JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

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Satchel Buddah
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JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by Satchel Buddah » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:12 pm

hi all,
I did the north bit of the JMT last year, YV to red's meadow. Looking at finishing this year, end of August/early September, with an exit at horseshoe meadow (done Whitney already... but never been to Horseshoe).

I will have some time, planning to do this in 14-16 days including a zero or two or three if there is beauty to investigate :). Food is the limiter here - not sure I can lug much more than 12 days past a ressuply at Muir ranch. (I guess I could get down around Keasarge to ressuply... but preferably I would not have to)

I was wondering if you would have wise advice for specific campsites pitches, and for potentially best spent zero days (not moving camp but scrambling and exploring days) ... Will be lugging the big camera again and a tripod. Already trying to aim for sites with sunsets/sunrise and astrophotography views by reading the topography.

I keep hearing very good things about Evolution valley and Rae lakes (most jmt/PCT hikers consistently saying it was amongst the most beautiful bits of the trail) so I am curious if you have a take on where best to camp there to enjoy these to the max. :)

thank you for your wisdom!








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bobby49
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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by bobby49 » Tue Feb 25, 2020 12:45 pm

"Food is the limiter"

Is it the food weight, or the food volume?

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Satchel Buddah
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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by Satchel Buddah » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:00 pm

weight! I am lugging about 6-8 pounds of camera gear. trying to stay under 40 pounds... :)

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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by TurboHike » Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:59 pm

For zero days I suggest:

If you are camped in the Rae Lakes area, take a zero day and go up to Sixty Lakes Basin. Easy day hike from Rae Lakes.

If you are camped in Upper Vidette meadow, take a zero and hike up to Golden Bear Lake (and beyond) in Center Basin.

If you are camped near Tyndall Creek south of Forester Pass, take the Kern cut-off trail to the west. Lots of great photo opportunities. Maybe continue into the Upper Kern if you have time.

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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by grampy » Tue Feb 25, 2020 3:47 pm

TurboHike wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 2:59 pm

... If you are camped in Upper Vidette meadow, take a zero and hike up to Golden Bear Lake (and beyond) in Center Basin ...
If you do this (and it is well worth the effort), keep in mind that the true (unmarked) trail junction off the JMT is about 200 yards or so South of where it is shown on most maps - including USGS topo; start looking too far north and you may stumble (needlessly) around looking for the old trail ... which is in pretty good condition, once you find it.

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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by Jim F » Tue Feb 25, 2020 10:29 pm

Hi Satchel,

The Evolution Valley/Basin and Rae Lakes are indeed awesome. Good places to spend an extra day!

Concerning campsites with potential for great sunsets/sunrises/astrophotography, consider consulting John Dittli. His contact info is on his website www.johndittli.com.

The April 1989 issue of the National Geographic has a lengthy photo essay by Galen Rowell, The John Muir Trail:Along the High,Wild Sierra. As I recall, Galen used a mule or horse to carry his food and camera gear. A couple of years ago on Glen Pass I encountered a fellow doing the PCT with two mules. Hikers were amazed how this seasoned threesome rambled over the snow clogged pass. Pack operations are located at both the start and the finish of your hike. Maybe see what they have to offer.

On big hikes (like yours) fishing can be another option to cut down pack weight.

Sounds like you have a great trip in the works.

Jim

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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by Satchel Buddah » Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:01 pm

thank you much for the tips!!! :)
mmmm pack animals....... Sounds involved but I could bring my whole lens collection and add some more :)

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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by Lumbergh21 » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:03 am

You can get 12 days of food into a bear cannister? Dang, how little do you eat? Are you deadset on hiking every foot of the current trail? If not, two of the dayhikes listed above could also be diversions where you rejoin the trail later: 60 Lakes Basin and Golden Bear Lakes. However, if you do divert to 60 Lakes Basin and rejoin the trail further south, you will miss Rae Lakes, which most people don't want to miss. Also, the Inyo rules regarding hitching into town to pick up a resupply then hitching back to the trail seem to be very fluid at this time, as in it used to be ok, then wasn't, and now is again, sort of. I'd recommend checking the Inyo website regarding the latest rules about leaving the trail and returning shortly before your planned hike, if you plan to hitch to town to buy a resupply.

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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by thegib » Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:43 pm

At the southern end of your trip I would visit Crabtree lakes and camp at upper Crabtree or along the stream feeding Crabtree. Then I'd follow the use trail over Crabtree pass and wander thru Miter Basin. From Miter I'd take New Army pass, bag Langley, and finish at Horseshoe. Better in every way than the regular trail.

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Re: JMT itinerary/campsites tips, Red's to Horseshoe meadow

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:52 pm

Is there really a "use trail" over Crabtree Pass into Miter Basin? I was under the impression that it is an off-trail route. If you are worried about too many days on the JMT, as beautiful as Crabtree Lakes and Miter Basin are, not sure this is the best idea. I have been on the Miter side and never saw a use trail, and looking at the pass from the uppermost Crabtree Lake (which does not have a use trail all the way) the pass looks class 2. Not that this is a hard route, but I would not call it a use trail.

Have you tried to simply get a Whitney exit? The last few years I have been able to get a walk-up Whitney exit due to cancellations. Not sure how they do that now. Anyway, worth asking the ranger when you pick up your permit.

Why not simply resupply at Muir Ranch or Edison? It sounds like your plan is already too long, too much weight of food, and you are want to throw in side trips too? The logical thing is to split this into two parts.

You would have to have one of those extra large expedition bear cans for 12 days food.

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