RACE DETAILS  //   50K   //   20M   //   HALF   //   RESULTS   //   PHOTOS



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

The Backcountry Rise Trail Runs include three different challenging and remote loop courses: a 50K, 20 mile and a half-marathon. All three distances start and finish at the spectacular Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center, itself a destination venue perched on the slopes above Coldwater Lake. Each race offers lakeside charm, big climbs and stunning ridgeline views of the surrounding Cascade Volcanoes. Course highlights also include several stunning mountain lakes, rushing creeks and abundant wildlife including resident mountain goats, elk, deer, cougar and many more. 




  • 50K: 6:45am prerace briefing; 7:00am Start
  • 20 Mile and Half-Marathon: 8:45am prerace briefing; 9:00am Start


All races start and finish at the spectacular Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center, which serves as our base camp and gateway into the Mt. Margaret Backcountry. All of the races are located inside the boundary of the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington State. Parking, car camping and use of the Science & Learning Center are included in the race registration fee. 


Google Map directions to Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center from Seattle and Portland. Allow 2 hours drive time from Portland or 3 hours from Seattle. The Mt. St. Helens Science & Learning Center is located at milepost 43.3 on State Hwy 504 (Spirit Lake Hwy) in Toutle, WA.

From Seattle: Follow I-5 S to exit 63. Take State Hwy 505 East and follow for 16.4 miles, then turn east onto State Hwy 504 East for 28.2 miles to the Science and Learning Center.
From Portland: Follow I-5 N to exit 49 in Castle Rock. Follow Hwy 504 East for 43.1 miles to the Science and Learning Center.

Nearest airports are Portland (PDX) and Seattle/Tacoma (SEA).


The Backcountry Rise will have exclusive use of the MSH Science & Learning Center for race weekend! The Science & Learning Center staff have also graciously allowed us to offer car camping in the large paved parking lot for participants the night before the race. There is also walk-in camping a short distance from the parking lot that has limited sites, which are first come, first served. The Science & Learning Center has plenty of indoor heated space, running water, flush toilets, a kitchen and indoor/outdoor dining area where post-race meals will be served. 

The nearest hotel lodging is in Castle Rock, WA which is 50 minutes from the start/finish. There are some camping opportunities in the Silver Lake area as well.


Event 3/1/17 - 5/31/17 6/1/17 - 7/31/17 8/1/17 - 9/1/17
50K $120 $130 $140
20 Mile $75 $85 $95
Half Marathon $55 $65 $75
*No day of race registration available.
*Race fee does not include a race shirt or other add ons.


A complimentary and optional spaghetti dinner will be available to all interested participants on Friday night before the race from 6PM-8PM inside the Science and Learning Center dining area. For an accurate head count, please sign up for the dinner during registration if desired.


Bib pickup will begin once race day inside the main pavilion of the Science & Learning Center as follows:  50K - 5:45-6:45am; 20 Mile & Half marathon - 7:15-8:45am


Stay and enjoy the Science & Learning Center while we cheer on all the race finishers! A post race meal and several beverage options are available after the races for all participants and volunteers.

Family and friends are welcome to eat and drink as well - we just ask for a $10 donation per person, payable in cash only at the merchandise table. 


Stunning views abound of Mt. St. Helens at the start/finish area at the Science & Learning Center.

  • All participants receive a sweet custom award as they finish their race.
  • A raffle of some awesome sponsor swag will be held while runners are out on the course! Prizes will be given to raffle winners as they finish their race. 
  • The top 3 female and top 3 male finishers of each race will receive some fantastic awards from our great sponsors.


Daybreak Racing loves to give back to the community and each of our races has a beneficiary. The race beneficiary is the Mt. St. Helens Institute, whose mission is to advance understanding and stewardship of the earth through science, education, and exploration of volcanic landscapes. 


Check the latest local weather here.


See the Daybreak Racing Refund Policy.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability.  USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.