FKT: Laura Pryor - Sea to Sky Trail, Jenner Headlands (CA) - 2021-09-05

Route variation
3 Laps
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
11h 10m 43s
GPS track(s)

Overall, the trip went well! I drove out to the Jenner Headlands by myself, and I started my run at about 6:30am. The gates to the trailhead open at 8am, so I parked in a small dirt lot across and down the 1 from the trailhead. I decided to start my watch from the car (as opposed to the trailhead) and may my way up to Pole Mountain via the Sea to Sky trail for lap 1. The first lap was cool, and I was lucky to see a beautiful sunrise.

After finishing the first lap, I ran to my car in the dirt lot and moved it into the parking lot by the trailhead. At my car, I re-filled my pack with water and nutrition and headed out for lap 2. Lap 2 was a bit warmer, but I brought my bandana and dipped in into the creek just before the climb up to Pole Mountain, which definitely helped! 

After the second lap, I was happy I had moved my car into the parking lot, which allowed for easier access to my water/nutrition. At my car, I did my final re-fill of water and nutrition and headed out for the third and final lap. This lap was by far the slowest, as the heat of the day was at its peak. The climb up to Pole Mountain was particularly warm, and required a quick stop in the shade to regroup before the final push to the summit. 

But, by the time I finished, the foggy breeze from the ocean made for a cool final three miles. I finished feeling elated by accomplishing over 11,000ft of gain in just over 46 miles. This was my first self-supported effort of this magnitude, and it definitely inspired me to try more!

I definitely encourage others to try the three lap challenge. To summarize a few tips that I learned from my outing: (1) If you arrive before 8am, the gate won't be open but you can park in the dirt lot just south of the gate and across the street; (2) The only water source is a creek at around mile 5.5 (at the bottom of the first descent), so it's helpful to pack your own water if you plan to use your car as an aid station; (3) The temperature changes quite a bit on this route, the first and last 3 miles stay cool due to the proximity of the ocean, but the middle 6 miles are exposed and warm during the heat of the day, so it may be helpful to pack more water than you think you might need!