I ran (and hiked) the Pinchot Trail counterclockwise, starting at 10:45 AM on a humid Monday morning (8/30/2021). This was my first ever trail run. I love backpacking, and have done this route twice previously as an overnight hike. Lately, I've been doing more long distance running on the city streets, and had the idea to try running the Pinchot while I'm in the area on vacation.
I ran alone and unsupported, carrying water with me and stopping at Choke Creek to filter and refill. The trail was well marked and mostly flat. It had quite a few runnable sections, but there were also many rocky parts and sections submerged under a few inches of water and thick mud. As expected - I've never seen this trail dry. The southern half was easier terrain than the north. I made one wrong turn onto Choke Creek trail, and had to backtrack when I hit Tannery Road - unfortunate, because without that error, I could have gotten in under 7 hours.
I didn't see anyone out on the trail the whole day, but I did come across a few deer, grouse, and some fresh bear tracks in the mud on the southern section. Choke Creek falls were the highlight of the day in terms of scenery, and the valley at Painter Creek was lovely and peaceful too. All in all, a fantastic day out, can't believe how much fun trail running was. Except the falling, but I'll work on that.