Race Preview: 2021 Rogue Gorge 50k & Half (Upper Rogue Wild & Scenic River)

Have you done a Daybreak Racing trail run yet? If you haven’t, you really should do the 2021 Rogue Gorge which takes place on the upper Rogue River on October 16th and 17th. Daybreak Racing is responsible for some seriously epic trail runs, including Tillamook Burn and Wy’East Howl, two of my favorites, and the Backcountry Rise which is on my wish list. Guess I need to add this one to that list too.

The Rogue Gorge features a 50k and a half marathon, both challenging but epically gorgeous trails runs that will take place entirely along the Upper Rogue Wild & Scenic River, home to the Southern Oregon Cascades. You can look forward to singletrack rugged trails along the Rogue Gorge Trail and old growth forested bluffs above the river that features pretty waterfalls and flows through collapsed lava tubes.

The 50k, which is on Saturday October 16th at 8:00AM, is an out-and-back course that is 99% singletrack trail that travels the Upper Rogue Wild & Scenic River rim the entire route. There will be 2300 ft of ascent and 2300 ft of descent along the 31 mile course, 4 aid stations, and a 4:30PM cut off time. The terrain is described as “gentling rolling” with some “punchy short climbs and dips.” The surface will be comprised of dirt trail, basalt lava rock, and of course some good rooty sections so you’ll remember why you’re there!!

The half marathon will be on Sunday, October 17th, and also starts at 8:00AM. This race will travel 98% singletrack trail, also along the rim of the Upper Rogue Wild & Scenic River for most of the route. Not a “true” half distance, you’ll be pretty close at 13.4 miles with 900 ft of both ascent and descent, and the 4 hour cutoff time will be at 12:00PM. There will be only 1 aid station at mile 7 along the course, so plan accordingly. The trails for the half are mostly flat or gently rolling, with some of those climbs and dips, and the terrain is similar to the 50k. It should be a pretty fast course for a trail half.

Registration for this event is $110 for the 50k and $80 for the Half Marathon which is a great price for a race these days. A portion of your race proceeds will be going to the non-profit Siskiyou Mountain Club, which is a great organization that has a mission to “keep the backcountry experience alive” throughout NW California and SW Oregon. If you’d like to purchase a race shirt and/or hat, they will be available for purchase and are from Territory Run Co, which is a Portland company that makes great gear. Every participant will receive a custom award upon finishing their race, and there will be a raffle for some sponsor swag as well. In the past, Daybreak Racing has offered post race meal and beverage service and live music, but this year this is TBD due to COVID restrictions.

The Union Creek Campground adjacent to the race staging area will be available for camping the night before the races on a first come first serve basis, as well as Joseph H Stewart State Recreation Area 20 miles south of Union Creek if you’d like to camp. There are also local rustic cabin rentals available at the Union Creek Resort or there are options in nearby Prospect or Medford.

Get excited, as this should be a great day of racing!!



What: 2021 Rogue Gorge 50k & Half Marathon

When: October 16th and 17th, 2021 at 8:00AM

Where: Union Creek Ampitheater & Picnic Shelter, Union Creek OR. Carpooling is encouraged!!

Cost: $110 for the 50k and $80 for the Half Marathon

Register: Here

About Author

I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.

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