FKT: Matthew Griffith - North Franklin Mountain Loop - 2023-09-21

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4h 54m 1s
GPS track(s)

Having not been able to run much or race since April due to injury, I thought I'd see what I could do on this route in my current state before taking a bunch more time off starting next week to try and get 100% healthy. I tried to keep the effort more moderate than hard since I haven't run this far since April and just did the San Mateo Peak and Blue Mountain FKT two days ago. I had some appointments in the morning so didn't start until late into the day--meaning the temps were in the mid-90's for most of my run. I felt as good as could be expected for the first 3 hours or so before my lack of training and the heat of the day caught up with me on the east side of the mountains. I only saw one other person on the trails today--which is pretty normal on the weekday in the Franklins. Although there are a few water caches on the route and someone could easy stash some supplies around the mountain for a self-supported attempt--I went unsupported carrying a loaded pack with ~1600 calories and a full 3 liters of water (which I still ran out of with an hour to go).

There is still a lot of time to be gained on this route if someone wants to give it a try. A few pieces of advice though. First, I will note that I followed the previous FKT holder's route skipping the peak even though the description makes it sound like that's part of the route. Second, run it in late fall or winter when the temps are better suited for hard and fast efforts. Third, make sure you have my GPX file downloaded on your watch as there are a lot of trail intersections--even the person who submitted the route made a few wrong turns and backtracked a few times. Finally, bring more water than you think you need--even if the temps are cool. I've circumnavigated the Franklins probably a dozen times on various trail runs ranging from 4 to 8+ hours and I've run out of water every single time.