RE: [John Muir Trail] Re: fitting it all in . . . on the JMT. . .
If you’re counting votes I have stayed at McClure and Evolution Lake easily over ten times each and never seen a bear at either. Evolution Lake is a few feet above timber line and probably is not good grazing for bears. As far as I know McClure is not a heavy bear place either.
but . . . I try to camp high.
It seems like the biggest problem when hiking south is coming MTR since that is when most people will be carrying extra food that they cannot fit in their canisters. Heading south, how far and how high would you have to hike to get out of bear country? Anyone? I assume that McClure Meadow would be prime bear habitat, but would you say Evolution lake (10,800 ft) is high enough? That's a 14 mile hike from the ranch, but definitely doable. Or does one need to hike further up the Muir Pass? Now we're talking close to 20 miles but I would rather do that than play around with bears. It seems kind of pointless and irresponsible to go through all that trouble of a resupply and than have a bear snatch half of it. Might as well just resupply with whatever you can fit in a bear can and just plan on going a bit hungry if you are prepared for that anyway. I want to have a good time out there, live with nature, let nature thrive, not fight with it. If that means some extra hiking, then that's what I have to do. So, I guess my question is, based on all your past experiences, how high must one go? I am sure there are other local and seasonal variables at play here too. I guess if one sees fresh bear scat that would be a good sign to keep moving.