I arrived at the Powell Butte Visitor Center a little later than planned. Luckily the threat of rain in June was enough to keep the usual crowds away.
A choose your own route FKT requires careful planning to select an optimal route. However, my planning was limited to spending a few minutes creating a route in Strava that seemed good enough. I selected my start/finish location at the visitor center. From there, I started off working through the network of trails in the Northeast corner of the park, before crossing over to the northwest side and then the southwest side before heading back toward the center to catch any loose ends that I may have missed in the spiderweb of trails.
I had been thrown off early by a sign that stated the East Side Access Road was closed, but noticed later that there was no closure sign on the other end, so I ended up changing my planned route on the fly to get the section in from the open end. This ended up adding a little extra time/distance to catch small trail segments that had been in the original plan, but got missed when I deviated from plan. When I arrived back at the visitor center, I was thrilled to be under 3 hours, but a quick glance at my phone made me realize that I had missed a very short section of the North Access Road. Ugh! No good reason, other than I missed that detail at the end. Thankfully, it was close by, so another quarter mile later, I had run that section and made it back to the visitor center.
I recorded GPS tracks on both my Garmin Forerunner 935 and on my phone using the Strava app. I am glad I did, because my Garmin caught the full track, whereas I accidently managed to stop recording on my phone twice. At least recording on Strava was useful because I was able to view my track as I went, which allowed to me to check my progress and any missed trail segments along the way.
I ran this entire route solo and carried all my fuel and water with me.