It was a chilly and dark start at 6:15 AM at the Cimarrona TH, but I wanted to beat the heat. I chose to start here because I was camped at the Cimarrona campground and wanted to have the short road run at the end. I ran in a clockwise direction. I wore my headlamp the first couple miles. I power hiked to the top of Squaw Pass and was feeling pretty good. There were no signs at that point indicating trail names where I joined onto the CDT and I felt a little uneasy about what trail I was on, but it felt right. I continued on making good time. I then began the climb up to the Continental Divide on the CDT. This was the toughest part for me. I kept moving along though, and soon enough I crested the top. Beautiful views and green valleys surrounded me. I happily began the downhill portion after all that vert. There were still no trail signs, and I missed the turn for Williams Creek off the CDT, but quickly realized it. The trail was very overgrown and my legs took a thrashing as I plowed through the dense vegetation continuing downhill. I encountered a few hunters on horses who were heading down the trail as well. My time was looking good and I kept cruising down trying to go fast, but careful to avoid injury. I got to the Williams Creek TH and knew all that was left was a short road run back to Cimarrona. The flat gravel road seemed utterly steep on my tired legs as I inched towards the finish line. I completed the loop in a little over 5 hrs and 15 min, and then hobbled back to my campsite. I carried about 2 liters of water in my Hydrapak bladder and about a liter of water with Skratch in water bottles in my vest. I ate a pack of Stinger gummies for a little energy boost on the way down. Overall it was a great day on the trail. Thanks Sam for submitting such a challenging and fun loop!
5h 15m 9s