FKT: Sarah Keyes - Joshua Tree Traverse (CA) - 2018-12-03

Route variation
one way
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
5h 17m 15s

On Monday December 3, 2018 I ran the 37 mile California Riding and Hiking Trail or Joshua Tree Traverse, through Joshua Tree National Park. I started out from the Black Rock Canyon Campground a little after 8:45am where my dad dropped me off. The first six mile section is a gradual uphill sandbox, I found the areas that appeared to have had water run through them were actually stiffer and tried to stick to those. After this first climb came my favorite section of trail from Covington Flat to Ryan Campground, rolling technical singletrack with some steep climbs and descents with a view of the Salton Sea. What appeared to be a general downhill trend after mile 16 on the elevation profile was deceiving as the next 7ish miles were gradual climbs in sand for as far as the eye can see. The last 7 miles were actually downhill to the finish at the east end of the trail but hard to follow in some washed out sections, again more soft sand. I did the route carrying all my own water and nutrition but my dad did meet me at Ryan Campground and around mile 30 to snap a photo and yell encouraging words as I went by. The trail is well marked but I did check my gpx route on my watch multiple times at intersections and in washes. There are mile markers basically every mile and I found that both horrible and encouraging at times. Great day in the desert!