FKT: Hannah McLean - Constance Pass Loop (Olympic National Park, WA) - 2020-08-29

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
14h 15m 8s
GPS track(s)

I started around 4 am Saturday morning. It is so dark under the trees and I was a little nervous about losing my way along the first trail. I started up the Tunnel Creek trail and that 5,000 ft climb warmed me up within the first 5 minutes. It was so steep I thought I would literally walk into a mountain lion's mouth, cartoon style. I hit the 5050 pass around first light but it was too misty to see anything. On the way down, I passed by Harrison Lake and another little lake but no people. I hit the 7 mile road portion and the mist looked like it was going to lift but didn't. The Lower Big Quilcene trail is is wonderful shape and was super fun to run, however I only saw a few people out. There were many more people out on the Big Quilcene trail on their way to Marmot Pass. There was still so much mist I was really getting down and worried that I wouldn't have any views on this run. I stopped to get some water at towards the beginning of this trail. 

The climbing plus the mist were getting to me at this point, about 12 hours and 27 miles in. But when I got to Marmot Pass the skies opened up and it was so clear and sunny! This definitely lifted my mood as I ran down off the pass and tried to take lots of pictures. Stopped to filter water above Home Lake and took in the beauty. 

Constance Pass and the false summit couldn't get me down. The mist swirled around the mountains on the other side of Constance Pass and I caught glimpses of so many other mountains including Mt. Olympus. That steep descent off Constance Pass really thrashed my legs and at times the trail turned into a creek, creek to trail and trail to mud. 

I finally made it down to the Dose trail and to the ranger station. I got a little turned around in the camping area but got redirected back on the trail and tried to push it as hard as I could back to the car. As soon as I passed the washout area, I knew I was close and ran as fast as I could the last mile or so. It was a little anticlimactic as I made it back to the parking area, out of breath and throwing my poles down in triumph. I'm sure the other people had no clue what I did, but I sure felt proud of myself.