FKT: Jakub Galczynski - McGown Peak Circumnavigation (ID) - 2021-08-22

Route variation
Standard loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2h 54m 9s


Started from the lower parking lot servicing the Boat Dock. Gear wise, I ran with an Ultraspire Basham vest that carries one 550 mL water bottle. I did not re-fill the bottle and was well hydrated throughout my run. There are some running streams to fill-up, but scattered and mostly just off trail. I ate one HoneyStinger gel at mile 10, although I packed two.

Leisurely ran the McGown Peak Circumnavigation one week prior, which is highly recommended. The previous run took 4 hours and 7 minutes. The Initial run was done counter-clockwise. I prefer the (FKT) clockwise route proposed by Benjamin Monaghan instead, because you are setup for steep climbing in the cool morning hours. Also far less hikers to deal with heading down fast technical terrain back to Stanley Lake. Otherwise you would be required dodge people coming up to Sawtooth Lake mid-morning / mid-day.

Navigation. This is a fairly obvious loop except for spots between Alpine Lake and Sawtooth Lake, where the trail branches out to various parts of the alpine lakes. There is a more prominent trail, just need to keep this in mind and ignore the rest. When running fast it's easy to make mistakes and so I did load the gpx to my phone prior, via AllTrails application. At notable turns, which there are thankfully few of, I would check my location. I would check my location while running, which at times was concerning (clipping a rock). All together I hopped or ran around +20 trees covering the trail. No issues here, but it slows down a good rhythm. 

This classic loop ends back at Stanley Lake and is the perfect way to start ones day. Thank you for suggesting this route Benjamin Monaghan.