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Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

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Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby js hill » Fri May 13, 2011 2:06 pm

We will be hiking the JMT this summer. We are going in at Bishop Pass and exiting at Happy Isle. (We did the southern half of the JMT two years ago). We want to resupply at either Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch. What experiences have you had with resupplying at these two locations? Are there advantages of one to the other? Which one is easier to get to, etc? Any other input you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks



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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby RoguePhotonic » Fri May 13, 2011 5:17 pm

Off hand I would say go to VVR because it's cheaper for the resupply even if you do pay the ferry fee. Then you have a store, restaurant and bar. They have showers and you can do laundry.

The only thing the Muir Trail Ranch has that VVR doesn't is the hotsprings if you decide to camp by it.
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby maverick » Fri May 13, 2011 5:36 pm

HI JsHill

Depends what your looking for, if for example you want to get a meal, beer
maybe a room, a shower, campgrounds for tents are also available, and meet
some cool people, then VR is the place.
If you just want a place just to go to pick up your food, and move on, then MRT is
the place, also has a hot spring near by.
MRT is pretty close to the JMT, not much of a detour at all, but VR is a 2 mile
hike to Lake Edison thru Quail Meadow, and then you have to catch the ferry.
The ferry runs in the morning at 9:00 am leaving from Vermilion Valley Resort, and
leaving 9:45 am from Mono Creek Landing.
In the evening it leaves Vermilion Valley Resort at 4 pm, and Mono Creek Landing
at 4:45 pm.
It costs $18 round trip.
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby Electra » Fri May 13, 2011 8:13 pm

Both places are easy to work with regarding resupply in my opinion so it comes down to your desire to have more amenities and exit the wilderness and deal with more of 'real life' at VVR or stay primitive and close to the trail at MTR. It really is a frame of mind decision based on the individual. Either way, you will appreciate the hospitality and convenience of both. Have a great hike.
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sat May 14, 2011 11:05 am

What maverick said.
Some things to keep in mind:
1) Coming from the south, you probably will have to stay a night near MTR before taking on that big hill up to Marie Lake area, so maybe you may as well pick up your food.
2) From the South, there is no real shortcuts to VVR: you pretty much have to take the ferry. Options are a long walk down from Bear Ridge and then over to VVR, or skipping the ferry and doing the north shore Edison, which is long and tedious, and for a level trail, you do nearly 2000 feet of climbing.

Some suggestions:
1) Pick up 2 days of food at MTR and slack pack to the Edison ferry to VVR, where you pick up the bulk of your food (unless you are picking up more at Mammoth).
2) Thinking of the above point, you can cut your pack load by picking up food at MTR, VVR, Mammoth (Reds) and Toulumne Meadows.
3) The Silver Pass section to Mammoth is nice (with sections of boring), but from VVR you could skip the ferry back and go over Goodale Pass (which would take you back to the JMT near Silver Pass) with possible side trips to Graveyard Lakes, Devils Bathtub, the Indian lakes, Wilber May Lake, Peter Panda Lakes, hot springs and more (but not all of them on one trip :unibrow: ).
3) On the first Bishop Pass day, camp at the small lake (near the trail) at the edge of LeConte Canyon and spend the evening with more great scenery all around than you can possibly imagine.
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby RoguePhotonic » Sat May 14, 2011 11:27 am

I would really only recommend picking up 2 days worth of food from MTR if either money is no concern since they raised the price again this year and it's 55 dollars a bucket plus shipping. Or if you just go in and dig something out of the free buckets.

Now I have been told if you actually are getting a room that people loved the MTR over VVR in that area but it's much more costly.
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby bill.richardson » Sat May 14, 2011 6:18 pm

JSHill:

You didn't mention exactly when you intend to come through our area. We've had a lot of snow this winter, and as a result, Muir Trail Ranch won't be opening as early as VVR will. They are closer to the trail (thus more in the wilderness), and there is no road to MTR (they have to take a boat across Florence Lake). Because of that, they will have snow for a lot longer than us, and they will have to slog through a bunch more snow to open up this year.

So, if you're coming through fairly early (perhaps as late as July even), I would suggest that you send your resupply to VVR - we anticipate being open by the 2nd week in June.

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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby ERIC » Sat May 14, 2011 6:47 pm

bill.richardson wrote:JSHill:

You didn't mention exactly when you intend to come through our area. We've had a lot of snow this winter, and as a result, Muir Trail Ranch won't be opening as early as VVR will. They are closer to the trail (thus more in the wilderness), and there is no road to MTR (they have to take a boat across Florence Lake). Because of that, they will have snow for a lot longer than us, and they will have to slog through a bunch more snow to open up this year.

So, if you're coming through fairly early (perhaps as late as July even), I would suggest that you send your resupply to VVR - we anticipate being open by the 2nd week in June.

Bill Richardson
Webmaster, VVR


With the new bulge that's formed on the Florence Lake Dam, wondering if they'll keep it dry this summer. Might be a road across the lake bottom like when they resurfaced the dam a number of years ago. Lost Valley Pack Station are taking a helicopter in to Blayney Meadows this coming weekend to assess the road/trail from Florence to Blayney. If temps start warming up beginning next week, doubt MTR will be open much later than VVR.
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Sat May 14, 2011 10:08 pm

bill.richardson wrote:JSHill:You didn't mention exactly when you intend to come through our area.

Hey Bill! If I may say so: Welcome to the HST Forum! If you are the same rock climbing geo-cacheing owner of the VVR, my backpacking pard and I have chatted with you on several occasions and had a few boat rides as well. I try to get to the VVR once a year and it is one of my favorite places in the Sierra.

Yes, the snow will be problematic this year for sure. I was looking forward to seeing Edison all the way full (for once). I am not so sure I would want to do a major trip in a time you had to still stomp through snow just to get to MTR! And Kaiser Pass would be a thrill. Boy.

I think If I wanted to attempt the JMT this year, I would want to start from Yosemite. The passes get progressivly higher from there, and you could do a fair piece of trail before you started to hit the serious stuff. Then at least you would have some good outs.
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VVRFerry.gif
Just yesterday I was telling some friends about the Edison Lake area for a possible camping trip, so I had this picture handy: The VVR Ferry:
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby maverick » Sat May 14, 2011 11:26 pm

Welcome aboard Bill, and thanks for the info!
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby Mike M. » Sun May 15, 2011 8:38 pm

js: how many days do you plan to take to get from South Lake to Happy Isle?

If ten days or less, you should have no need to resupply, unless you are trying to hike as light as possible. You should be able to easily carry ten days of food. Why waste a day resupplying?

Mike
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Re: Vermilion Valley Resort or Muir Trail Ranch

Postby js hill » Mon May 16, 2011 10:35 am

We are leaving out of South Lake on the 29th of July. We will have about 17 days to do this trip. It's the first time in a long time that we will not have to worry about meeting deadlines. We plan on hiking about 8 to 12 miles a day with a few layover days. We are going to resupply at Mammoth as well as either MTR or VVR. Thanks for all you input and if you have any more suggestions, pass tthem on.
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