Trail Run Project Logo

Don't Fence Me In 30K Run


Chase elite runners from Mt. Ascension to Mt. Helena above the capital city!

Your Rating:      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add to Favorites · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key







5,509' 1,679 m


4,139' 1,262 m


3,935' 1,199 m


3,988' 1,215 m



Avg Grade (4°)


Max Grade (19°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife


The Don't Fence Me In 30K Trail Run is your opportunity to compete against elite runners...and yourself...AND help support the efforts of the non-profit Prickly Pear Land Trust (PPLT). Starting and ending in the historic Last Chance Gulch area, the course rambles from rolling pine forest to open rocky ridges with a total elevation gain of approximately 4,300 feet including the summits of Mt. Ascension and Mt. Helena.

Need to Know

There will be water/aid stations located near Miles 7.5 and 12.0 but the 30K course is otherwise unsupported. Please BE PREPARED particularly if race day is a warm one!

If the 30K sounds like more of a challenge than you're interested in tackling first thing on a Saturday morning, please check out the Don't Fence Me In 5K Run/Walk/Dog Walk or Don't Fence Me In 12K Run/Walk here on Trail Run Project or at the link above. Did we mention there's a special edition beer available at the finish line?!

Runner Notes

The course will be flagged and crossing guards will be present at key points but not at every intersection. Please visit the PPLT link above for a downloadable map and a more detailed course description. The downloadable GPX file above is provided for your viewing pleasure and convenience but please know the course and trust the trail flagging!

As is the case with most trails, rocks, branches and roots comprise part of the challenge. Have fun but remain safely alert!


The 30K course begins uphill on Warren Street, left on Pine Street and right on Davis Street. The course connects with Lower De Ford Trail on the left side of Davis Street and follows the second left turn onto Eagle Scout Trail.

After negotiating the switchbacks, continue east, make a right onto Pail Rider Trail - a short winding uphill - and continue across Easy Rider Trail and uphill onto 2006 Trail. After several switchbacks, the course takes a left onto Mt Ascension Loop Trail and then a right up the ridge. The course climbs steeply to the summit and the start of Entertainment Trail, follows the ridge across another summit, and down a switchback to an old Jeep road. The trail angles to the right away from the Jeep road, traverses a slope, and comes to an intersection where the course takes a soft right downhill. This newer trail segment makes a sharp right turn and then left onto the old trail followed by a fast downhill to the intersection with Archery Range Trail. The course stays left at the junction of Entertainment and Archery Range Trail, and continues through switchbacks to Davis Gulch Road.

After a sharp right turn onto Davis Gulch, Rodney Meadow Trail will be visible to the left down the embankment. The trail skirts the edge of the trailhead parking lot and climbs gentle switchbacks to Rodney Meadow continuing straight past the TR Trail for about 50 yards to a left onto Roger Fuchs Trail. Stay on Roger Fuchs Trail for about 50 yards to a right turn onto Rodney Ridge (Rent Money) Trail. Turn right on Pinchot Trail winding down slope to TR Trail. Turn left on TR Trail and continue downhill to Orofino Gulch Road and the aid station. Following the flagging from the aid station, stay on the road for 20 yards and find Evans Trail on the left (west) side of Orofino Gulch Road. Take this trail, cross the bridge and follow it up to the ridge to Black Forest Trail. At this 4-way intersection, take a gentle left turn onto Black Forest Trail following it across the meadow to Wakina Sky Road. Turn right onto the dirt road and continue for about 900 yards. There is a dirt road connecting to the Wakina Sky Road from the left. Take a left here and look immediately for Wakina Ridge Trail turning sharply left up the slope. Follow this trail up several long switchbacks to the ridge keeping left at the first trail junction. Stay on the ridge PAST the Stairway to Heaven Trail. In Wakina Sky Meadow, turn right on Wakina Sky Trail and continue west into the trees and through many switchbacks to Grizzly Gulch Road.

At Grizzly Gulch Road, make a right turn and follow the dirt road for about 1/4 mile to the Mini Ridge Trail. A left turn from the road to a short trail segment takes you to the Mini Ridge Aid Station. Continue through a break in the fence line to another left turn about 15 yards ahead. This takes the course onto singletrack Emmett's Trail. This trail winds through forest uphill to the Mt. Helena Ridge Trail. After a right turn onto the Ridge Trail, the course heads toward Mt. Helena, the highest point on the ridge ahead of you. STAY ON THE RIDGE all the way to the junction with the 1906 Trail. Turn right and climb the 1906 Trail to the Mt. Helena summit. Keep right onto the Hogback Ridge Trail descending until sharply veering to the left onto Prospect Shafts Trail followed by a sharp turn to the right. The course continues to drop into a field just above Reeders Village Subdivision then to the right onto a secondary trail that goes through a break in a fence, between two houses and onto a paved road in the subdivision. Keep to the left on the first road and then veer right onto the second road where the course gets back onto a trail that again passes between two houses. The course descends across a paved cul-de-sac onto a few more yards of dirt trail and then onto pavement that goes under the bridge and past a few businesses before making a right turn onto the bricks of historic Reeders Alley and crossing Park Avenue to the finish line

History & Background

The Don't Fence Me In events have been supporting the conservation and trail development efforts of the non-profit PPLT since 2000. Please visit the PPLT link above for more information.


Land Manager: Prickly Pear Land Trust

Shared By:

Dave Hagen

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes


  5.0 from 2 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in Montana


6 Views Last Month
3,539 Since Feb 25, 2016



Women's leader at 2015 Don't Fence Me In 30k
May 12, 2015 near Helena, MT
Coming down off Mt. Helena in the Don't Fence Me In 30k.
Apr 22, 2015 near Helena, MT
Leaders up the first climb at the Don't Fence Me In 30k
Apr 28, 2015 near Helena, MT
2016 DFMI 30k: David Roche and Jim Walmsley command the lead.
Jan 4, 2017 near Helena, MT
2017 30K: Over the second hump of Mt. Ascension.
May 4, 2018 near Helena, MT
A mom-and-daughter pair enjoy themselves on the 2016 DFMI 5k.
Jan 4, 2017 near Helena, MT



Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
Unknown See History
Add Your Check-In


May 7, 2016
Matt Rachor
19.9mi — 4h 42m