- John Muir Trail Date Set, Permit Reserved
- John Muir Trail Planning
- John Muir Trail Packing List
- John Muir Trail Journal
- John Muir Trail Day 1: Yosemite Valley to Clouds Rest Junction
- John Muir Trail Day 2: Clouds Rest Junction to Half Dome to Sunrise Creek Crossing
- John Muir Trail Day 3: Sunrise Creek Crossing to Lower Cathedral Lake
- John Muir Trail Day 4: Lower Cathedral Lake to Tuolumne Meadows
- John Muir Trail Day 5: Tuolumne Meadows to Donohue Pass
- John Muir Trail Day 6: Donohue Pass to Thousand Island Lake
- John Muir Trail Day 7: Thousand Island Lake to Rosalie Lake
- John Muir Trail Day 8: Rosalie Lake to Reds Meadow
- John Muir Trail Day 9: Reds Meadow to Deer Creek
- John Muir Trail Day 10: Deer Creek to Cascade Valley Junction
- John Muir Trail Day 11: Cascade Valley Junction to Silver Pass to Vermilion Valley Resort
- John Muir Trail Day 12: Vermilion Valley Resort
- John Muir Trail Day 13: Vermilion Valley Resort to Marie Lake
- John Muir Trail Day 14: Marie Lake to Selden Pass to Muir Trail Ranch
- John Muir Trail Day 15: Muir Trail Ranch to McClure Meadow
- John Muir Trail Day 16: McClure Meadow to Muir Pass to Lake West of Helen Lake
- John Muir Trail Day 17: Lake West of Helen Lake to Deer Meadow
- John Muir Trail Day 18: Deer Meadow to Mather Pass to Main South Fork Kings Crossing
- John Muir Trail Day 19: Main South Fork Kings Crossing to Pinchot Pass to Woods Creek
- John Muir Trail Day 20: Woods Creek to Glen Pass to Vidette Meadow
- John Muir Trail Day 21: Vidette Meadow to Forester Pass to Bighorn Plateau
- John Muir Trail Day 22: Bighorn Plateau to Guitar Lake
- John Muir Trail Day 23: Guitar Lake to Mount Whitney to Whitney Portal
- John Muir Trail: Post Trip Thoughts
Journal entry for August 27, 2009
Approximate distance hiked: 11.8 miles, 19.0 km
While backpacking I sleep just as well as when I’m home. I had 11 hours of sleep and I don’t think I woke up at all during the night except once to pee.
Once again it took me a while to get ready. My everyday morning routine was the following:
- get bear canister
- eat breakfast
- roll up and pack sleeping bag and pad
- pack rest of the gear to clear the inside of the tent
- shake the morning dew off the tent
- lay out tent for drying
- filter water
- brush teeth
- wash face
- apply sunscreen
- pack tent
- organize guidebook and maps so that only the sections needed for the day are carried in my pocket
Being cold in the morning and the fact that I’ve never been a morning person meant that sometimes these tasks were performed in super slow motion. I realized that I should have brought a down vest or something similar for more upper body warmth. I wasn’t warm enough during most mornings and nights. On this particular day it took a while for the sun to dry up the tent. I wasn’t even sure it was necessary to do this every morning, but I thought that having a nice dry tent later at night would be worth it.
I would have to pick up the pace to cover the 12 miles to Lake Edison to catch the 4:45pm ferry to Vermilion Valley Resort. Right away, the trail climbs 1200 ft. to Squaw Lake, an excellent camping spot with amazing views.
After a short and easy climb of 600 ft., I arrived at Silver Pass.
The first 2 miles or so coming down of Silver Pass is a very gradual descent. The trail is pretty smooth and I had that blissful hiking feeling again. What a great sensation. The weather was perfect, I kept a nice pace, and there was nobody around me. Only me and nature. The trail got pretty steep and rocky after this stretch. I stopped around 1:30pm in a spot with excellent views for some salami and cheese.
I think I left my swiss army knife in that spot because I couldn’t find it later on. The trail got progressively worse. The large amount of horse poop didn’t help either. Even though I was in a bit of a hurry, I still made sure to not get sloppy an get injured. Terrain-wise, this was definitely the worse stretch of the JMT so far. It flattened out a bit the closer I got to Lake Edison. I saw a little fox walking on the trail without a worry in the world until it saw me and run away scared.
I got to the ferry landing spot at Lake Edison at 4:15. I still had 30 minutes to sit down and relax. The four Czechs got there shortly after. The exact ferry landing spot varies depending on the water level.
The ferry got there a few minutes early. If Buzz and J-Man (who I met at Yosemite and Tuolumne) were on schedule, they should be leaving the resort this day to continue their hike. They were in fact among the people getting off the ferry. It was great to see them again. We chatted briefly and they introduced me a nice gentleman named Tom. The ferry was leaving so we said goodbye and hoped to see each other again at Lone Pine at the end of the hike.
The ferry was pretty full, about 16 passengers. There was Jon, a young Canadian guy living in San Francisco who I saw walking by the campsite earlier in the morning. I also met Ryan, who I later found out is also a big fan of backpackinglight.com.
Vermilion Valley Resort is very nice. It has a little store with backpacking supplies, a cafe with excellent food, a large fire pit, two restrooms with showers, washer and dryer and a few tent cabins with beds inside. First night is free in the tent cabins. Alternatively, one can also camp for free on the campground. Tent cabins #3 and #4 were open. Cabin #3 had four bunk beds while #4 had four single beds. I naturally picked #4. Jon and I went to the cafe to grab dinner. We were later joined by two guys from Napa Valley (I can’t remember their names). They were having Mexican food night and I got one beef and one chicken taco, along with rice and beans. Huge portions! Washed it down with a nice cold beer (first drink is on the house). I took a short break from eating before getting an apple pie with ice cream for dessert. I also saw Ken and Payge who I had met at Reds Meadow. Payge had huge blisters on the back of both her heels and if they didn’t get better in the following few days, she would not be able to finish the JMT.
I took a nice hot shower afterwards but had to get back in my dirty clothes again. Laundry would have to wait until the next day. Later in the evening, we all converged around the fire pit along with some of the resort employees (Jarem, Kyle). Most people called it a night around 9:30pm, but a few of us stayed behind for a while. I was nice to have some human contact, plus the following day was a day off. A bear came to visit the resort that night, a few of the people saw it but I couldn’t see it in the dark.
Kevin, you are just about 1/2 ways done with your journal. You’ve been busy the last few days. So you knew Jon as well. I hiked with him from just below the Golden Staircase all the way to Whitney Portal. Steve
Hey Steve. Yeah, I’m trying to finish all the entries by the end of the year, otherwise I feel I’ll never finish. Jon was a cool guy. With his long beard, he looked like he had been in the wilderness for months.