Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip? | High Sierra Topix  

Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby superstephen99 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:11 am

Greetings!

I'm new to the forum, and I've come seeking info/advice about a potential JMT hike this summer. As much as my buddy and I would love to do the entire portion from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney, we only have 7-9 days and thus doing the entire trek is not possible. We're planning on a mid-August trip.

We are both comfortable with hiking long distances and are in good shape, so that is not an issue, and we do have some backpacking experience (Level 2). We've both had some experience on Class 2 terrain. We're flexible as far as loop versus out and back-We can make the logistics work. We're looking for a high challenge and high reward trip. We're not afraid of climbing, and we'd also love to get some fishing in along the way. Coming from Florida, we are aware that the altitude will be an issue, but we are wiling to take a day to get acclimated.

What part of the JMT would you all recommend if you only had a week? What entry and exit points would you use?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

Stephen



User avatar
superstephen99
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:52 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby maverick » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:48 am

Hi Stephen,

Welcome to HST!
Would recommend doing the North Lake to South Lake Loop via Piute Pass not
Lamarck Col, and hitch a ride back to North Lake from South Lake. You will find
several trip reports by using the "search feature" at the top of the backpacking
section. For example: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=8374&p=61072&hilit=+north+lake+south+lake+loop#p61072
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8028
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby balzaccom » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:03 am

I would not necessarily focus on the JMT---there is no class 2, or 3 on THAT trail__but since you asked, almost everyone who hikes the JMT says that a high point is the Tuolumne to Reds Meadow/postpile setion, past Thousand Island lake and Banner/Ritter,

And there is certainly enough stuff to do to fill your days along this route, include lake Catherine, Altha, Ediza, etc.
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:31 am

Have to agree with Balzaccom on this one. That section is typically 3-4 days (depends on how much you want to stop and smell the roses). You can continue to VVR if you have enough time, or do side trips as Balzaccom suggests and exit at Red's. Have you ever hiked at elevation ? If not, I would give myself two days to acclimate to be on the safe side.
User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:41 am

Here's something else to consider. I assume, coming from Florida, that you're flying out ?
Day 1 Fly to Reno and drive to Tuolumne Meadows. Camp in BP campground
Day 2 Acclimate in TM. Day hike to Gaylor Lake, maybe try Mt. Dana
Day 3 Acclimate
Days 4-7 Hike the JMT to Red's meadow
Day 7 catch the shuttle at Red's to Mammoth Lake, then the shuttle to TM and pick up car
Day 8 Drive back to Reno
Day 9 Fly home.
User avatar
The Other Tom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:06 pm
Location: Upstate South Carolina
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby superstephen99 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:10 pm

Thanks for the replies and options offered thus far.

To answer a few questions: Yes, we are planning on flying out from FL. We have looked initially at flights into Fresno because my friend has some old friends out there who would be willing to give us rides from the airport out to where we would need to go. Are there any treks that are more accessible from the western side/Fresno area? Flying into Reno or Las Vegas is certainly an option at this point, but I figured I'd ask.

You mentioned not focusing on the JMT-What other trips are out there that fit well in this time period that you would recommend? The North Lake-South Lake Loop looks quite intriguing-John has mentioned wanting to get into the Evolution Valley area based on reports he has heard.

We'll take the advice on acclimating-We've both done higher elevation trips, but it has been 5+ years for me and longer for John.

Again, Thanks!
User avatar
superstephen99
Topix Newbie
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:52 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby gary c. » Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:49 pm

From the westside have your friends drive you to Yosemite Valley and take the bus to Mammoth then the shuttle to Reds Meadow. From Reds meadow hike to Tuolumne and then ride the shuttle back down to the valley to have your friends pick you back up. If it is your first time to Yosemite I would recomend hiking from Tuolumne down to Yosemite Valley. You would have to deal with all of the people but if you have not been down the Mist Trail I think it is a must. You might even be able to squeeze in Half Dome.
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
-- Lionel Terray
User avatar
gary c.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:56 pm
Location: Lancaster, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby overheadx2 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:57 pm

You can access Evolution valley just as easy from the west side. You could loop up Goddard canyon from Florence Lake (relatively low altitude the first day or so) to Martha lake, do a relatively easy X-country over to Wanda Lake and the Muir hut and down the JMT through evolution valley on your way back to Florence lake. Goddard should be very quiet on the way to Wanda Lake, with the Muir hut and Evolution Valley being kind of touristy due to the JMT, but McClure meadow is amazing. If friends are picking you up and dropping you off, you might have them drop you off at Courtright Reservoir and go up Corral post meadow to Disappointment and hell for sure Lakes, then over hell for sure pass down into Goddard canyon and up to Wanda lake for the rest of the loop down to Florence Lake.
I am relatively new so these other guys probably have a better idea, but I was up there last summer, and the place is amazing, and when (not if) I do it again, I'll do one of these routes. It gives you a nice well used trail most of the time, a low elevation at the start and finish for aclimation and the occaisional campfire (no fires above 10k elevation), some relatively easy X-country adventure and the Muir Hut and evolution Valley (they are popular for a reason). Phil
User avatar
overheadx2
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:08 pm
Location: huntington beach
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:05 pm

If Fresno ends up being your destination, you could always head up the Kaiser Pass Road to either Florence Lake or Lake Edison. Both have easy access to the JMT and are for me 2 to 3 days (2 from Flo, 3 from Ed), but Im a slow old guy ;) . If you have 7 days, I would choose FLorence and 9, Edison, but thats just me.

A fun place to acclimate would be to head up the the Vermillion Valley Resort at Lake Edison and stay the first evening there with your friends. They have camps, tent cabins, and small motel (rustic) that serves PCT and JMT htrough hikers as well as regular backpackers. Good food and drink with outstanding BBQ on at least Saturdays, maybe the weekend. And their homemade pies are out of this world. Check out their web site. Just down the road is the Mono Hot Springs, which is always a good pre and post hike destination in the area. You didnt mention if the friends will pick you back up, but if thats an option, various loops and out and backs can be done from there. The draw back to the west side when compared to the east is a lack of shuttle serices and no services like rental cars or the like fairly close to the trailhead. Its all back in Fresno.

Evolution would be quicker to reach from Florence. Out of Flornce you would travel up the So. Fk of the San Joquin River to Evo. Camp in EVO Valley proper 1 night (day 2) and then south on the JMT to anywhere from Evolution, Saphire, or Wnda Lakes. Could dayhike to the Darwin Bench. If your comfortable with some cross country you could go from Wanda to the upper So. Fk of the San Joaquin via Davis Lake. Ive done it, but it can be a bit tricky. Another easier cross country option would be to loop through the McGee Lakes west of the JMT. I found this to be a stroll, but gorgeous. Then back down the San Joaquin to the trail head.

If you had the time to go from Edison it would add the upper reaches of Bear Creek, which is a gorgeous Mtn stream and you would pass a few lakes on the JMT (Marie, Heart, and Sallie Keyes) near Selden Pass. The section from Rose Marie Meadows to Sallie Keyes is indeed very scenic and Marie is often cited by JMT hikers as one of the prettier spots along the JMT, which is aying something indeed as most of it is gorgeous.

Regardless of the area you choose and which side you start from, have a great trip and let us know how it went!!
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
User avatar
Troutdog 59
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 549
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:11 pm
Location: Clovis
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby Kris » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:09 pm

If you fly into Fresno you can easily get into the Roads End Trailhead in Kings (hwy. 180). You can exit SOuth Lake Trailhead and do an epic trans sierra hike south to north and get into incredible country on and off the JMT in 7-9 days (actual trail time)
~We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started... and know the place for the first time.

T.S. Eliot
User avatar
Kris
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 6:01 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby TehipiteTom » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:24 pm

Kris wrote:If you fly into Fresno you can easily get into the Roads End Trailhead in Kings (hwy. 180). You can exit SOuth Lake Trailhead and do an epic trans sierra hike south to north and get into incredible country on and off the JMT in 7-9 days (actual trail time)

There are actually two trail routes for this, and I'm not sure which one you have in mind. I did one (via Middle Fork Kings & the Monarch Divide) in the opposite direction (South Lake-->Roads End) in 1995, and it really was epic and spectacular. The other way would be via Paradise Valley/Woods Creek to the JMT, then along the JMT to Dusy Creek. Haven't done most of that, but I'm sure it would also be spectacular.

For that matter, you could do a 9-day loop out of Roads End combining the best of the two routes. That would be a spectacular trip with long stretches of relative solitude (between Granite Pass-ish and Palisade Creek).
User avatar
TehipiteTom
Founding Member
 
Posts: 814
Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:42 am
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Best portion of JMT for a 7-9 day trip?

Postby markskor » Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:42 pm

The main problem (and the blessing) of the JMT is that there are no roads passing through the Sierra; You start out hiking East side (Happy Isles/Tuolumne) traverse to the West about half way along (VVR and MTR), and then traverse back East again to the Portal. If only doing 7 - 9 days and doing a through hike, this makes driving a car a logistical nightmare.

Getting into (and out of) the West side trailheads...well IMHO, the road just plain sucks. If going that away and you like long drives, see above...maybe a loop would be nice.
On the East side however, there are a few good options that work using #395..

Suggest:
1) As above, Mammoth - (Tuolumne - Voglesang ?) - Valley (sort of a freeway but always a classic hike - bag the Dome too)...many trail options, a great 9 day adventure, and you could leave the rental car in Curry Orchard and a straight shot using YARTS to Mammoth. Hike back to the car...40 - 70 miles, depending.

2) Onion Valley to Kearsarge - Whitney - Portal...a good 50+ mile adventure (at the Portal, one can have a reserved shuttle drive you back to car left at OV)...BTW, some great fishing can be found just a few miles off trail...Goldens.

or,

Unless you are dead-set on being totally on the Muir, just get off the main trail part of the time, see less people, and do any number of great hikes using the highways and buses running up the East corridor - 395 and 120. North - South Lake - Evolution Valley, Grand Canyon of Tuolumne - maybe Smedberg and Benson, Red Peak Pass, etc, etc, - some real nice 7 - 9 day adventures...just off the Muir.
Mountainman who swims with trout
User avatar
markskor
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:41 pm
Location: Mammoth Lakes
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests