara Kaylor

Lara Kaylor is an outdoor enthusiast who gets her thrills from big time recreation in Mammoth Lakes where she resides with her husband and daughter. An award-winning journalist, Lara has been writing about all things Eastern Sierra since 2003. Lara currently works as a freelance writer and the Director of Content, Communications and PR for…

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