JMT Strange 14 (15!) Day Itinerary

Hiking the John Muir Trail

Photo credit: James Clifton

I covered a bit more than 240 miles in just over 14 days, but with a strange itinerary that included some big mileage days and some low-mileage days on this walk on the John Muir Trail in August, 2107, especially the first week. Below, I’m including the approximate mileage per day, and the elevation I camped at.

The lower mileage on Days 3 and 4 were to slow down to meet a friend coming in on the Rae Lakes loop, and Day 5 was hiking a shorter stretch so we could hang out for the day.  I slowed down on Day 8 knowing I wouldn’t hit MTR for resupply before they closed, and under the mistaken impression that I’d be able to prepare myself a huge mid-day meal there (note to self: they don’t allow cooking at the resupply station. next time just get there early and charge on!).

My original plan called for watching the sunset from Clouds Rest on the final day, and then hiking out at night. Alas, smoke reduced visibility, and I decided to bag the sunset-from-the-summit idea. And then the smoke started lifting at sunset! So I decided to stick around and go up Half Dome for sunrise.

Day 0 – Arrive and camp at Horseshoe Meadows/Cottonwood Pass Trailhead. (9,940′)

Day 1 – 21.5 miles to Crabtree Meadows, near the ranger station. (10,710′)

Day 2 – 15 miles leaving at 1am to summit Whitney and return to Crabtree. (10,710′)

Day 3 – 11.4 miles, to a couple miles shy of Forester Pass. (12,000′)

Day 4 – 11.4 miles, over Forester Pass to Bullfrog Lake Trail junction. (10,520′)

Day 5 – 11.3 miles over Glen Pass to Wood Creek Trail. (8,550′)

Day 6 – 19.3 miles over Pinchot and Mather passes to Upper Palisades. (10,700′)

Day 7 – 15.6 miles down the Golden Staircase to to Middle Fork Kings River, just below crossing. (10,700′)

Day 8 – 14 miles to about a mile past McClure Meadow. (9,660′)

Day 9 – 15.4 miles to MTR by noon, considerable lollygagging, and then up to Sallie Keyes Lake (10,200′)

Day 10 – 17.7 miles over Seldon Pass to a bit below the Mott Lake Trail.

Day 11 – 20.2 miles over Silver Pass and on to Deer Creek. (9,115′)

Day 12 – 21.3 miles to Reds for shower and breakfast and then up to Garnet Lake (9,685′)

Day 13 – 23.1 miles to Tuolumne backpacker campground and a beer. (8,500′)

Day 14 – 16.9 miles to somewhere past the Clouds Rest junction. (7,100′)

Day 15 – 10.9 miles detour to watch sunrise over Half Dome and then on to breakfast and shower in Yosemite Valley.

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About Mike Rogers

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