- 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 22, 2009
Approximate distance hiked: 5.7 miles, 9.2 km
I heard some animal walk by my tent when I woke up around 7:30am. Through the tent mesh I saw a big fat marmot standing 3 feet away from me. Definitely not something you see everyday back home. In the end, it didn’t rain at all during the night, but the sky was still pretty cloudy in the morning. It’s amazing how much I sleep in the wilderness. I got close to 11 hours. Instead of going back home tired at the end of the JMT, I think I’ll be rested and refreshed.
Buzz and G-Man were already up and almost ready to go. I decided that since I was already 1 1/2 day ahead of schedule, I’d have a short day and not try to keep up with them. I got their contact info before saying good bye. I was probably not going to see them again since their plan was to finish 2 days ahead of me.
I spent the rest of the morning in camp, doing laundry and catching up on my journal. Looking at the map, I decided that I’d do a short 6-mile hike to Thousand Island Lake. As I was getting ready to get back on the trail around noon I saw Glen and Corinne, who I had met at Tuolumne the previous day. I asked whether they would mind me hiking with them, and joined them for most of the rest of the day.
After a couple of miles, we reached Rush Creek Junction. While Glen and Corinne stopped to filter water, I met Jack and Kathy, a lovely couple from Mammoth Lakes. They looked like they were having a blast hiking the entire JMT. Suddenly it started drizzling. I put my waterproof jacket on and for the first time I used the large trash bag as pack cover, which worked pretty well.
The climb up to Island Pass (10,203 ft) was an easy 600 ft hike from Rush Creek Junction. This pass is not really considered to be in the same class as the other big ones on the southern half of the JMT. On the other side of the pass, I got a very nice view of imposing Banner Peak. The light drizzle had stopped by this time.
Glen and Corinne decided to look for a place to camp about 1/2 mile before Thousand Island Lake, so I said good bye to them and moved on. Thousand Island Lake is truly beautiful. It’s like something out of a photography book or a National Geographic documentary. Camping is not allowed within 1/4 mile of the lake outlet, so I followed the northern shore to look for nice spots. I found plenty of them.
The sky still looked nasty and the earlier drizzle seemed like it was just an early warning. It was cold and I tried to start a fire, but failed again. I used up my remaining 4 matches, and even borrowed a lighter from a couple camping closeby and still couldn’t do it. It was embarrassing. Around the same time, a big guy arrived in the area and decided to take a dip in the lake. I would have died of hypothermia but the cold didn’t affect him at all. He walked around wet and shirtless, as if it was 80 degrees. He then one-handed a huge piece a wood, put it on his shoulder, and climbed uphill into the woods closeby. I then heard him chop wood and start a humongous fire. What a stud!
Just before sunset, it started to rain again, but this time for real. I scrambled to finish eating, clean up a little bit, and put all my gear in the tent. This was my first time camping in the rain and while a bit inconvenient, I was quite excited. I fell asleep around 9 but slept intermittently all night.
Noticed you didn’t stake out your SL1. I’m guessing that was on a day by day basis. I have one and it does seem to take more stakes than necessary. Enjoying your trip report!
Hi Red Buffalo. Yes, I didn’t stake the tent on the days I didn’t use the rainfly. I think the bare minimum for staking is 3 (2 in the front, one in the center back). For a little more leg room 2 more stakes need to be added on the back (on the sides). I haven’t used the guy lines yet, but I’d say that 5 stakes is more than enough unless there’s very strong winds.
I am enyoying your journal. I plan on doing the JMT after I retire in about 3 years. I do a lot of backpacking but usally only for a week or so. I cannot wait to be out for 3 or 4 weeks. I have a suggestion for you on campfire building. Have you ever tried cotton balls with vasoline applied to them. It works great. It is light (keep them in a zip lock bag) and it is guaranteed to to start a fire quickly.
Hi Ray. Thanks for the tip on starting a fire! I’ll try it out next time I go camping.