Amanda--In my opinion it's as they say, six of one half a dozen of the other. You've run the numbers. The 1285' gain and 7.1 mile (Harrison figures) JMT to Onion valley trek is indeed shorter and less of an elevation gain/steep climb than the JMT to So. Lake route at 3222' and 12.6 miles.
I've never hiked in over Bishop pass only out. I've done Kearsarge both ways. My is experience with Kearsarge is that it is a marvel of consistent grading and an easy on the feet trail. However that is no recommendation to go north. Either way is good and not lacking in scenery if there is such a thing in the Sierras.
Have fun out there.
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 16:53:29 +0000
Subject: [John Muir Trail] Bishop Pass vs Kearsarge pass
For those who may have hiked both, please check my thinking here.
I am planing to hike in via Bishop Pass and hike southbound exiting at Kearsarge Pass. I am thinking that entering via Bishop Pass (although longer) should be less of a steep climb than entering from Kearsarge Pass. And if I am not mistaken, exiting from Kearsarge Pass should be shorter and les of a climb than exiting from Bishop. Anyone think that I should go northbound instead?