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8954Re: [John Muir Trail] North Lake / South Lake Loop preparations

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  • jmaddog1082@charter.net
    Jun 1 12:32 PM

      According to "Sierra South" by Morey & White, the trip is 52.7 miles in its traditional form and is the "quintessential High Sierra trip" (refer to trip #70). However, some shorten the mileage by taking a cross country route over the challenging Lamark Col ( a route that might not appeal to your freshman backpacking partner).

      It utilizes the JMT for the middle third or so of the trip, specifically between the Piute Creek/South Fork San Joaquin River junction to the Le Conte Canyon/Dusy Basin junction.

      Correct - it's not a "true" loop hike, but is pretty close. Trail heads are the South Lake TH and the North Lake TH and are separated by only a few miles of highway driving accessed off the 168 west of Bishop. If you don't want to use two cars to shuttle between trail heads, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to hitch a ride between the two trail heads. Of course, the trip can be done in either direction.

      Permits can be obtained through USFS-Inyo National Forest 351pacu Ln Suite 200 Bishop, CA 93514 760-873-2400 or www.fs.fed.us/r5/inyo

      ---- Kevin Balla <hikingjmt@...> wrote:
      > Hey all,
      > I'm planning on taking 6 days vacation in early September and am thinking of doing the North Lake - South Lake loop instead at a leisurely pace. I've heard great things about this loop and want to do it, but am open to other suggestions from you all that have done this before.
      > A bit about myself and the trip: I normally average 13 miles a day on the JMT and am looking to do a slower pace this time around with a first-timer who will be joining me on this trip. I heard about this loop originally from the ranger at the Rae Lakes and it has always been on my list of places to go, but I can't find much else information about it online. Was hoping you guys could help out with that! I had the following questions to get me started on preparing this trip:
      > - Anyone know how long this loop is? I've heard it's anywhere from 45 - 60 miles, are there any variations I should know about or is the path pretty straightforward?
      > - How long does the trail follow the JMT, and which section of the JMT will it hit?
      > - Are there any online logs with directions to complete the loop?
      > - I've heard that this route isn't a complete loop through the Sierras. If not, do you know where the trailhead and trailend are? Is there any easy transport to return back to the trailhead in that case?
      > - Is there a particular ranger station I need to call for permits?
      > - Are there any better 45-60 mile treks through the Sierras I should consider? I've
      > already done the top third of the JMT (Red's Meadow -> HI) which was
      > beautiful, but I'd rather not do that part again.
      > I'm hoping September is a good time to go. I've been in the mountain in July (mosquitoes!) and September (no mosquitoes) and it was a much better experience the second time around. Hopefully the same is true this year!
      > Thanks all!
      > Kevin
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