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John Muir Trail


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  • #1328010
    Stephen Mattox
    BPL Member

    @mattox1

    My first post so sorry if I broke any protocol. I'm trying to secure a permit to hike the JMT. I know that it will be hard since all spot are just about taken. We wanted to leave late June 2015 starting at Yosemite. Anyone have any info on starting points, trailheads that I can secure a permit and allow for Donohue pass through. Any info or ideas would greatly be appreciated.

    #2192192
    Michael L
    BPL Member

    @mpl_35

    Locale: NoCo
    #2192243
    Kate Anthony
    BPL Member

    @kanthony

    Locale: NorCal

    Lot of folks on the JMT Facebook page have had luck getting permits for NOBO starting at the Horseshoe Meadow Trail Head, over Cottonwood Pass to Crabtree Meadow and then plan to day hike Mount Whitney. It is my understanding that as long as you don't descend from Trail Crest towards Whitney Portal, you don't need a Whitney permit. You would have to a bit of research on that.

    #2192276
    Peter Bakwin
    BPL Member

    @pbakwin

    Shhhhh! Don't let out all the secrets!

    #2192281
    Cameron M
    BPL Member

    @cameronm-aka-backstroke

    Locale: Los Angeles

    Whitney Portal has always been the toughest, and it is my understanding that Donohue Pass is now a tough spot because of concerns for Lyell Canyon. However, it seems you can always get a permit if you do walk-in, if you wait long enough and are first in line. Perhaps you can consider going as far as Mammoth with the permit you get, and then hanging there for a day or two until you can secure the walk-in to go over Donohue.

    #2192313
    Terry Sparks
    BPL Member

    @firebug

    Locale: Santa Barbara County Coast

    Another option to consider if you want to do a SOBO Donahue Pass to Whitney would be to summit Whitney then hike back down to the PCT south bound to the New Army Pass Trail (PCT mile 759.28 on Half Miles App)and exit Lower Rock Creek.

    #2192320
    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member

    @balzaccom

    Locale: Wine Country

    Do you really want to do the whole JMT? Then you start in Yosemite Valley and hike to Whitney. That's the whole JMT.

    Or do you just want to do part of it? There are lots of sections that are beautiful and accessible…the hardest part for permits is the Happy Isles trailhead permit in Yosemite Valley, and then the Donohue Pass limit.

    So if you hike in from the East side at Rush Creek, join the JMT just south of Donohue Pass, you can hike most of the rest of the trail without problems. (You still need a Whitney exit permit…)

    There are lots of east side trailheads that will get you connected to the JMT, and then you can hike North or South as much as you want. Or you can hike some of the other trails in the Sierra…where you won't find nearly so many people, just as beautiful scenery, and relatively few permit issues.

    The JMT has become crowded because it's a bucket list trail. Don't let that keep you from hiking in the Sierra.

    #2192321
    Jeff Jeff
    BPL Member

    @jeffjeff

    I never had a problem just walking up and getting a permit the day before.

    #2192337
    Michael L
    BPL Member

    @mpl_35

    Locale: NoCo

    Jeff,

    That may have been, but they changed the lottery. They no longer reserve walk up permits.

    #2192355
    Stephen Mattox
    BPL Member

    @mattox1

    I wanted to do the entire JMT. I need to secure airfare and time off work so if I cannot be guaranteed a permit to hike then I can't risk going. I am setting 21 days aside to hike with my two boys mostly because of the beatiful area and to test us on a longer hike before we attemp the colorado trail.

    #2192363
    Lori P
    BPL Member

    @lori999

    Locale: Central Valley

    If I had 21 days, I would enter via the trailhead at Agnew, visit Garnet, Ediza, and the other lakes up there, head south on the JMT to Crabtree Meadow, camp at Crabtree Lakes, day hike the summit of Whitney, come back down to camp again, head south toward New Army, take a side trip into Mitre Basin, and come out at Horseshoe. I'd stage the vehicle at Horseshoe, pay a local to shuttle me (again – it worked out fantastic last time) and have a great time not bothering with all the idiocy of Yosemite trailhead quotas and the crazy Yosemite bears (the crazy JMT bears south of Yosemite are bad enough). Heck, I might just spend five days in Mitre Basin. Maybe go up Center Basin (where the JMT used to go) or go over Junction Pass over to Williamson, and out Shepherd (no pesty exit quota) to thumb a ride or meet a scheduled shuttle.

    Some of the better scenery is off the beaten path. In fact, I'd be most tempted to skip most of the JMT altogether – get a nice wandering route together from Road's End (Kings Canyon) over Avalanche, into Cloud or Deadman (yeah!) south out to Mineral King and hooking back up via the Kern trench, maybe visit Lake South America before sighing and heading south and out of the wilderness. I loved Deadman. Not a soul for miles. Elizabeth Pass is a bear, but a do-able one. Or, I might go in via trailhead at Lake Thomas Edison, over the Silver Pass, visit all the lakes up there, say hi to the JMT thrus industriously pounding southward while fishing around then dropping to Mono Creek to visit the Recesses… there is just way too much to do to give up on the Sierra just because you can't start at Happy Isles or Tuolumne.

    Or – and this is dead easy to do – do the High Sierra Trail as an out and back. Go over to Whitney, turn around, go back. Spend an extra day in Kaweah Basin, linger at Precipice Lake, wander on down to Redwood Meadow (actually a Sequoia grove).

    Give some Sierra-philes a little time, you'll have your route. The John Manure Freeway isn't your only option. There are places you won't end up wading in horse apples behind a pack train….

    #2192443
    Paul Wagner
    BPL Member

    @balzaccom

    Locale: Wine Country

    Now see, Lori?

    That's the difference between you and me. I question his plan and ask him for more clarification. You provide real alternatives and solutions. grin.

    #2192781
    Stephen Mattox
    BPL Member

    @mattox1

    Thanks Lori and Paul. I was looking for the a longer trail (21 day trip) that has already been hiked so I would already have info on conditions, mail drops, etc. THANKS for alternate route. It make me apprehensive since I have no experience of those areas. I'm from da south and attitude is a issue so I would have to start at lower areas. I am going to look into ya'll recommendation. I wish I could just get permit and hike one trail and not have concerns of piecing thing together. Boy I sound like a noobie. THANKS AGAIN!!

    #2192783
    Lori P
    BPL Member

    @lori999

    Locale: Central Valley

    You could also do a nice long section of the PCT. The Tahoe to Yosemite trail also comes to mind…

    Or, the Tahoe Rim trail. Desolation Wilderness is nice!

    None of the trails I'm mentioning are terribly remote – there are still trails, and still people. The High Sierra Trail is so popular you will get warnings about shirt-eating deer and pack-stealing bears when you pick up the permit.

    If the Wonderland Trail hadn't gotten slammed so hard they stopped accepting permits, I would suggest that.

    #2192789
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    "warnings about shirt-eating deer"

    Or, worse,

    deer eating boxer shorts

    This deer at Hamilton Lakes was trying to eat somebody's boxer shorts.

    –B.G.–

    #2192805
    Stephen Mattox
    BPL Member

    @mattox1

    Looking them up now!!!!

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