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Re: [John Muir Trail] Bubbs Creek TH into JMT section hike

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  • Ewa Bialkowski
    John, you are an absolute gem. Thank you so much for all your help and advice. You have certainly earned a beer or a bottle of wine, whichever you prefer. [?]
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2011
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      John, you are an absolute gem. Thank you so much for all your help and advice. You have certainly earned a beer or a bottle of wine, whichever you prefer. 


      On Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 10:39 AM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:

      I originally planned this as a private e-mail to Ewa, but it may have some information of use to other section hikers planning a Kings Canyon entry point to the JMT.  You can go up Paradise Valley (more gradual but adds considerable mileage if you are heading to SoBo.  Or Bubbs Creek, steeper and much shorter.  Paradise Valley will add mileage both between the TH and the JMT and has you on the JMT for more miles.  On the other hand, the JMT section you miss going up Bubbs is quite pretty.

      My comments to Ewa, whose husband plans to use Bubbs Creek, with some added comments for the other direction.

      You may compete with TH quotas with Rae Lakes loop in the counterclockwise direction (up Bubbs and back Paradise).  If so, that's better than the clockwise direction as most people doing the loop prefer to go that way (more gradual uphill on day one).  I'd apply for the permit as soon as they open up.

      Paradise is probably a still-harder entry permit since you compete with clockwise Rae Lakes Loop hikers (the more popular direction)

      His first day will be a long, steady uphill climb.  Warn him that there are no campsites in the last three miles before the junction with the JMT itself (just North of Vidette Meadow on the JMT).  Last campsite before that junction is at Junction Meadow, which will be 11 uphill miles from his TH. Once you get past that point, the slope precludes even a small-footprint tentpad until the junction with the JMT at mile 14 or so from the TH.  I know because I once left Vidette after dinner in the falling light, assuming I could find a tent site for my small-footprint bivy before long.  It was the full 3 miles before I found one at Junction Meadow.  Since I was going downhill, it wasn't awful but the approaching darkness did concern me.

      As it turned almost pitch black, I found a nice campsite at Upper Junction Meadow.  For him directions would be:

      Leave Bubbs Creek trail on the spur going to his right at an angle about his mile 11 and elevation about 8200 ft.  Just before the spur trail crosses Bubbs Creek itself, there's a large campsite on his left.  Bearbox is on the opposite side of the creek.

      There used to be a bear that liked to hang out along Bubbs Creek trail.  I saw her at mile 7 or so from his TH. 
      There are two bearboxes near mile 11.  But they may be a bit hard to find. I don't recall seeing them, but I didn't look hard since all my food at that point easily fit my bearcan.

      See map locations and directions to find

      Lower Junction Meadow Mile 10.5 or so and about 8100 ft


      Upper Junction Meadow Mile 11 or so and about 8200 ft


      BC05 requires an otherwise unnecessary stream crossing to, and then from, the box.  So BC04 is probably the best bet.  It is about 1/2 mile short, however, of the campsite I used which is nearer BC05.

      If you go to this map you can see where the box is located:


      This siting data is from climber.org

      For Paradise Valley entry.  Unfortunately, there are no bear boxes between Upper Paradise (mile 11 at 6900 ft) and Woods Creek (mile 17 at 8500).  So if you have more food that fits in your bearcan, you have to either go a very long day or stop at mile 11.  There are LOTS of bears on this trail (esp between miles 6 and 11) so don't even think about half-hearted food protection methods.

      Bearbox info here:


      Unless you are very tough, or can fit all your food in your bearcan even on night one, you probably want the box at waypoint WC04 or WC05 (Upper Paradise).

      There is a nice, large, very obvious campsite at mile about 12, but no bearbox there.  If you can fit everything in the bearcan, it's a better campsite than the often overpopulated Upper Paradise.

      John Curran Ladd
      1616 Castro Street
      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707

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