Missouri Headwaters State Park, Three Forks, Gallatin County, Montana, United States

Start Date


Activity tags attached to this sportie.

Activities: Trail race, 7.5 Miles

Corona Virus Consideration - Please Read

Currently we do not have any Covid restrictions, however we do ask that you keep in mind your safety as well as your fellow runners.  If you feel sick or know that you have been exposed PLEASE consider the well being of others and opt out of the run. While we are confident we will be able to have the race in 2022, please be aware when you sign up the event has the potential to be cancelled with minimal notice.  Please know we are committed to keeping all runners safe, and not putting others health at risk.  We will be taking guidance from our public health institutions, monitoring the situation, and communicating with you clearly as things evolve. We will make a final decision to continue with the race as planned by August 1st.  If at that time we decide not to have the race, we will refund 50% of the entry fee.  However we promise to do everything we can to make sure we can have the John Colter Run again this year.  In the meantime, we hope you have the ability to get out, breathe some fresh air, and enjoy your favorite places.

If we have to cancel the race you may elect to donate to the race.  All proceeds over the costs already incurred will be donated to Headwaters State Park so that we may continue to enjoy the beautiful area.

We do not have a roll over option from last year.    


We are limited to 300 particpants.  Registration Opens on April 1, 2022, SO RESERVE YOUR SPOT AND SIGN UP EARLY!    

IMPORTANT:  OUR INSURANCE DOES NOT ALLOW YOU TO GIVE OR SELL YOUR RACE BIB TO SOMEONE ELSE IF YOU CANNOT RUN THE RACE.  While it may seem like a good intention, it has many negative implications to the organizers and participants including liability, timing, results, awards and many other factors.  Race bibs will only be given out to those registered for the event.


Race day is September 17, 2022, and will start at 9:00 am sharp when the ole 50 caliber Hawkins black powder rifle goes off.  The Race begins and ends at the Missouri Headwaters State Park – one mile south of Trident and about 6 miles northeast of Three Forks, MT. Take Exit 278 off I-90. Follow signs to Headwaters State Park and Trident. Parking is limited. Please carpool.

The Course:  The course is approximately 7 miles long, with the first mile and a half on a paved/gravel country road, and the remaining 5.5 miles on mostly rugged trails, just like it was when Lewis and Clark came through here.  The trail portion is relatively rough but suited for cross-country running.  There are two railroad crossings.  Montana Rail Link will stop ALL trains at the first crossing just after the start where we will have a crossing guard. They only do this for two events in Montana!  The second crossing goes UNDER the railroad tracks and by the time you get there the trains will be running again.  You MUST go under the railroad bridge and through the water and mud or you will be disqualified.  The first railroad crossing is 1.5 miles from the start and the second is about 7 miles into the race.  The trail is marked with rock cairns, flags, stakes, skulls, bones, and beer bottles.

The Water Crossings: The last ¼ mile of the course encompasses two water crossings.  The first water crossing goes under the railroad bridge (as stated above).  Tie your shoes tight because the mud can be knee deep!  The second water crossing is the Gallatin River.  Be prepared for water up to waist deep at each crossing.  A safety rope will be secured across the river.  Bring an extra change of clothes for the awards ceremony and refreshments.

To sweeten the deal, we have some great prizes this year!  We’ll have our own “John Colter” and you will be chasing him down.  The first 50 runners that beat John to the “Beaver Dam” approximately 6.5 miles in) will win a commemorative John Colter water bottle from Nathan Sports.  Finish awards will be presented to overall top male and female; age group winners; youngest and oldest runner; and special awards to those we think need to be recognized!  Raffle prizes awarded at the finish.  Afterward, all are welcome to join us for a post-race party barbeque with beer and great live music!  

IMPORTANT -Due to time constraints and the nature of the race, walkers are not permitted. - No dogs allowed on the race course. There will be one water station approximately 4 miles into the run.  Porta Potties are at the start area only.  AND unless there is some catastrophic event beyond our control, the race will not be cancelled.  Rain and Snow do not constitute such an event.

 Bonus: Transaction fee is included in the $50 race entry fee.

 Please note, race shirts are only awarded to finishers.

 Thanks to our sponsors: Headwaters State Park, Montana Rail Link, GCC, Bozeman Speedy Lube, Bozeman Running Co. Bobcat ROTC, Gallatin County Search and Rescue, Lerhkinds, Yellowstone Bank, Dark Horse Construction, and Muddy Dog Sports (Timing) 

Bracket/Division Details & Fees:

  1. Activity Starts: - Activity Ends:
    Registration opens :
    Activity type:
    Requires Date of Birth
    Requires phone number
    Giveaway(s): Awesome John Colter Shirt
    Registration Periods:
    • Registration opens : 4/1/2022 08:00
      Registration closes : 9/16/2022 20:00
      Race fee : $50.00
      Processing fee : $0.00

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