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Entering JMT from Parker Pass

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Entering JMT from Parker Pass

Postby nkane » Mon May 18, 2015 12:11 pm

Hi Folks,

I've been planning a JMT trip with my girlfriend for the end of August. Lurking this board has been phenomenally useful for figuring many of the subtleties of trip planning. And the Map! Damn that map is awesome.

I do have one question for which a search has not yet revealed the answer.

We got permits to enter at Parker/Mono Pass. The plan is to hike to Alger Lakes on Day 1, and then join the JMT on day 2. The question is where.

A couple people in various parts of the Internet mention joining the JMT on the Rush Creek trail. But that looks to me like it involves a serious backtrack. Why not continue south-southeast through the maze of trails surrounding Gem Lake and Agnew Pass, and meet up with the JMT at Garnet Lake? Is there extra elevation going that way? Is it on pack trails that really suck? I'd love any insight into this confusing area of the trail.



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Re: Entering JMT from Parker Pass

Postby markskor » Mon May 18, 2015 12:31 pm

Sitting here in Mammoth - tried to get over Tioga just now but closed - again.
Anyway to answer your question, yes, you could re-join the Muir at Garnet - once over Parker, there are many options - some a little more up-n-down than others but all relatively easy-to-follow, well-marked trails, but then, doing it your way, you would miss 1000 Island. It may seem that going back a little west - past Waugh (a bog BTW) looks like backtracking - but all mostly downhill trail to Island Pass - (easy) and then that stretch Rush Creek - 1000 ISL - Garnet... some of the most memorable country to be found along the entire JMT.
Are you in a hurry?
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Entering JMT from Parker Pass

Postby nkane » Mon May 18, 2015 2:52 pm

We're trying to do the trail in 14 days, so efficiency is a consideration. It would also be nice to build up enough of a cushion to do one or two SHR excursions down the road.

But it sounds like both ways work! That's good to know and gives us a couple options to think about.

I would welcome any other perspectives.
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Re: Entering JMT from Parker Pass

Postby andymorgosh » Mon May 18, 2015 2:58 pm

I hiked the JMT back in 2009. 1000 Island Lake was one of the highlights of the entire trip and probably the most beautiful lake I have ever been to. It's as close to a don't miss as you can get. In short, I second what markskor said.
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Re: Entering JMT from Parker Pass

Postby paul » Mon May 18, 2015 5:53 pm

+1 on going around Waugh Lake to catch the JMT at Rush creek. Going over Island Pass and dropping down into 1000 Island from there is something you must do, one of the iconic spots on the JMT for a good reason. If your schedule is tight, get up early for a couple days to make up for the few extra miles.
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Re: Entering JMT from Parker Pass

Postby nkane » Thu May 21, 2015 11:37 am

Wow, it looks like opinion is unanimous! We'll strongly consider this when making our final plans.

Thanks, everyone!
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Re: Entering JMT from Parker Pass

Postby maverick » Thu May 21, 2015 11:56 am

Hi nkane,

Welcome to HST! Will also add my endorsement for you not to miss 1000 Is Lake, it really is that pretty. Be sure to also
visit Ediza, one of the prettiest lakes with a trail to it in the Sierra.
When you get the time an intro would be appreciated: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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