A Dozen of the Most Beautifully Picturesque Races in Washington State

Our hand-picked collection of gorgeous race venues you just have to see for yourself…

1. Birch Bay Marathon & Half Marathon in Blaine, Washington

Source: birchbaymarathon.com (top & left), city-data.com (right)

This 46th annual race is a certified Boston Marathon qualifier featuring mostly flat to gently rolling terrain with a short steep climb and a long gradual climb along the way. The Canadian mountain ranges stand beautifully in the distance as you enjoy the scenic views all along the waterfront of Birch Bay State Park.

See this race on Gametiime

2. Orcas Island 25K & 50K in Olga, Washington

Source: orcas50k.blogspot.com

With about 8,400 feet of elevation gain in this loop course, you’ll experience a race that is as challenging as it is serene. From creeks and waterfalls to the majestic Cascade and Olympic Mountains, you’ll find a multitude of stunning vistas as you make your way through the old growth forests.

See this race on Gametiime

3. Fragrance Lake 10K & 20K in Bellingham, Washington

Source: bellinghamtrail.com

You’ll run along single-track trails with 3,300 feet of climb past Fragrance Lake, the Rock Trail, and the very technical Ridge Trail.  Throughout this run you’ll find plenty of green to absorb in addition to the wonderful views of the Cascade Mountains.

See this race on Gametiime

4. Yakima River Canyon Marathon in Ellensburg, Washington

Source: ontherunevents.com

This USATF certified marathon takes you from Canyon Road through the many curves and hills along the Yakima River, until the race’s finish in rural Selah, Washington. Enjoy spectacular views of the Yakima River Canyon as you follow it downstream.

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5. Rock Creek Ramble 50K & 100K in Endicott, Washington

Source: nwtrailruns.com (top), runbosco.com (left), ultrasignup.com (right)

Taking place at Escure Ranch, a mid-20th-century sheep and cattle ranch, this endurance race consists mainly of flat-to-rolling terrain punctuated with short steep climbs from the basalt mesas. You’ll have plenty of opportunity to take in the vast expanses of grasslands, cliffs, and marshes in Eastern Washington.

See this race on Gametiime

6. Whidbey Island Marathon & Half Marathon in Oak Harbor, Washington

Source: oakharbor.org (top), whidbeyislandmarathon.com (left & right)

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the cities and enjoy this road run through Whidbey Island’s back country roads and rolling hills. Along the way you’ll experience spectacular views from Deception Pass Bridge and the stunning ocean and farmlands surrounding.

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7. Sunflower Relay & Marathon in Winthrop, Washington

Source: Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (top), Mariposai (left & right)

Run as an individual or as a team in this annual race starting at 1,900 feet in Manzama and make your way through several elevation changes, ranging from a peak at 2,600 feet to a finish at 1,600 feet. You’ll run through beautiful wildflower fields coupled with views of the Methow River, North Cascades and Chelan Sawtooths throughout this unique course.

See this race on Gametiime

8. Dog Mountain 10K/20K/30K in Stevenson, Washington

Source: Adam Sawyer (top), skamania.org (left), portlandhikersfieldguide.org (right)

Enjoy fantastic views of the Columbia River Gorge as you summit Dog Mountain along a steep single-track trail with over 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

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9. Angels Staircase 60K/35K in Carlton, Washington

Source: angelsstaircase.blogspot.com

As part of the US Skyrunning Series, you’ll climb up to 8,000 feet through the difficult and rocky trail of Angels Staircase. Along with the forests, meadows, and creeks, you’ll bear witness to the stunning views of Glacier Peak, the Cascades, and the Okanogan Range.

See this race on Gametiime

10. Spokane to Sandpoint Relay in Spokane, Washington

Source: Spokane to Sandpoint Team Relay

Experience the fresh air as this 200-mile relay takes you past many works of nature, from Mt. Spokane, the Centennial Trail, two National Forests, and finally the finish at the beach in Sandpoint, Idaho.

See this race on Gametiime

11. Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon & Half Marathon in Leavenworth, Washington

Source: Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon (top), adventurewenatchee.com (left), maximummemoriesphotos.blogspot.com (right)

Support cancer research and enjoy the Oktoberfest festivities by taking a run through Washington’s scenic Bavarian Village with a mix of asphalt and wooded dirt trails. The landscape is surrounded by beautiful mountains and you’re likely to see salmon as you run by the Wenatchee River and Icicle Creek.

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12. Deception Pass 50K & 25K in Oak Harbor, Washington

Source: facebook.com/DeceptionPass50k25k

This course through Deception State Park provides runners with stunning trailscapes mixing old growth forest, beach front, mountain, and seaside bluffs. Along the way you’ll face steep elevation changes which will challenge you as you take in the surrounding views.

See this race on Gametiime

**** BONUS: ****

Michelob ULTRA Seafair Torchlight Run in Seattle, Washington

Source: Gametiime

Take part in the Seafair festivities by participating in the annual Torchlight Run hosted in the Emerald City. You’ll go from the Seattle Center, down the scenic parade route, and up the renowned Seattle Alaskan Way Viaduct for majestic views of the Seattle skyline, Elliot Bay, and Olympic Mountains. This will be one of the last races to ever run across the viaduct, so don’t miss out.

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Ragnar Relay – Northwest Passage in Blaine, Washington

Source: Ragnar Relay

Take on a nearly 200 mile journey in this point-to-point relay race through 36 exchanges from Blaine to Langley, WA. Designed by runners for runners you’ll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the iconic sights of Deception Pass and Mt. Baker, the friendly villages, and the beautiful starry night sky. (Thanks for the suggestion MARISSA!)

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Yukon Do It Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K in Port Orchard, Washington

Source: Yukon Do It

Top off the end of your year with a scenic run along the Puget Sound where you’ll take in sights ranging from Mt. Rainier to Naval Base Kitsap. (Thanks for the suggestion MARISSA!)

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North Olympic Discovery Marathon in Port Angeles, Washington

Source: olympicpeninsula.org

Incorporating the lovely Olympic Discovery Trail, this Boston Marathon qualifier will take you past views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca over a mixed/hard surface trail. (Thank you Kerrie and Amanda for the suggestion!)

See this race on Gametiime

Which of these races have you run? Did we miss any that must be mentioned?


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3 thoughts on “A Dozen of the Most Beautifully Picturesque Races in Washington State

  1. The Birch Bay Road Race uses a slightly different, prettier and much safer course than the BIrch Bay Half Marathon and marathon, and is professionally managed with full on course support. The half marathon was cancelled this year. The Birch Bay Road race 15K/30K ncludes running through the state park.

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