This was my second attempt at this loop, back in July I went for it but was rebuffed by lightning striking at about mile 35 near Raisin Lake, which was where I was heading. This lead to a whole nightmare of a dirty, sweaty runner trying to hitchhike during a pandemic, so that wasn't great.
This time I started at Sunrise trailhead and went counter clockwise from there, unsupported. On the first attempt using the standard Tuolumne meadows clockwise route when I got to the top of Vogelsang pass, the downhill on the backside there was not nearly as runnable as I was hoping. Then the downhill from the intersection with Cloudsrest is just a hot mess so if you can run that with speed my hat is off to you.
So I figured since those two downhill stretches weren't optimal for running, why not use them as uphills and then take that beautiful 15 or so miles down from Vogelsang pass to Tuolumne meadows and beyond. I liked this direction much better for that reason.
If this route is done when the High Sierra Camps are open, the water situation would be so easy. With them closed, filtering water is just a huge time sink, I estimate my four water refills (Merced Lake, Lewis Creek, Vogelsang Lake and the Tuolumne river) cost 25 minutes. Plus just losing the running flow from sitting and filtering for 6-7 minutes each time.
Beautiful route, this is a real gem. Garmin gave me 49.2 miles and 8,186 feet of climbing.