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8955RE: [John Muir Trail] North Lake / South Lake Loop preparations

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  • Don Amundson
    Jun 1, 2010
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      I haven't hiked this hike entirely but have done parts of it. It goes from South Lake to North Lake. It's supposed to be 54.5 miles according to my resources. For permits go to this site. This is a popular area so getting a ride from one trail head to the other shouldn't be too hard.  You could park your car at the trail head your going to finish at and catch a ride to the other trail head.  I'm coming out at South Lake on a Aug. hike and will have my car waiting for me there.

      For permits go to this site.  http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/inyo/recreation/wild/permitsres.shtml

      There is some great info about this hike amongst others in Trekking California by Paul Richins Jr.


      Have fun.

      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      From: hikingjmt@...
      Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2010 11:37:46 -0700
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] North Lake / South Lake Loop preparations


      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!

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