Photo Essay: Running the Zion Traverse

Mountaineer and ultra runner Ben Clark shares photos from his single-day run across Zion National Park, also known as the Zion Traverse.

Every now and then the monotony of winter sparks my soul for a quest to find the sun. Not on a mountainside and not on a beach; I choose the desert and chase the sun through valleys and the cold depths of canyons, which are themselves waiting for spring. There are few reasonable places to go trail running for ultra marathon distances in the West in early March if you’re after new terrain, grandeur and decent conditions. Zion National Park is one of those places, and on our first visit there, a friend and I found the adventure we were looking for in a near-40-mile single day traverse of the park. Winter is still present in Telluride, CO, where I live, but in Zion we were warmed by the beauty of a long day among sandstone and mud, blue skies and rain — and by going the distance.

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