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Re: [John Muir Trail] Route Planning Advice

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  • Jim White
    Whitney Portal to Grant Grove is at least 6 hours drive each way. JMT to either Woods or Bubbs Creek to roads end are good options. Jim
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 26, 2013
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      Whitney Portal to Grant Grove is at least 6 hours drive each way. 

      JMT to either Woods or Bubbs Creek to roads end are good options. 

      Jim

      On Jul 26, 2013, at 4:19 AM, "misadventuregear" <misadventuregear@...> wrote:

       

      Aloha Everyone...first post, although I've been lurking for a while reading and learning. There is a lot of great information here, and I appreciate everyone's advice. I am beginning to plan a 21-day thru-hike in July 2014 (my first hike on this trail). My wife's family stays in a cabin at SEKI every year, and I was thinking it would be nice to have my wife pick me up at Whitney Portal/Lone Pine and then join her family for the weekend at their cabin. Their reservation for next year is July 24~27 and they will be staying at Grants Grove. My first question is how long a drive is it from Lone Pine to Grants Grove? The park map does not show a direct drive. Should I consider changing my route to finish at Roads End Permit Station (Hwy 180)and have my wife pick me up there, instead of WP/LP? I could depart the JMT just south of Le Conte Canyon Ranger Station, hike thru part of Simpson Meadow, cross Granite Pass and be picked up at
      Roads End. My TH map says that it 32.3mi to Roads End. Another option is to detour north and pick up Kennedy Creek, cross Kennedy Pass and be picked up at Cedar Grove Visitor Center. Does anyone know the mileage if I did this route? Option #3 would be turn off JMT by Castle Domes and follow Bubbs Creek 15.4 miles to Roads End. If I were to take one of these routes, where could I find a decent topo map/trail guide? Would I be seriously missing out by not sticking to the full JMT route? I want to hike the trail, but I am not such a purist that I won't skip the TM section north of Hwy 120, or backtrack to pick up the 1.7mi section I'd miss by stopping at MTR. What would you do, if this were your first and probably only hike of the JMT?

      Thanks,

      Russell

    • Larry Beck
      If I was you I would do the whole trail. It s a long drive for your wife, and yes, there will be some serious payback due but the crown of the JMT is Mt.
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 26, 2013
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        If I was you I would do the whole trail. It's a long drive for your wife, and yes, there will be some serious payback due but the crown of the JMT is Mt. Whitney.
         
        Larry
        From: misadventuregear <misadventuregear@...>
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 4:19 AM
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Route Planning Advice
         
        Aloha Everyone...first post, although I've been lurking for a while reading and learning. There is a lot of great information here, and I appreciate everyone's advice. I am beginning to plan a 21-day thru-hike in July 2014 (my first hike on this trail). My wife's family stays in a cabin at SEKI every year, and I was thinking it would be nice to have my wife pick me up at Whitney Portal/Lone Pine and then join her family for the weekend at their cabin. Their reservation for next year is July 24~27 and they will be staying at Grants Grove. My first question is how long a drive is it from Lone Pine to Grants Grove? The park map does not show a direct drive. Should I consider changing my route to finish at Roads End Permit Station (Hwy 180)and have my wife pick me up there, instead of WP/LP? I could depart the JMT just south of Le Conte Canyon Ranger Station, hike thru part of Simpson Meadow, cross Granite Pass and be picked up at
        Roads End. My TH map says that it 32.3mi to Roads End. Another option is to detour north and pick up Kennedy Creek, cross Kennedy Pass and be picked up at Cedar Grove Visitor Center. Does anyone know the mileage if I did this route? Option #3 would be turn off JMT by Castle Domes and follow Bubbs Creek 15.4 miles to Roads End. If I were to take one of these routes, where could I find a decent topo map/trail guide? Would I be seriously missing out by not sticking to the full JMT route? I want to hike the trail, but I am not such a purist that I won't skip the TM section north of Hwy 120, or backtrack to pick up the 1.7mi section I'd miss by stopping at MTR. What would you do, if this were your first and probably only hike of the JMT?

        Thanks,

        Russell

      • Jim W
        Another option is do the whole JMT, take a day of R&R in Lone Pine, then do a day hike or overnighter from Onion Valley to Road s End via Kearsarge pass and
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 26, 2013
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          Another option is do the whole JMT, take a day of R&R in Lone Pine, then do a day hike or overnighter from Onion Valley to Road's End via Kearsarge pass and Bubbs creek.  About 24 miles, mostly downhill.

          It's literally faster to walk than drive round trip.


          On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 7:33 AM, Larry Beck <becklaurence@...> wrote:
           

          If I was you I would do the whole trail. It's a long drive for your wife, and yes, there will be some serious payback due but the crown of the JMT is Mt. Whitney.
           
          Larry
          From: misadventuregear <misadventuregear@...>
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Friday, July 26, 2013 4:19 AM
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Route Planning Advice
           
          Aloha Everyone...first post, although I've been lurking for a while reading and learning. There is a lot of great information here, and I appreciate everyone's advice. I am beginning to plan a 21-day thru-hike in July 2014 (my first hike on this trail). My wife's family stays in a cabin at SEKI every year, and I was thinking it would be nice to have my wife pick me up at Whitney Portal/Lone Pine and then join her family for the weekend at their cabin. Their reservation for next year is July 24~27 and they will be staying at Grants Grove. My first question is how long a drive is it from Lone Pine to Grants Grove? The park map does not show a direct drive. Should I consider changing my route to finish at Roads End Permit Station (Hwy 180)and have my wife pick me up there, instead of WP/LP? I could depart the JMT just south of Le Conte Canyon Ranger Station, hike thru part of Simpson Meadow, cross Granite Pass and be picked up at
          Roads End. My TH map says that it 32.3mi to Roads End. Another option is to detour north and pick up Kennedy Creek, cross Kennedy Pass and be picked up at Cedar Grove Visitor Center. Does anyone know the mileage if I did this route? Option #3 would be turn off JMT by Castle Domes and follow Bubbs Creek 15.4 miles to Roads End. If I were to take one of these routes, where could I find a decent topo map/trail guide? Would I be seriously missing out by not sticking to the full JMT route? I want to hike the trail, but I am not such a purist that I won't skip the TM section north of Hwy 120, or backtrack to pick up the 1.7mi section I'd miss by stopping at MTR. What would you do, if this were your first and probably only hike of the JMT?

          Thanks,

          Russell


        • John Ladd
          ... I haven t done this, but I ve been n most of these trails and it does sound like a very feasible option assuming Jim counted the miles right (24 miles
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 26, 2013
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            On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM, Jim W <jimqpublic@...> wrote:
            Another option is do the whole JMT, take a day of R&R in Lone Pine, then do a day hike or overnighter from Onion Valley to Road's End via Kearsarge pass and Bubbs creek.  About 24 miles, mostly downhill.

            I haven't done this, but I've been n most of these trails and it does sound like a very feasible option assuming Jim counted the miles right (24 miles sounds right, but I didn't confirm the number).

            Bubbs Creek Trail is a very fast, direct downhill to Roads End after you go over Kearsage Pass, 2200 foot climb from Onion Valley, and then a short stretch of JMT. You will be in great shape by then and the uphill is over quickly. I would find it a challenging 1-day even with a daypack but an easy 1.5-day with a light pack.

            Presumably you could  have a light pack even if you had a plan to do one overnight. if you felt confident enough to do the whole thing with just a daypack, you could mail most of your gear from Lone Pine and just hike fast and very light. 

            East Side Sierra Shuttle could probably drive you from Lone Pine to Onion Valley TH. Mt Williamson Motel (owned by hikers who are supposed to be good people) might also provide a good place to stay and a shuttle + resupply service.



            Mt. Williamson is providing some special hikers services this year and plans to expand them next year.



             

            John Curran Ladd
            1616 Castro Street
            San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
            415-648-9279
          • Chris
            Russell: I m in a similar situation: At the SOBO end of the JMT, I ll camp 2 nights near Crabtree Meadow, allowing a full day hike to the top of Mt Whitney
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 26, 2013
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              Russell:

              I'm in a similar situation: At the SOBO end of the JMT, I'll camp 2 nights near Crabtree Meadow, allowing a full day hike to the top of Mt Whitney and back down to Crabtree, then I'll hike west out the High Sierra Trail to Giant Forest (the civilized part of Sequoia NP). Next day, bus to Visalia, where my wife picks me up.

              I agree the Mt Whitney end is not-to-be-missed, and you would regret skipping this section. I think the idea of taking the 1 or 1.5 day hike from Onion Valley to Road's End make's sense. Alternatively, if you didn't want to go down into civilization for the night, you could do something similar to what I'm doing, and just hike back over Forester Pass and down to Road's End. But that is quite a bit more walking.

              Good luck!

              Chris.


              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > I haven't done this, but I've been n most of these trails and it does sound
              > like a very feasible option assuming Jim counted the miles right (24 miles
              > sounds right, but I didn't confirm the number).
              >

              >
            • misadventuregear
              Thank you very much for all your suggestions. I really like the idea of the Onion Valley to Roads End hike. My dilema is that I only am able to get 4 weeks
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 28, 2013
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                Thank you very much for all your suggestions. I really like the idea of the Onion Valley to Roads End hike. My dilema is that I only am able to get 4 weeks off of work. I will need a couple of days on each end to travel to and from Hawaii, plus a few days with the wife's family at Grants Grove. That doesn't leave me much time to overnight in LP, then do another 1.5 day hike to Roads End. Perhaps if I cut my time on the JMT to 18 days, I could do it. I had been planning on a 21 day hike, mostly because I have bad knees and didn't want to push too hard in the beginning. I was planning to start out at around 8~10 mile days to start, gradually working up to 15 mile days. To cut three days off the JMT, I will have to aim for some 20 mile days. I know it is doable, but I dont want to make the hike a death march (did enough of those in the Marine Corps, LOL). I have a lot of things to think about as I do my planning. Thanks for your help.

                Russell

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                >
                > On Fri, Jul 26, 2013 at 10:41 AM, Jim W <jimqpublic@...> wrote:
                >
                > > Another option is do the whole JMT, take a day of R&R in Lone Pine, then
                > > do a day hike or overnighter from Onion Valley to Road's End via Kearsarge
                > > pass and Bubbs creek. About 24 miles, mostly downhill.
                > >
                >
                > I haven't done this, but I've been n most of these trails and it does sound
                > like a very feasible option assuming Jim counted the miles right (24 miles
                > sounds right, but I didn't confirm the number).
                >
                > Bubbs Creek Trail is a very fast, direct downhill to Roads End after you go
                > over Kearsage Pass, 2200 foot climb from Onion Valley, and then a short
                > stretch of JMT. You will be in great shape by then and the uphill is over
                > quickly. I would find it a challenging 1-day even with a daypack but an
                > easy 1.5-day with a light pack.
                >
                > Presumably you could have a light pack even if you had a plan to do one
                > overnight. if you felt confident enough to do the whole thing with just a
                > daypack, you could mail most of your gear from Lone Pine and just hike fast
                > and very light.
                >
                > East Side Sierra Shuttle could probably drive you from Lone Pine to Onion
                > Valley TH. Mt Williamson Motel (owned by hikers who are supposed to be good
                > people) might also provide a good place to stay and a shuttle + resupply
                > service.
                >
                > http://www.eastsidesierrashuttle.com/
                >
                > http://mtwilliamsonmotel.com/
                >
                > Mt. Williamson is providing some special hikers services this year and
                > plans to expand them next year.
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > John Curran Ladd
                > 1616 Castro Street
                > San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
                > 415-648-9279
                >
              • Ray Rippel
                Good day, Russell, Nice to hear of another JMT hiker from Hawaii. I m sitting in Kailua as I write this. A couple of quick comments: - In one of the last
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 28, 2013
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                  Good day, Russell,

                  Nice to hear of another JMT hiker from Hawaii. I'm sitting in Kailua as I write this.

                  A couple of quick comments:

                     - In one of the last sections of my book, Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail, I list five possible missteps that can ruin your hike. The first one on the list is this: Don’t let your days available dictate your pace. I think your first instinct is a good one. Start slow and try to do more when you get your trail legs. Do some negotiating with your boss, or your wife (I repeat myself), and make sure you have allotted the days you need. Remember, you probably aren't going to do this every year--most folks will probably be willing to cut you some slack for a once in lifetime experience.

                     - I noted in your original post that you are contemplating starting your hike in July. This year that would have worked fine because we had very little snow. You can't really count on that next year, though. Also, late July can be much different than early July. If the Sierra gets a lot of snow, and particularly if that snow comes late, you may have trouble making your planned mileage as you deal with the white stuff.

                  I'm not sure if you are on Oahu, but if you are, and if you would like to get together to discuss your plans, drop me a line.

                  Good hiking, Ray

                  Ray Rippel
                  Author, Planning Your Thru-Hike of the John Muir Trail




                • jj442434
                  Perhaps if I cut my time on the JMT to 18 days, I could do it. I was planning to start out at around 8~10 mile days to start, gradually working up to 15 mile
                  Message 8 of 13 , Jul 28, 2013
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                    Perhaps if I cut my time on the JMT to 18 days, I could do it. I was planning to start out at around 8~10 mile days to start, gradually working up to 15 mile days. To cut three days off the JMT, I will have to aim for some 20 mile days.

                    I'm planning for 19 days, and I don't have any 20 mile days planned, Say you take 18 days and wanted to stick to your miles per day plan. Then:

                    Happy Isles -> Tuolumne Meadows
                    23.1 miles, 3 days
                    7.7 mpd (more if you do Half Dome)

                    TM -> Red's
                    36.2 mi, 3 days
                    12.07 mpd

                    Red's -> MTR
                    46.4 mi, 4 days
                    11.6 mpd

                    MTR -> Whitney Portal
                    115.9 mi, 8 days
                    14.5 mpd

                    ______________
                    Total
                    221.6 mi, 18 days

                    If you're OK with no zero days (I guess that's a big if), you can do it in 18 days, and still not exceed your mileage goals.

                    But I personally would have to agree with Ray. Don't rush a trip of a lifetime
                  • Luis Velasco
                    but I dont want to make the hike a death march (did enough of those in the Marine Corps, LOL). =) Ooorah Marine. I m 55 yo former Jarhead. Finished a 20 miler
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 3, 2013
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                       but I dont want to make the hike a death march (did enough of those in the Marine Corps, LOL).

                      =)

                      Ooorah Marine.   

                      I'm 55 yo former Jarhead.  Finished a 20 miler yesterday; felt like a death march, yet a self imposed one—had a blast.

                      Have you ever considered the PCT?  Now that’s a hump!

                      • Luis Velasco (Chula Vista, CA) 
                      080213_1426

                      From: misadventuregear <misadventuregear@...>
                      Reply-To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
                      Date: Sunday, July 28, 2013 11:55 AM
                      To: <johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com>
                      Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Route Planning Advice

                       but I dont want to make the hike a death march (did enough of those in the Marine Corps, LOL)
                    • john_friend
                      FYI, this is exactly the plan I just finished last week. 18 days with this exact days between stops (3, 3, 4, 8). We initially planned 20 days total, but
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 3, 2013
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                        FYI, this is exactly the plan I just finished last week. 18 days with this exact days between stops (3, 3, 4, 8). We initially planned 20 days total, but found we could make up a day from Red's to MTR (no stop at VVR) and then I figured I could also make up a day in the 2nd half (which I did).

                        I had three long days (16, 17 and 16 miles) and this was done because of the distance between a couple passes (Muir to Mather and Pinchot to Glen) and my desire to make one pass a day in the second half after Muir and to go over passes in the morning because of severe afternoon weather I was experiencing and the last long day was because I wanted to get all the way down from Whitney to Whitney Portal without camping at Trail Camp. All other days were generally in the 10-14 mile range except for a couple short days (first day and 2nd to last day) which were both positioning days (position yourself for the next day). I had no 20 mile days. For reference, I'm 55 and in avg shape, though I trained extensively before the hike (hiking and muscle building in the gym).

                        For me, the hard part was the relentless passes in the 2nd half. If you don't keep to making one every day after Muir, then you lose a day somewhere and it's pretty difficult to get it back (you'd have to make two passes in a day). The first half is more flexible in that you can vary your mileage a bit more from day to day. We also managed to arrive at Tuolumne, Red's and MTR all by about 2pm so we had time to burn on those days due to prior progress. After arriving at MTR and resupplying, I hiked another 4 miles that evening (in a thunderous rainstorm) to get a head start on the climb up to Muir Pass (with a heavy pack carrying 9 days of food).

                        --John

                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "jj442434" <jj442434@...> wrote:
                        >
                        >
                        > Perhaps if I cut my time on the JMT to 18 days, I could do it. I was planning to start out at around 8~10 mile days to start, gradually working up to 15 mile days. To cut three days off the JMT, I will have to aim for some 20 mile days.
                        >
                        > I'm planning for 19 days, and I don't have any 20 mile days planned, Say you take 18 days and wanted to stick to your miles per day plan. Then:
                        >
                        > Happy Isles -> Tuolumne Meadows
                        > 23.1 miles, 3 days
                        > 7.7 mpd (more if you do Half Dome)
                        >
                        > TM -> Red's
                        > 36.2 mi, 3 days
                        > 12.07 mpd
                        >
                        > Red's -> MTR
                        > 46.4 mi, 4 days
                        > 11.6 mpd
                        >
                        > MTR -> Whitney Portal
                        > 115.9 mi, 8 days
                        > 14.5 mpd
                        >
                        > ______________
                        > Total
                        > 221.6 mi, 18 days
                        >
                        > If you're OK with no zero days (I guess that's a big if), you can do it in 18 days, and still not exceed your mileage goals.
                        >
                        > But I personally would have to agree with Ray. Don't rush a trip of a lifetime
                        >
                      • whcobbs
                        John, (with a heavy pack carrying 9 days of food) . Did you get all this food in a bear canister? if so, what was it? How may calories/day? Congrats on the
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 4, 2013
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                          John,
                          "(with a heavy pack carrying 9 days of food)".
                          Did you get all this food in a bear canister? if so, what was it? How may calories/day? Congrats on the hike.
                          Walt

                          --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "john_friend" <yahoo@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > FYI, this is exactly the plan I just finished last week. 18 days with this exact days between stops (3, 3, 4, 8). We initially planned 20 days total, but found we could make up a day from Red's to MTR (no stop at VVR) and then I figured I could also make up a day in the 2nd half (which I did).
                          >
                          > I had three long days (16, 17 and 16 miles) and this was done because of the distance between a couple passes (Muir to Mather and Pinchot to Glen) and my desire to make one pass a day in the second half after Muir and to go over passes in the morning because of severe afternoon weather I was experiencing and the last long day was because I wanted to get all the way down from Whitney to Whitney Portal without camping at Trail Camp. All other days were generally in the 10-14 mile range except for a couple short days (first day and 2nd to last day) which were both positioning days (position yourself for the next day). I had no 20 mile days. For reference, I'm 55 and in avg shape, though I trained extensively before the hike (hiking and muscle building in the gym).
                          >
                          > For me, the hard part was the relentless passes in the 2nd half. If you don't keep to making one every day after Muir, then you lose a day somewhere and it's pretty difficult to get it back (you'd have to make two passes in a day). The first half is more flexible in that you can vary your mileage a bit more from day to day. We also managed to arrive at Tuolumne, Red's and MTR all by about 2pm so we had time to burn on those days due to prior progress. After arriving at MTR and resupplying, I hiked another 4 miles that evening (in a thunderous rainstorm) to get a head start on the climb up to Muir Pass (with a heavy pack carrying 9 days of food).
                          >
                          > --John
                          >
                          > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "jj442434" <jj442434@> wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Perhaps if I cut my time on the JMT to 18 days, I could do it. I was planning to start out at around 8~10 mile days to start, gradually working up to 15 mile days. To cut three days off the JMT, I will have to aim for some 20 mile days.
                          > >
                          > > I'm planning for 19 days, and I don't have any 20 mile days planned, Say you take 18 days and wanted to stick to your miles per day plan. Then:
                          > >
                          > > Happy Isles -> Tuolumne Meadows
                          > > 23.1 miles, 3 days
                          > > 7.7 mpd (more if you do Half Dome)
                          > >
                          > > TM -> Red's
                          > > 36.2 mi, 3 days
                          > > 12.07 mpd
                          > >
                          > > Red's -> MTR
                          > > 46.4 mi, 4 days
                          > > 11.6 mpd
                          > >
                          > > MTR -> Whitney Portal
                          > > 115.9 mi, 8 days
                          > > 14.5 mpd
                          > >
                          > > ______________
                          > > Total
                          > > 221.6 mi, 18 days
                          > >
                          > > If you're OK with no zero days (I guess that's a big if), you can do it in 18 days, and still not exceed your mileage goals.
                          > >
                          > > But I personally would have to agree with Ray. Don't rush a trip of a lifetime
                          > >
                          >
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