Course Info

Trans-Pecos Ultra features a challenging 163 mile course that offers spectacular views by day and unparalleled starlit skies at night. The course is technical with plenty of rocky single-track and deserted ranch roads. Although the average elevation hovers around 4500ft, be prepared for continuous hills, steep grades, and a total of 15,000+ elevation gain. Remember, TPU is open to everyone: you can Hike or Run the entire course – just don’t give up!

Explore the Stages

The Llano

The Llano

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Paso al Solitario

Paso al Solitario

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Fresno Canyon

Fresno Canyon

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Guale Mesa

Guale Mesa

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El Contrabando

El Contrabando

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Rules & Eligibility

Trans-Pecos Ultra is a self-supported, multi-stage foot race. All entrants acknowledge that the race will take place in a remote area where facilities and comforts are limited. Participants are expected to possess basic outdoor experience and all of the mandatory equipment. The race does not require any special technical skills such as navigation or rope climbing. Certain eligibility criteria apply. Travel insurance and medical waiver required.



Participants are required to carry all of the necessary food, clothing, and mandatory equipment specified by race organizers. Water is provided along the entire course at designated check points, approximately every 6 miles. Campsites are provided after each stage, offering shelter, additional drinking water, and hot water for food preparation.


The race is run in five, consecutive stages; the total race distance is approximately 163 miles / 260km – subject to logistical changes up to 10 miles. Stages 1-4 are each approximately 26 miles and Stage 5 at 58 miles. Race finish time is the aggregate of all stage finish times.


Checkpoints are located approximately every 5-7 miles along the course and are outfitted with the minimum of one volunteer, one medical staff, and one vehicle. During Stage 5, participants are allowed to sleep at designated overnight checkpoint(s) located after the 35th mile. The following equipment are brought to each checkpoint: 1) pop-up tent shelter, 2) extra flags and banners, 3) water, 4) bench/stools, 5) communication devices, and 6) emergency medical equipment – a hot water source will also be available at the overnight checkpoint during Stage 5.

Cut-off Times

Cut-off times are applicable at both checkpoints and finishes, and are based on a brisk walking pace, or average forward movement speed of 2.35 mph. Stages 1-4 (each 26 mi) will have a 12hr finish time. Stage 5 (58 mi) will have a 30hr finish time – this includes time spent sleeping at overnight checkpoint(s).

Conditions of Entry


The race is open to adults in good health, aged 21 and older by the start date of the race. A special provision can be made to those 18-21 but must be requested before 90 days of the start date and will require written permission from family and medical authorities prior to registration.

Travel Insurance

All competitors are required to carry an individual travel health insurance policy for the duration of the race. In 2018, this will be from the October 22-27 but you may want to add the days you are travelling too. The policy must cover adventure sports as well as medical evacuation by helicopter. The race organizers also maintain an insurance policy through USA Track & Field. The insurance is provided by Philadelphia Insurance Company through ESIX 3 LLC.

Medical Waiver

All race competitors must complete a signed copy of the medical waiver, which documents good overall general health and clearance for participation as determined by a primary medical provider. The medical waiver will be provided to you after registration.

Sanction Info

Trans-Pecos Ultra is sanctioned by USA Track & Field which evidences a commitment to follow national and international rules and regulations of endurance sports and to provide a safe environment for the participants and spectators. For additional information please contact us.

Equipment Info

The following mandatory equipment is required to ensure the safety of all competitors and standardize the race. The course is very rocky so we recommend gaiters and it’ll be dry and hot too so electrolyte replacement tablets are a no-brainer. Last thing – the rangers said y’all should know this land is full of things that bite, stick, poke, scratch, and prick…so don’t say we didn’t tell ya!

Mandatory Equipment

Safety Gear

  • Blister Kit: 2x hypodermic needles, elastic tape, scissors, 6x alcohol pads, 2x benzoin swabs
  • Alcohol sanitize gel – minimum 2oz
  • Pain Killers – minimum 2x single use packets
  • Two (2) green glowsticks
  • One red flashing light
  • Signal mirror – 2.5 inch minimum diameter
  • Knife – 2 inch (5cm) blade minimum
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Small Compass
  • Whistle

Camping Equipment

  • Backpack
  • Campsite/sleeping clothes
  • Sleeping bag – Must be rated at least 45F (0C). Note: Do Not Remove Tag
  • Lightweight fleece, down or alternative jacket
  • One headlamps with spare batteries or two working headlamps without spare batteries. Note: Max lumens must be at least 150+per headlight
  • Eating container (can use freeze-dried package)
  • Eating utensil
  • Plus optional equipment below as desired

Race Gear

  • Race Clothing – top and bottom
  • Food supply – 14,000 calorie minimum
  • Electrolyte replacement – tablets or powder
  • Water containers – 1.5 L minimum capacity
  • Country flag patch – affixed to left shirt sleeve
  • Plus option gear below as desired

Additional Gear & Equipment

Optional but Recommended

  • Sleeping pad (highly recommended)
  • Gaiters (highly recommended)
  • Trekking / Running Poles (recommended)
  • Cap and/or buff
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Ear plugs

Provided by Organizers

  • Live GPA Tracking (NEW since 2017!)
  • Two Numbered Race Bibs (front and back)
  • Course Booklet at Camps and Checkpoints
  • Fully setup camps include group tents, chairs, shade shelters, medical support and limited email access
  • Emergency Medical Personnel at checkpoints and on-course as sweepers
  • Drinking water at checkpoints and camp; boiled water at campsites (and overnight checkpoints on Stage 5)
  • Safety Checkpoints with shade shelter, water, sunscreen, chair/stool, and evacuation vehicle
  • LOTS and LOTS of cowbells aka volunteer/crew support!

More than Just a Race...

Join us for 'The Ultimate Big Bend Adventure®' and discover one of the most sparsely populated and rarely visited areas with the darkest night skies in the US!

Schedule of Events

Open to Hikers & Runners

TPU features a challenging course but with generous cut-off times and on-site medical support, the adventure is open to all fitness levels. The race has limited spots each year so don't wait!

Registration Details