Jamie Stone and R. Muzaffer Musal ran the Outer Mountain Loop in Big Bend National Park in 8h10m on November 26, 2015.
Greetings Friends, Our goal with this run was to establish a FKT for the trail and the Big Bend region. We want to encourage more people to make their way out to the park for some wonderful trails. I was able to record most of it with my watch on Strava, I am linking to the data below. My watch did die about 1 mile from the end of the trail. We are estimating this finish in 8h10m. I know that this is shaky data for a FKT, but like I said, our interest is more in setting the mark for future efforts.
Hi, Jamie, Very nice run of the Outer Mountain Loop in Big Bend NP and thanks for adding it to this site. My brother, Greg Drum, Big Bend National Park's pilot and a law enforcement ranger, and I attempted the loop on December 31, 2016. I completed it in 8 hrs 4 min 24 sec. Greg ended up dropping out at about 22.5 miles (Homer Wilson, where our wives met us) because of severe muscle soreness induced on the long, 3200+ foot descent of Juniper Canyon. We GPS'd the run, but I'm unable to download at this time due to the ANT Agent messing up. I'll keep trying. In any event, it was a great day out. Your time of 8:10 motivated me a bit at the end since I lost about an hour nursing Greg along the Dodson, then spending about 20-min at Homer Wilson deciding if I wanted to go it alone. There were plenty of hikers on New Years eve out there, and we passed a fellow Ranger friend of Greg's on the Dodson. Needless to say, the beer tasted pretty good afterwards.
I agree, it's nice to have some Outer Mountain Loop love for future FKTs on it. For sure, I'd like to see someone blaze it in under 5-hours, but more realistically in under 6-hours. I'm prodding Greg to get his legs conditioned to blitz the downhills, which destroyed him during our above mentioned run. I think he can do it in under 7-hours. Actually, my legs were pretty beat as well, but not living there like Greg motivated me to just get it done. I'm currently enjoying the snow in Marquette, MI in the Upper Peninsula, my home area.
Ok, the FKT's on the Outer Mountain Loop are starting to roll, I think!! Have at it! And, as you and others are probably aware, the best time to run the loop is Nov - March to avoid the heat...or even Dec-Feb.
Cheers, Scott Drum firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Professor - Exercise Physiology Northern Michigan University Marquette, MI
I'm looking into attempting this in early-/mid-January. I am from Missouri but will be in Texas for a friends wedding. I am currently looking at doing the route alone and am wondering about how the Rangers may react to that. Based on backpacking trip reports, it sounds like they will interrogate solo hikers pretty intensely. Scott, how much water did you stash or get on the route? Some of the reports say the Rangers wouldn't even let individuals have permits without stashing water. I know I will need it but probably not as seriously, or as much, as backpackers. Thanks!
If you are running the Outer Mountain Loop as a “day hike,” then you do not need a permit, nor do you need to stash water. Only folks camping overnight along the trail need a permit. Have fun and run like hell! 😀