Started the loop a little after 8:00am this morning (July 7, 2020) with temps in the low 70s and overcast sky. Mostly dry conditions. Trail starts just beneath an awesome train trestle, parking is easy, actual trail head isn't so easy to find. First ascent was pretty steep but runnable. I missed the first turn onto Barton but was on the lookout and doubled back pretty quickly. As Ben mentioned, it's not an easy loop to navigate alone with no familiarity with the trails. Once I got up on the first ridge, it was decent running/trotting down Sweet Clover and down the backside. Not too technical. Halfway up the climb back to the other ridge, on Dark Hollow, the trail got scruffier and harder to follow, also more technical and some spots I had to hike and climb hand over hand. It's hard to get into a rhythm running on these trails, and the second half of the run was extra slow as I was cautiously scanning for blazes. I was hoping to cruise home once I got on Western Ridge, but that wasn't so easily navigable either. Spotted a small black bear around mile 9 but it scooted away, uninterested. This is a beautiful and challenging loop; study the trail map before heading out if it's your first time on the mountain.
2h 46m 31s