- 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 September 7, 2009.
Approximate distance hiked: 9.5 miles, 15.3 km.
The sun started hitting the tent hard at around 7am. Before this, it had been a very cold night, with temperature dropping below freezing in the middle of the night. I wanted to keep sleeping but condensation was dripping all over my face. I got up but really didn’t do anything for a while. I was in no hurry. I removed the tent’s rain fly and laid down on the sleeping pad again, enjoying the views of the Great Western Divide to the west while the sun gently hit my back.
After lounging for a good while, I washed one of my t-shirts so that hopefully I wouldn’t be stinking too much while hitching a ride from Whitney Portal to Lone Pine the following day. I also washed my hair, which took a little work because I wanted to wash with soap and well away from the pond to avoid contaminating the water. I finally left Bighorn Plateau at around 11am.
I kept looking west to see if I could see Mount Whitney. I really couldn’t tell because there are many mountains similar in elevation around Whitney. The trail was very dusty and full of small rocks that kept getting into my shoes. I stopped many times to empty them. After the High Sierra Trial Junction I run into the Czechs one more time. I found it funny that despite having passed them 4 times, they always ended up ahead of me.
I was feeling sluggish and tired even though the trail was not demanding. I was hoping that a good night’s rest would leave me OK for the 17-mile final day. At Crabtree Ranger Station I found a bucket with the famous “Wag Bags” in them. The rule states that one must pack out human waste between this point and all the down to Whitney Portal. I think it is necessary considering the sheer number of people that visit the area every day. Wag Bags are reusable and supposedly deodorizes the “stuff” put in it. I took one and hoped to not have to use it. I stopped eating fiber (dried fruit) 2 days before for this very purpose.
I left Muir Trail Ranch with 10 days of food and now that I was going to finish the last stretch in 9 days, I was able to eat a little more. Consequently, I had a big lunch. Even after 21 days, I still haven’t learned the lesson of taking a little break after eating, before getting back on the trail. I was feeling terrible. Every step was excruciating and I felt like throwing up. I stopped, sat down for 15 minutes, and felt OK again.
I arrived at Timberline Lake and was finally told by a hiker which one was Mount Whitney. It was good to finally know.
Now that I knew which one Mount Whitney was, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I was getting so close that I felt I could almost touch it with my hands. I arrived at Guitar Lake around 4:30. Right away I saw Marty and Ross, who I had met on the ferry coming out of Vermilion Valley Resort. Also there was Peter from New Zealand, who is 70 years old but looks like he is 50. He hikes the JMT every year. Very inspirational. Check out his website. I sat down, had a relaxing conversation with them, and we were later joined by Carla and Gavin, whom they had met earlier. Ever since I left Muir Trail Ranch with Misty, Mark, Mike and Andy and fell behind them, I had been looking for them. Marty told me that they were one day ahead of us. I was good to know they all finished without problems.
I settled down in a nice spot by the lake and snapped a few pictures before it got dark. There were almost no clouds in the sky and it looked like weather was going to be great the next day.
I had conflicting feelings upon realizing that this was going to be my last night of camping on the JMT. On one hand I was looking forward to a shower and and a real bed after the following day. On the other hand, I didn’t want this experience to end and wanted to enjoy these last few hours as much as possible.
The plan for the next day was to start hiking at 6am, hit the summit before 9am, spend one hour on top, and arrive at Whitney Portal before 5pm.
Whoa! Just one more day to write up. It is good to hear that Ross and Marti made it as well.
I have my summer hike planned. I am going to repeat the southern half of the JMT with Art Gadzik who we met last summer. We are entering via the Knapsack Route over Lamarck Col, through Darwin Basin and into Evolution Basin. From there we intend to make Mt. Whitney in another 6 days.
Are you set on hiking the West Coast Trail? Steve
Hey Steve! Yeah, it only took me 8 months to finish the writeup, haha. That’s a great beautiful section you are hiking this summer. All those high passes are amazing.
Yeah, I’m doing the West Coast Trail in August this summer. Since I’ll be in that general area, I’ll also be doing a short hike from Ozette Lake to Shi Shi Beach in Washington State. Should be fun.