August 19 - 20, 2023

Backcountry Rise

Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center

Toutle, WA 50 Miler, 50K, 20 Miler

This Event Took Place Sun. Aug 20, 2023


Welcome to a majestic backcountry rising from the ashes of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. With its sapphire lakes, rugged, toothy peaks and wildflower-blanketed slopes, the Mt. Margaret Backcountry on the north side of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument provides an unforgettable trail race experience. The power and resilience of Mother Nature is truly on full display here in the backcountry.

Backcountry Rise includes challenging and remote loop courses: a 50K, a 20 miler and a half marathon (the 50 miler goes on hiatus). Each race offers big climbs, sweeping descents and stunning ridgeline views of the surrounding Cascade Volcanoes, high mountain lakes, rushing creeks and abundant wildlife.

Each race distance starts and finishes at the Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center, itself designed as the original volcano observatory. Perched on the slopes above Coldwater Lake and oriented toward the Mount St. Helens caldera, the venue offers a family-friendly base camp location.

Video: Steven Mortinson Film & Photo / Music: Johnny Bertram


The 50K is on SATURDAY of event weekend, starting at 7:00AM. The course is very challenging, remote and exposed with some rugged sections. It is an advanced-level 50K consisting of one epic clockwise loop on 99% backcountry singletrack.

Total elevation gain is 7,600ft and loss is 7,600ft. Prior mountain ultra experience and safety gear is required - see website for details. Three aid stations are offered.

20 Miler

The 20 miler is on SUNDAY of event weekend, starting at 7:00AM. The course consists of one big clockwise loop and 4,800ft of gain and 4,800ft of loss. Approximately 98% of the course is on single-track trails. This is a very challenging course with some sections being remote and very exposed. The course has two full aid stations.

Half Marathon

The Half Marathon is on SATURDAY of event weekend, starting at 8:00AM. The course is a beautiful and tough clockwise loop around Coldwater Lake.

Total elevation gain is 2,800ft and loss is 2,800ft. Two aid stations are offered.

Required Experience & Gear

50K: Due to the remote nature and significant distance between aid stations on the 50K course, prior experience and certain gear is required.

Completion of any trail 50K or the Backcountry Rise 20 miler prior to race day. During registration, you will be prompted to enter a qualifying result (Ironman or other significant endurance race or verifiable self-supported effort also qualifies. Road races regardless of distance do not qualify).

GEAR: Refer to the race website for required gear

About Daybreak Racing

Daybreak Racing presents unique Pacific NW trail running races including Tillamook Burn, Gorge Waterfalls and Wy'east Trailfest. Our goal is to share some of our area's most beautiful trails and reward your effort with friends, food, music and memories.

Adventure begins at Daybreak.

Cancellation Policy

See the full Cancellation Policy on the Daybreak Racing website.

Event's current local time: 7:56 AM PT


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