Hiking Project Logo

black Mt. Marathon

  4.0 ( 7 ) Favorite

Trail

3.2 mile 5.2 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 2,625' 800 m
Descent: -2,637' -804 m
High: 2,689' 820 m
Low: 52' 16 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 31% (17°)
Max Grade: 90% (42°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Weather

Getting forecast...

Current trail conditions

Unknown See History

Popular hikes nearby

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

A very rocky, muddy, open trail that is very steep and made for one purpose: to race!

Josh Robinson

Features Views · Wildlife

Closed once it starts snowing. Would avoid during rain.

Overview

This killer course isn't one to take lightly. One of the major races held in Seward, Alaska every year, this is a tough slog to the top, followed by a fast and furious descent.

Description

There are many local legends as to how this trail came into being. Some say that it was the result of many hours spent pondering whether the route could be completed in under an hour, others claim it was the result of a bet between two overzealous runners on who was faster.

After that first fateful footrace, a race has been hosted annually ever since. Now, the race begins downtown, at Fourth and Adams, in front of the First National Bank Alaska, and ends a block south of where it began, at Fourth and Washington. The halfway point is a stone marker atop Mount Marathon, 3022 feet (921 m) above sea level, and a mile and a half from the finish line.

The total race course distance is about 3.1 miles (5 kilometers). Leading racers will typically reach the peak from the starting line in 30 minutes, and reach the finish line from the peak in 1015 minutes for a total time between 40 minutes to an hour. It is not uncommon for the racers who finish to cross the finish line injured or bleeding and covered in mud. This is not a course to take lightly!

Flora & Fauna

Especially on race day, there is little fauna to be seen. After passing through a stunted forest, you'll encounter mostly mountain grasses and mud.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, History & Background

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 7 votes

#2555

Overall
  4.0 from 7 votes
5 Star
43%
4 Star
29%
3 Star
14%
2 Star
14%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#40

in Alaska

#2,555

Overall
191 Views Last Month
3,265 Since Feb 12, 2016
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
17%
17%
0%
67%

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking