Located just 45 minutes from the Salt Lake City International Airport, the races will start and finish in beautiful Heber City. The Full Yeti course features 100 miles with 12,000 feet of climbing, composed of 80 percent gravel. The Mini Yeti climbs 4,500 feet over 35 miles with 60 percent gravel. Both courses kick off with a bang: ascending the Wasatch Wall, an 11.5-mile climb with 3,500 feet of elevation gain.
“With 12,000 feet of elevation gain and a lot of big, big climbs, it’s going to require strong, tenacious riders that love gravel,” says race director Jeff Louder, a former professional cyclist and winner of Tour of Utah. “It’s really tailored to people who are motivated by a challenge.” Born and raised in Utah, Louder says he wanted to expose more people to the high-mountain Heber Valley region and its amazing gravel roads, scenic views, and challenging elevation. “The course kind of epitomizes what Utah is when it comes to riding a bike—it has all the requirements for great gravel riding,” he says.
The Full Yeti will offer a $10,000 prize purse ($5,000 for each gender) for the top racers, along with a $1000 prize purse split between the first female and male Utah resident across the line. The grueling routes—which are not designed for casual weekend warriors—offer big payoffs, with 360-degree views of the breathtaking surrounding mountains. Riding on high ridgeline roads and past the serene Strawberry Reservoir, racers will traverse through the peaceful woods of the Uinta National Forest en route to the finish.
“The Wasatch All-Road was born out of exploring the mostly untapped gravel in the High Uintas and falling in love with the beauty and difficulty of the terrain,” says Barrett Brandon, a former professional triathlete who has ridden the Full Yeti course. “This is not just another gravel race...this course is diabolical. It has all kinds of terrain—from rutted-out jeep road to chunky gravel to pavement—and after you crest the top of the Wasatch Wall at 10,000 feet of elevation, you still have over 8,000 feet of vertical to go! It’s not just incredibly difficult; the views are spectacular, and the post-race experience will be unrivaled.”
The post-race festivities will celebrate the community with food, beer, and other offerings by local businesses. The race will also give back to the local community by supporting surrounding schools’ mountain bike programs as part of the Utah High School Cycling League. The Wasatch All-Road is hosted by bike company Ventum, which is based in Heber City.
Given Heber City’s proximity to both Salt Lake City and nearby resort town Park City, racers can “choose their own adventure,” when it comes to travel, Louder says. Park City’s high-end resorts, such as Montage Deer Valley or Waldorf Astoria, offer a luxury experience for an extended stay; or racers could consider an outdoors family weekend with the dispersed camping options throughout the Wasatch National Forest.