Route: Timberline Trail (OR)

Location
Oregon, US
Distance
40 mi
Vertical Gain
10000 ft
Description

Yassine Diboun posted the route:

The Timberline Trail that circumnavigates Mt. Hood is a 40-ish mile route that I have covered three times now. I have done it in 2011 and 2012 in one day (approximately 10.5 hours both times), and in 2013 in two days (with camping in between). The epic loop is one of my favorites! (More info on my past trips HERE)

After doing some research to see if anyone has ever done it for speed the only documentation that I was able to find was from when it was a race. I'm sure folks have done it fast without reporting it, but It seems that John Coffey set the all-time record in a mind-boggling 6 hours 24 minutes! (Click HERE to read about it) I realize that this was before the Eliot washout, and that he had the help of aid stations but this is still a superhuman effort. In any case I thought that it was coincidental and serendipitous that he did it on August 28, 1982 (the same day I turned 4 years old!).

 

The following times from races on the Timberline during 1979-1983 is given at realendurance.com:
Men's times:
John Coffey 6h24m33s 1982
Warren Finke 6h43m25s 1982
Rae Clark 6h43m36s 1983
Rae Clark 6h49m19s 1982
Stephen Boyer 6h49m27s 1983
Rich Goodhead 6h52m55s 1982
Jim Pellon 6h55m22s 1982
Frank Thomas 7h1m56s 1983
 
Women's times:
Lynn Harmon 7h15m17s 1982
Lynn Harmon 8h8m6s 1981
Susan Deane 8h43m45s 1983
Karen Clement 9h0m55s 1981
Karen Clement 9h6m55s 1982
Sandra Stepp 9h24m1s 1983

 

"Modern" times are expected to be slower since the huge washout of Eliot Creek in 2006 - this section of the trail is still officially closed, but it navigable via use "trails" and some ropes. There have been other washouts as well.

 

"Reed" posted an update (7/7/2017):

I just figured that this thread could use an update. Construction of the Eliot Crossing was completed around August 2016. A 1.4 mile detour was constructed, although I don't believe that the trail is now 1.4 miles longer.

Here's a link to the Forest Service map of the reroute www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd523139.pdf

It appears that Google maps have been updated with the new route, so I used route mapping software to calculate that the new route (as far as I can tell from my computer at home) adds 0.50 miles to the trail. The reroute also adds about 400 feet of climbing to the trail, as you will now head down hill to the north before climbing back up.

GPS Track

Comments

This route should probably be clarified as the Timberline Trail starting from Timberline Lodge FKT.  Other starting points should be considered their own FKT on this trail due to the challenges the various starting locations provide.

The FKT is for the loop regardless of starting location.  You should choose your start/finish location to get the fastest time.  That's part of the decision making process that goes into any FKT, similar to the selection of gear, weather conditions, trail conditions, etc.

Hello! This Saturday August 3rd I will be starting an attempt for a self-supported double Timberline Trail, hopefully going for a female self-supported FKT in the process. Not sure what the current self-supported female FKT is but the Timberline Trail yoyo should be fun regardless!

Tracker here: https://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0uKo6CChBI…

Update: I may start in the evening of Friday August 2nd. Earliest start will be 6pm, and could be as late as 3am Saturday August 3rd. Spot will go live at this point.

Hey Ella!! How did it go? I'd love to hear/read a trip report if you have one. Hope you had a fantastic time out there! Cheers! -Ladia (WA)

Hello! Tomorrow (9/1), I'll be going for the women's supported FKT set by Lynn Harmon in 1982 in honor of and with my best friend, Gabriele Grunewald, who passed away in June after a decade long battle with a rare cancer called Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma. She was a professional runner for Brooks, specializing in the 1500 and 5k, who founded the Brave Like Gabe Foundation in 2018 to raise awareness and money for rare cancer research. In the past two years, she raised over $1.5 million for her foundation while fighting her own cancer battle and trying to train and compete at the highest level in her sport. She has inspired thousands along the way with her message of hope and perseverance, and her light continues to shine so bright in everyone she has touched. It is the honor of my life to carry on her message of hope and perseverance through my own running. I'll be starting at Top Spur at 6am, running with her husband Justin Grunewald, supported by her sister, Abigail Grunewald. We are so excited to go on this beautiful adventure together with her spirit in our souls lighting our way 🤗💛✨

Hello! This morning (7/11) around 6:30am, myself, Kayla Dierdorff and Megan Flanagan will be attempting the women’s unsupported FKT that still has yet to be set. We will be starting from Timberline Lodge and heading clockwise! We are so excited to go for this as a team and enjoy the learning experience along the way. We are so humbled, grateful, and stoked by the encouragement from our friends, family, and teammates! We will be using Strava for tacking and AllTrails + a physical map for navigation. We will post an update this evening! 

Planning to go around Aug. 21, 2020 (my 53rd birthday). Starting at Cloud Cap. Fingers crossed for good weather.

Hey all, this Sunday July 26 I will taking a shot at the overall FKT, doing it supported, CCL and starting from the Timberline Lodge.  

Just following up on my attempt, was on track for my time but ran out of water and bonked hard. Stay tuned for attempt number two in the future!

Tis the season for FKTs! Tomorrow (7/25) I’m gonna go for the female unsupported FKT—try and lessen the gap between unsupported and the lighting fast Ladia! I’ll follow up tomorrow night—happy river crossings!

I will be going for the female unsupported FKT of the Timberline Trail on 8/15/20

Get it Kristina! Can definitely shave some more hours off this route. And congrats on the Alpine Lakes Loop! I've been eyeing that route for my next trip to Seattle (just to run, not FKT). 

I'll be attending the women's unsupported fkt 9/1/20. Good luck to all other women running it before then! 

Congrats to Brooke on the new women's unsupported FKT!! I'll be giving it a go this Thursday, 8/6. Haven't been back to the Timberline Trail since the PCT in 2016, so I'm excited to spend some more time in the area and see more of the trail!

Hey Leah! How did it go yesterday? I’m heading up tomorrow morning to take a crack at the women’s unsupported FKT. Would love to hear how your experience was!

-Pollee

Hi Pollee! I got lucky with some nice cool weather yesterday and ended up doing the loop in 8:52. I started/finished at the timberline lodge access and went CCW. The river crossings weren’t too bad (I walked through all of them and didn’t bother looking for dry crossings), and I’d say there were about 10 downed trees in my first and last 8 miles. Excited to hear how your attempt goes - it is such a beautiful trail! 

Leah!! CONGRATS!! That’s amazing. Sounds like it was an awesome day! Thanks for the info about blowdowns and rivers. Fingers crossed for a fun adventure tomorrow! 

Leah! Your record still stands :) I started at 6 at Top Spur and went CCW. Was having an absolute blast and was 40 mins ahead of schedule, until the climb to Gnarl Ridge. Epic bonk right as the sun came out! Never really recovered, but enjoyed the gorgeous scenery along the N/NW side of the mountain. Finished in 9:10. Congrats again!!!

Going to give this loop an unsupported go on 8/6/20.
 

Had a blast! No new FKT, but beyond stoked to experience this classic for the first time. So much respect for everyone who has and will attempt this outstanding route. 
 

My time for the loop was 7:29:00. 
 

 

Tomorrow, 8/12/2020, I’m going to take a crack at the solo unsupported female record. I’m skeptical at beating such a stout time but either way, let’s see what happens!

planning to start at Timberline between 0500-0600. Hopefully. 😴

Howdy! 

 

I am planning on attempting the unsupported FKT on Saturday the 29th, 2020 (08/29/2020) 

 

Whoop! 

Attempting this run around Hood tomorrow! Shooting for the women’s unsupported fkt. Getting stoked to experience all sides of this gorgeous mountain!