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RE: [John Muir Trail] Your suggestions for some MUST STOP camps?

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  • robert shattuck
    What are some of your favorite must camp spots along the trip? Paul, You ll find the best camp spots usually when you don t need one, like just after you ve
    Message 1 of 19 , Jun 13, 2012
      "What are some of your favorite must camp spots along the trip?" 

      Paul, 

      You'll find the best camp spots usually when you don't need one, like just after you've left camp in the morning––turn the corner and there's a fine little spot––better view, flatter, whatever. You'll just come across a lot of nice places to stay, but most people seem to camp in all the same places and you can't usually go wrong, or get your own little patch of solitude. 

      My next goal is to camp on all the last four passes. They all have small spots for one or two people, or a very small tent. I stayed on Glen one night. You just have to remember to bring up enough water and of course, a warm bag. 

      I would say that the only draw-back to some of the best places, is water. You get there, amazed and you'd like to stay, but you don't have enough water, so you keep going. 

      If you get a pass-thru on LYV or you are planning to make it all the way to Sunrise on your first (or second ) day, I would suggest, if you don't like crowds, bugs and bears, that you dry-camp up on the crest, summit, plateau, "flat part," before descending down into Sunrise. 

      You'll know you're there after you spend a good many hours climbing up from LYV, passing the HD junction and then getting into the switch-backs. If we are lucky this year there will be a decent trickle of water off to the right of the switch-backs, but this might be the year that it really is, bone dry. I would guzzle as much water as you can and keep a good amount with you. When you get up through the switch-backs the trail flattens out for a few hundred yards and off to the right there are lots of flat sandy spots to make a dry-camp. 

      Views aren't too bad, bugs are minimal (compared to down in Sunrise) and I've never come across a bear, as they are, again, down in Sunrise. Better yet all the noise from the High Sierra horse campers isn't up there. 

      The few times I've stayed in Sunrise, it was always noisy from the HS staff and all the people that come in on horse-back. Annoying. 
      ___________

      Getting up Lyell Canyon is usually a good days work for most people. And if you get a late start, you might end up camping, legally, after you get to Vogelsang Junction. But Lyell Canyon is one of the places where the bears seem to roll out of the hills, like rocks, once the lights go out. 

      For this reason, and if you get an early start, most people always seem to get through the flat valley and just up into the switch-backs a ways––they stay there at the "Horse Bridge" area. It's loud with water, which I dislike. it's in the trees, no views, and all I've ever heard from people is, it was buggy. 

      If you cross the bridge and keep going another 15 or more minutes, you come to a lovely meadow with plenty of space to camp and plenty of water, but again, I have always heard this is another buggy spot. 

      If you've got the steam, cross the stream, and you won't be disappointed––you go up literally about five switch-backs . . . one long one from the two or three short ones and then another long one that  brings you to another meadow, a nice small lake and some serene lakeside spots . . . but of you follow the trail a few more yards, you come to another crossing, heading up to Donahue. 

      Don't cross, but turn around. go up into the rocks and you'll find a very sweet spot, good for two tents and a view back down into the canyon. I've still not explored this entire rocky area, but I know there are at least three prime spots as well as a number of small ones. 

      And I've always had this place to myself, no bugs, bears, very few, if any people . . . everyone chooses to stay down in the trees, but so did I the first time I did the trail. I've done it a number of times now and the toughest thing about staying in all these great secret spots is that you, once you've done it a few times, know how far you can get each day––lately, I've just been a little more relaxed and since I know what's ahead, I slow down (or speed up) and promise myself that stopping a little early today won't be such a bad thing.


      Bob
      http://www.summitpost.org/plans/view_activity.php?post_id=6480




      To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
      From: ppatmag@...
      Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2012 14:29:30 +0000
      Subject: [John Muir Trail] Your suggestions for some MUST STOP camps?

       
      We are heading out of YV on the 23rd for WP. THis is my first trip down the trail, and we are planning on 21 days. Are there any (I know theres tons) areas where we really must shoot to camp at? My goal is to have an amazing camp every night. What are some of your favorite must camp spots along the trip?

      Thanks,
      Paul


    • alex
      I too recommend Garnet Lake. We arrived exhausted and late at the lake in mid-September 2011 and I don t think we ventured as far around as Richard suggests.
      Message 2 of 19 , Jun 13, 2012
        I too recommend Garnet Lake. We arrived exhausted and late at the lake in mid-September 2011 and I don't think we ventured as far around as Richard suggests. Here's a video I took the next morning. I still need to upload all of my photos form last September!

        http://goo.gl/Bwn4z

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "sanfran_rwood" <MrRedwood@...> wrote:
        >
        > If you choose to stop at Garnet Lake, head back along the north shore far beyond the obvious sites near the trail until you get to the big low peninsula sticking down into the lake. A few very nice spots, and many more that aren't quite perfectly flat, but you'll wake up staring up at sunlit Banner Peak across the water.
        >
        > See my photos from last September at http://goo.gl/O7k14 and http://goo.gl/nN7dT
        > --
        > Richard
        >
        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <ppatmag@> wrote:
        > >
        > > We are heading out of YV on the 23rd for WP. THis is my first trip down the trail, and we are planning on 21 days. Are there any (I know theres tons) areas where we really must shoot to camp at? My goal is to have an amazing camp every night. What are some of your favorite must camp spots along the trip?
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > > Paul
        > >
        >
      • cjoslyn99
        This may not have been a legal campsite based on distance from the water, but last year (7/13) we camped on the little peninsula that reaches out into Emerald
        Message 3 of 19 , Jun 14, 2012

          This may not have been a legal campsite based on distance from the water, but last year (7/13) we camped on the little peninsula that reaches out into Emerald Lake (about half way b/w 1000 Island Lake and Ruby Lake).

          http://www.meetup.com/the-other-original-bay-area-backpack-meetup/photos/2597491/#43711761


          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <ppatmag@...> wrote:
          >
          > We are heading out of YV on the 23rd for WP. THis is my first trip down the trail, and we are planning on 21 days. Are there any (I know theres tons) areas where we really must shoot to camp at? My goal is to have an amazing camp every night. What are some of your favorite must camp spots along the trip?
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Paul
          >

        • Greg Hummel
          From the peninsula camps on the north side of Garnet Lake you have a great view of the ridge on the south side. Several years ago when I camped there, my
          Message 4 of 19 , Jun 14, 2012
            From the peninsula camps on the north side of Garnet Lake you have a great view of the ridge on the south side. Several years ago when I camped there, my "geologic eye" observed a brownish-red rock layer exhibited in that ridge that suggests it is severely contorted, folded and faulted.  Just another piece of the metamorphic "roof pendants" in that spectacular area.

            Greg Hummel

            Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks in the world” 
            ― Forest Gump
          • M L
            Last summer we were going to camp at Garnet Lake, and walked along the shore to the inviting-looking rocky peninsula. But it was full of noisy boy scouts and
            Message 5 of 19 , Jun 14, 2012
              Last summer we were going to camp at Garnet Lake, and walked along the shore to the inviting-looking rocky peninsula.  But it was full of noisy boy scouts and piles of trash.  We retraced back to the bridge, crossed over and continued on the trail up the hillside.  When nearly to the top (and getting very tired especially since there were lots of snowbanks last summer) we found a beautiful little spot on the right side, just after a bend, that perched above the lake with a view of lake and mountains.  Clear signs of previous impact, so a legal site.  Enjoyed it very much and got a nice rest after a long day.

              Mina



              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
              From: p_alexander_harvey@...
              Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2012 05:03:52 +0000
              Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Your suggestions for some MUST STOP camps?

               
              I too recommend Garnet Lake. We arrived exhausted and late at the lake in mid-September 2011 and I don't think we ventured as far around as Richard suggests. Here's a video I took the next morning. I still need to upload all of my photos form last September!

              http://goo.gl/Bwn4z

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "sanfran_rwood" <MrRedwood@...> wrote:
              >
              > If you choose to stop at Garnet Lake, head back along the north shore far beyond the obvious sites near the trail until you get to the big low peninsula sticking down into the lake. A few very nice spots, and many more that aren't quite perfectly flat, but you'll wake up staring up at sunlit Banner Peak across the water.
              >
              > See my photos from last September at http://goo.gl/O7k14 and http://goo.gl/nN7dT
              > --
              > Richard
              >
              > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Paul" <ppatmag@> wrote:
              > >
              > > We are heading out of YV on the 23rd for WP. THis is my first trip down the trail, and we are planning on 21 days. Are there any (I know theres tons) areas where we really must shoot to camp at? My goal is to have an amazing camp every night. What are some of your favorite must camp spots along the trip?
              > >
              > > Thanks,
              > > Paul
              > >
              >


            • Chris
              Too many... but a couple favorites: 1) Evolution canyon near evolution lake. Simply amazing. 2) Just north of stream crossing near quail meadows, on the
              Message 6 of 19 , Jun 14, 2012
                Too many... but a couple favorites: 1) Evolution canyon near evolution lake. Simply amazing. 2) Just north of stream crossing near quail meadows, on the west side of the trail is a large flat spot, near a small waterfall. 3) just south of Joaquin River bridge, on south side of trail. Flat with Joaquin river right over your shoulder. And like everywhere else, great view.

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Greg Hummel <Bighummel@...> wrote:
                >
                > From the peninsula camps on the north side of Garnet Lake you have a great view of the ridge on the south side. Several years ago when I camped there, my "geologic eye" observed a brownish-red rock layer exhibited in that ridge that suggests it is severely contorted, folded and faulted. Just another piece of the metamorphic "roof pendants" in that spectacular area.
                >
                >
                > Greg Hummel
                >
                >
                >
                > “Sometimes, I guess there just aren't enough rocks in the world”
                > ― Forest Gump
                >
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