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Horseshow Meadows

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  • steveddy54
    There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few
    Message 1 of 17 , Feb 10, 2014
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      There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..


      Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.
    • Hextstatic
      Hi, We hiked out of Horseshoe last year after two days at 10,000 acclimatising and a great day in the Cottonwood lakes area. We then set off over Cottonwood
      Message 2 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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        Hi,

        We hiked out of Horseshoe last year after two days at 10,000' acclimatising and a great day in the Cottonwood lakes area.
        We then set off over Cottonwood pass to Chicken Spring Lake (5 Miles) for the first night, Rock Creek (8 Miles) for the second and Crabtree meadows (6 Miles) for the third.
        The PCT/JMT junction is then within a mile depending on camp site or route planned.
        Because we were planning this hike from the UK we booked Paul Freitham from Lone Pine although I suspect it would be possible to thumb a lift up the hill.
        We used the Golden Trout Wilderness map from Tom Harrison, however this leaves a little gap from just before Rock Creek until over Guyot pass where the JMT map pack takes over. We used Rangers Matt's map to check but it's pretty straightforward.

        Overall this route worked well for us, we wanted to walk north bound, did not plan a Whitney summit, spent a week in Owens valley dropping off re-supply buckets and acclimatising and we could ensure we had a permit prior to booking flights.

        Horseshoe/Cottonwood camp site can be a little noisy, quieter on the southern camp site than near the Cottonwood trail-head where there are also plenty of horses and the water pit toilet seemed over used.

        Hope that helps.

        Cheers

        Nick









        On 11 February 2014 05:22, <steveddy54@...> wrote:
         

        There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..


        Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.




        --
        Nixx

        hext.knight@...

        Please consider the environment before printing this email
      • Deborah Rhoton
        Tom Harrison map Mt Whitney High Country covers the area. Sent from my iPhone
        Message 3 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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          Tom Harrison map "Mt Whitney High Country" covers the area. 

          Sent from my iPhone

          On Feb 10, 2014, at 11:22 PM, <steveddy54@...> wrote:

           

          There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..


          Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.

        • Steve Eddy
          Thanks. You answered all my questions! We are planning on a North Bound trip through the JMT. Our first choice will be entering through the Whitney Portal.
          Message 4 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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            Thanks. You answered all my questions! We are planning on a North Bound trip through the JMT. Our first choice will be entering through the Whitney Portal. Leaving from Horseshoe Meadows will  be our back up plan in the event that we are not Whitney Lottery winners.


            On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:08 AM, Hextstatic <hext.knight@...> wrote:
             

            Hi,

            We hiked out of Horseshoe last year after two days at 10,000' acclimatising and a great day in the Cottonwood lakes area.
            We then set off over Cottonwood pass to Chicken Spring Lake (5 Miles) for the first night, Rock Creek (8 Miles) for the second and Crabtree meadows (6 Miles) for the third.
            The PCT/JMT junction is then within a mile depending on camp site or route planned.
            Because we were planning this hike from the UK we booked Paul Freitham from Lone Pine although I suspect it would be possible to thumb a lift up the hill.
            We used the Golden Trout Wilderness map from Tom Harrison, however this leaves a little gap from just before Rock Creek until over Guyot pass where the JMT map pack takes over. We used Rangers Matt's map to check but it's pretty straightforward.

            Overall this route worked well for us, we wanted to walk north bound, did not plan a Whitney summit, spent a week in Owens valley dropping off re-supply buckets and acclimatising and we could ensure we had a permit prior to booking flights.

            Horseshoe/Cottonwood camp site can be a little noisy, quieter on the southern camp site than near the Cottonwood trail-head where there are also plenty of horses and the water pit toilet seemed over used.

            Hope that helps.

            Cheers

            Nick









            On 11 February 2014 05:22, <steveddy54@...> wrote:
             

            There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..


            Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.




            --
            Nixx

            hext.knight@...

            Please consider the environment before printing this email


          • Lynn Alexander
            Due to the rim fire last September we switched our hike from SB to NB getting a last minute permit out of Horseshoe Meadows. We camped there the night before
            Message 5 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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              Due to the rim fire last September we switched our hike from SB to NB getting a last minute permit out of Horseshoe Meadows. We camped there the night before our start, and left early the next morning. We used Mammoth Taxi to get there, and appreciated their promptness, but there are likely less costly alternatives. We had lunch at pretty Chicken Spring lake, and made it to Rock Creek before dark for our first night. We got to Crabtree and the JMT about noon on day 2.  I'd do it again, we enjoyed this section, and really appreciated how easy getting the permit was compared to the Yosemite & Whitney lottery insanities. We used the Tom Harrison Whitney area map.


              On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 5:08 AM, Hextstatic <hext.knight@...> wrote:
               

              Hi,

              We hiked out of Horseshoe last year after two days at 10,000' acclimatising and a great day in the Cottonwood lakes area.
              We then set off over Cottonwood pass to Chicken Spring Lake (5 Miles) for the first night, Rock Creek (8 Miles) for the second and Crabtree meadows (6 Miles) for the third.
              The PCT/JMT junction is then within a mile depending on camp site or route planned.
              Because we were planning this hike from the UK we booked Paul Freitham from Lone Pine although I suspect it would be possible to thumb a lift up the hill.
              We used the Golden Trout Wilderness map from Tom Harrison, however this leaves a little gap from just before Rock Creek until over Guyot pass where the JMT map pack takes over. We used Rangers Matt's map to check but it's pretty straightforward.

              Overall this route worked well for us, we wanted to walk north bound, did not plan a Whitney summit, spent a week in Owens valley dropping off re-supply buckets and acclimatising and we could ensure we had a permit prior to booking flights.

              Horseshoe/Cottonwood camp site can be a little noisy, quieter on the southern camp site than near the Cottonwood trail-head where there are also plenty of horses and the water pit toilet seemed over used.

              Hope that helps.

              Cheers

              Nick









              On 11 February 2014 05:22, <steveddy54@...> wrote:
               

              There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..


              Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.




              --
              Nixx

              hext.knight@...

              Please consider the environment before printing this email


            • ravi_jmt2013
              Is it easy to get a campsite at Horseshoe Meadows? It is a first-come-first-served campground and, according to the Inyo website, limits stays to just one
              Message 6 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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                Is it easy to get a campsite at Horseshoe Meadows?  It is a first-come-first-served campground and, according to the Inyo website, limits stays to just one night.  Last year I briefly considered a northbound option due to concern over the Rim fire but other than the more complex logistics, I was afraid of not being able to properly acclimatize prior to the hike.  Turned out that southbound worked out well given my start date and pace and, of course, it was much easier at the start.


                I can see why Horseshoe Meadows is a popular option for a northbound JMT thru hike. I can't really imagine hiking UP the Whitney Portal trail with a backpack loaded with enough food to get to MTR!  I didn't particularly enjoy hiking down that trail even with a nearly empty pack.

              • Lynn Alexander
                We arrived about 6 pm on the Thursday after labor day, and all the campsites were taken. But there were lots of forest areas between the sites, so we just set
                Message 7 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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                  We arrived about 6 pm on the Thursday after labor day, and all the campsites were taken. But there were lots of forest areas between the sites, so we just set up our tent in some trees, and no one bothered us.


                  On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM, <ravi@...> wrote:
                   

                  Is it easy to get a campsite at Horseshoe Meadows?  It is a first-come-first-served campground and, according to the Inyo website, limits stays to just one night.  Last year I briefly considered a northbound option due to concern over the Rim fire but other than the more complex logistics, I was afraid of not being able to properly acclimatize prior to the hike.  Turned out that southbound worked out well given my start date and pace and, of course, it was much easier at the start.


                  I can see why Horseshoe Meadows is a popular option for a northbound JMT thru hike. I can't really imagine hiking UP the Whitney Portal trail with a backpack loaded with enough food to get to MTR!  I didn't particularly enjoy hiking down that trail even with a nearly empty pack.


                • Terry
                  I ve had the same experience with the camp being full with a late arrival. I m just there to sleep and get acclimated. I just set my tent up somewhere
                  Message 8 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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                    I've had the same experience with the camp being full with a late arrival. I'm just there to sleep and get acclimated. I just set my tent up somewhere between sites and still pay of course. What worked well for me was to hang out in the nearby picnic area which is not crowded. I used the picnic tables to cook and get organized and then just cruised over to my tent to sleep. I once saw a guy pitch his tent 5 feet from the outhouse. A crappy spot but the rangers don't seem to care. The bear boxes get pretty full but I left some stuff in one for a week with no problems
                  • Steve Eddy
                    For those who started at Horseshoe meadows: Did you complete the entire JMT, and if so how many days did you take and where did you stop for resupplying?
                    Message 9 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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                      For those who started at Horseshoe meadows: Did you complete the entire JMT, and  if so how many days did you take and where did you stop for resupplying?


                      On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 6:48 PM, Terry <apeman45@...> wrote:
                       

                      I've had the same experience with the camp being full with a late arrival. I'm just there to sleep and get acclimated. I just set my tent up somewhere between sites and still pay of course. What worked well for me was to hang out in the nearby picnic area which is not crowded. I used the picnic tables to cook and get organized and then just cruised over to my tent to sleep. I once saw a guy pitch his tent 5 feet from the outhouse. A crappy spot but the rangers don't seem to care. The bear boxes get pretty full but I left some stuff in one for a week with no problems


                    • cehauser1
                      I d like to take my dad on a trip to summit Mt Whitney from the east side. We d leave from Horseshoe Meadow, summit Whitney, then backtrack back to Horseshoe
                      Message 10 of 17 , Feb 11, 2014
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                        I'd like to take my dad on a trip to summit Mt Whitney from the east side.  We'd leave from Horseshoe Meadow, summit Whitney, then backtrack back to Horseshoe Meadow.  He's 73, and in good shape.


                        Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of Cottonwood Pass versus New Army Pass?  I've heard New Army Pass is 1000 feet higher, but the trail east of Cottonwood Pass is very sandy and slow.  Any suggestions would be helpful.


                        Thanks,


                        Chris.




                      • Larry Beck
                        Cottonwood Pass is easier and it s only about 10K elevation I think. New Army is 12K-ish I think. Larry ________________________________ From:
                        Message 11 of 17 , Feb 12, 2014
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                          Cottonwood Pass is easier and it's only about 10K elevation I think. New Army is 12K-ish I think.
                           
                          Larry
                          From: "cehauser1@..." <cehauser1@...>
                          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:50 PM
                          Subject: [John Muir Trail] RE: Horseshow Meadows
                           
                          I'd like to take my dad on a trip to summit Mt Whitney from the east side.  We'd leave from Horseshoe Meadow, summit Whitney, then backtrack back to Horseshoe Meadow.  He's 73, and in good shape.

                          Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of Cottonwood Pass versus New Army Pass?  I've heard New Army Pass is 1000 feet higher, but the trail east of Cottonwood Pass is very sandy and slow.  Any suggestions would be helpful.

                          Thanks,

                          Chris.



                        • Lynn Alexander
                          We went over Cottonwood. I was so busy enjoying the scenery, I didn t notice any difficulty with the trail in September. Your trip sounds fun.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Feb 12, 2014
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                            We went over Cottonwood. I was so busy enjoying the scenery,  I didn't notice any difficulty with the trail in September.  Your trip sounds fun.

                            On Feb 11, 2014 10:50 PM, <cehauser1@...> wrote:
                             

                            I'd like to take my dad on a trip to summit Mt Whitney from the east side.  We'd leave from Horseshoe Meadow, summit Whitney, then backtrack back to Horseshoe Meadow.  He's 73, and in good shape.


                            Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of Cottonwood Pass versus New Army Pass?  I've heard New Army Pass is 1000 feet higher, but the trail east of Cottonwood Pass is very sandy and slow.  Any suggestions would be helpful.


                            Thanks,


                            Chris.




                          • Lynn Alexander
                            Horseshoe meadow is at 10,000 New Army pass is 12,300, Cottonwood pass is at 11,200 and you can get right on the PCT at the top of the pass & lunch at pretty
                            Message 13 of 17 , Feb 12, 2014
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                              Horseshoe meadow is at 10,000 New Army pass is 12,300, Cottonwood pass is at 11,200 and you can get right on the PCT at the top of the pass & lunch at pretty Chicken Spring lake.

                              On Feb 12, 2014 8:54 AM, "Larry Beck" <becklaurence@...> wrote:
                               

                              Cottonwood Pass is easier and it's only about 10K elevation I think. New Army is 12K-ish I think.
                               
                              Larry
                              From: "cehauser1@..." <cehauser1@...>
                              To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 10:50 PM
                              Subject: [John Muir Trail] RE: Horseshow Meadows
                               
                              I'd like to take my dad on a trip to summit Mt Whitney from the east side.  We'd leave from Horseshoe Meadow, summit Whitney, then backtrack back to Horseshoe Meadow.  He's 73, and in good shape.

                              Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of Cottonwood Pass versus New Army Pass?  I've heard New Army Pass is 1000 feet higher, but the trail east of Cottonwood Pass is very sandy and slow.  Any suggestions would be helpful.

                              Thanks,

                              Chris.



                            • Marion Davison
                              ... I ve done variations on this trip several times. Cottonwood starts out with a slog thru sand, then a lot of switchbacks, then you are right on the PCT.
                              Message 14 of 17 , Feb 12, 2014
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                                cehauser1@... wrote:
                                > I'd like to take my dad on a trip to summit Mt Whitney from the east
                                > side. We'd leave from Horseshoe Meadow, summit Whitney, then backtrack
                                > back to Horseshoe Meadow. He's 73, and in good shape.
                                >
                                >
                                > Can someone please tell me the pros and cons of Cottonwood Pass versus
                                > New Army Pass? I've heard New Army Pass is 1000 feet higher, but the
                                > trail east of Cottonwood Pass is very sandy and slow. Any suggestions
                                > would be helpful.
                                >
                                I've done variations on this trip several times. Cottonwood starts out
                                with a slog thru sand, then a lot of switchbacks, then you are right on
                                the PCT. It's a long walk with minor ups and downs over to the Rock
                                Creek area. If I were doing your trip I would return from Whitney by
                                going up the Rock Creek trail (very pretty) and go over New Army Pass.
                                Yes, it is 800 feet higher but it is very spectacular country. The lake
                                basin on the east side is very beautiful and the trail offers a lot of
                                variety. I find the sandy slog of Cottonwood boring and tedious, and
                                it is hard on my old knees (the view is nice, though). My husband is 75
                                and he loves this part of the country. There is good camping in several
                                places along Rock Creek, and good campsites close to the junction of
                                Rock Creek trail and New Army pass trail (water there too). Good
                                camping at Long Lake after you get over New Army Pass.
                                If you have trouble getting a permit, you can get a no-quota permit for
                                Trail Pass (also leaving from Horseshoe Meadow). It gets you on the PCT
                                in a pretty easy 2 miles uphill, then you walk around about 5 miles and
                                find yourself on top of Cottonwood Pass. There is water along the way,
                                about halfway.
                              • John Ladd
                                I asked a similar question last year. Based on what I heard, I decided to go New Army Pass to Rock Creek on Day 1 of my hike (Aug 30) and it felt like a very
                                Message 15 of 17 , Feb 15, 2014
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                                  I asked a similar question last year. Based on what I heard, I decided to go New Army Pass to Rock Creek on Day 1 of my hike (Aug 30) and it felt like a very long first day. 

                                  If doing it again, I'd do New Army Pass but probably do a very short day 1, stopping a bit short of NAP on day one and then hiking day 2 from there, over the pass, and down to the PCT. Probably plan night 3 a bit North of Crabtree.

                                  I got someone to meet me at Whitney Portal and drive my car to Yosemite Valley. That way he could leave his car at the Portal. We were therefore both hiking toward out cars. Lots of people would take you up on a similar deal. I had many people offer to do this for me after posting a proposal here and on the Facebook JMT group. Lots of people would love to leave their cars at the Portal.

                                  I used Paul Frethiem (spelling?) of East Side Sierra Shuttle to take me from the Portal to Horseshoe. He was timely and his price was quite reasonable. I had no trouble finding an open campsite.

                                  Before getting to the Portal, I acclimated one night at Four Jeffrey drive-in campground (8500 feet) in Inyo NF

                                  I skipped Whitney. Done that and it is very crowded.

                                  I hiked Horseshoe to MTR without a resupply, planning on taking 10 days. It took me 12 and I had to ration food more than optimal, despite a very big bearcan (16 inch Bearikade)

                                  If I did it again, I'd leave a resupply at Onion Valley trailhead and take a light-pack day to retrieve it, staying 2 nights near the junction of JMT and Kearsarge pass trail before and after the trip out to get the resupply.

                                  If doing it again, I'd plan 14 days Horseshoe to MTR, with the short day 1 (stopping short of NAP) and one day to get the resupply over Kearsarge Pass on Day 7 or so. Most other days would be about 10 miles each, which for me would be a nice pace. I think inadequate food and a too-hard first day made the trip unnecessarily hard. 

                                  If I wanted to get to Whitney, I'd add one more day for a pack-free trip there and  back.

                                  I usually think of 12 miles as a normal day for me in the Sierra. But the big passes of the South half of the JMT (and a 52 lb pack at the start to accommodate all the food) made 12-a-cays too hard for me. Once I got tired, and was rationing food to make it last, it was hard to get back in the 12-a-day groove.

                                  Obviously, many would do it differently. Just my take on the route after my experience last year.


                                  John Curran Ladd
                                  1616 Castro Street
                                  San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                  415-648-9279


                                  On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 9:22 PM, <steveddy54@...> wrote:
                                   

                                  There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..


                                  Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.


                                • John Ladd
                                  Here s last year s thread on the comparison of Cottonwood and New Army https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/johnmuirtrail/conversations/topics/25633 John Curran
                                  Message 16 of 17 , Feb 15, 2014
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                                    Here's last year's thread on the comparison of Cottonwood and New Army


                                    John Curran Ladd
                                    1616 Castro Street
                                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                    415-648-9279


                                    On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 9:51 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                    I asked a similar question last year. Based on what I heard, I decided to go New Army Pass to Rock Creek on Day 1 of my hike (Aug 30) and it felt like a very long first day. 

                                    If doing it again, I'd do New Army Pass but probably do a very short day 1, stopping a bit short of NAP on day one and then hiking day 2 from there, over the pass, and down to the PCT. Probably plan night 3 a bit North of Crabtree.

                                    I got someone to meet me at Whitney Portal and drive my car to Yosemite Valley. That way he could leave his car at the Portal. We were therefore both hiking toward out cars. Lots of people would take you up on a similar deal. I had many people offer to do this for me after posting a proposal here and on the Facebook JMT group. Lots of people would love to leave their cars at the Portal.

                                    I used Paul Frethiem (spelling?) of East Side Sierra Shuttle to take me from the Portal to Horseshoe. He was timely and his price was quite reasonable. I had no trouble finding an open campsite.

                                    Before getting to the Portal, I acclimated one night at Four Jeffrey drive-in campground (8500 feet) in Inyo NF

                                    I skipped Whitney. Done that and it is very crowded.

                                    I hiked Horseshoe to MTR without a resupply, planning on taking 10 days. It took me 12 and I had to ration food more than optimal, despite a very big bearcan (16 inch Bearikade)

                                    If I did it again, I'd leave a resupply at Onion Valley trailhead and take a light-pack day to retrieve it, staying 2 nights near the junction of JMT and Kearsarge pass trail before and after the trip out to get the resupply.

                                    If doing it again, I'd plan 14 days Horseshoe to MTR, with the short day 1 (stopping short of NAP) and one day to get the resupply over Kearsarge Pass on Day 7 or so. Most other days would be about 10 miles each, which for me would be a nice pace. I think inadequate food and a too-hard first day made the trip unnecessarily hard. 

                                    If I wanted to get to Whitney, I'd add one more day for a pack-free trip there and  back.

                                    I usually think of 12 miles as a normal day for me in the Sierra. But the big passes of the South half of the JMT (and a 52 lb pack at the start to accommodate all the food) made 12-a-cays too hard for me. Once I got tired, and was rationing food to make it last, it was hard to get back in the 12-a-day groove.

                                    Obviously, many would do it differently. Just my take on the route after my experience last year.


                                    John Curran Ladd
                                    1616 Castro Street
                                    San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                    415-648-9279


                                    On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 9:22 PM, <steveddy54@...> wrote:
                                     

                                    There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..


                                    Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.



                                  • Edwardo Rodriguez
                                    Now you guys got me thinking. Am pushing up my date to go on the JMT to about June 18. If I go NOBO I rather go up Cottonwood Pass. Did the Portal trail, now
                                    Message 17 of 17 , Feb 15, 2014
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                                      Now you guys got me thinking. Am pushing up my date to go on the JMT to about June 18. If I go NOBO I rather go up Cottonwood Pass. Did the Portal trail, now with the PCT coming up next year made me think to hit the passes more or less the same time I will be next year. If I go NOBO am resupplying at Independence, South Lake (don't want to carry 9 days of food) VVR maybe TM. Do I go the social way and go SOBO or a lone trekking going NOBO


                                      On Saturday, February 15, 2014 9:56 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                       
                                      Here's last year's thread on the comparison of Cottonwood and New Army


                                      John Curran Ladd
                                      1616 Castro Street
                                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                      415-648-9279


                                      On Sat, Feb 15, 2014 at 9:51 PM, John Ladd <johnladd@...> wrote:
                                      I asked a similar question last year. Based on what I heard, I decided to go New Army Pass to Rock Creek on Day 1 of my hike (Aug 30) and it felt like a very long first day. 

                                      If doing it again, I'd do New Army Pass but probably do a very short day 1, stopping a bit short of NAP on day one and then hiking day 2 from there, over the pass, and down to the PCT. Probably plan night 3 a bit North of Crabtree.

                                      I got someone to meet me at Whitney Portal and drive my car to Yosemite Valley. That way he could leave his car at the Portal. We were therefore both hiking toward out cars. Lots of people would take you up on a similar deal. I had many people offer to do this for me after posting a proposal here and on the Facebook JMT group. Lots of people would love to leave their cars at the Portal.

                                      I used Paul Frethiem (spelling?) of East Side Sierra Shuttle to take me from the Portal to Horseshoe. He was timely and his price was quite reasonable. I had no trouble finding an open campsite.

                                      Before getting to the Portal, I acclimated one night at Four Jeffrey drive-in campground (8500 feet) in Inyo NF

                                      I skipped Whitney. Done that and it is very crowded.

                                      I hiked Horseshoe to MTR without a resupply, planning on taking 10 days. It took me 12 and I had to ration food more than optimal, despite a very big bearcan (16 inch Bearikade)

                                      If I did it again, I'd leave a resupply at Onion Valley trailhead and take a light-pack day to retrieve it, staying 2 nights near the junction of JMT and Kearsarge pass trail before and after the trip out to get the resupply.

                                      If doing it again, I'd plan 14 days Horseshoe to MTR, with the short day 1 (stopping short of NAP) and one day to get the resupply over Kearsarge Pass on Day 7 or so. Most other days would be about 10 miles each, which for me would be a nice pace. I think inadequate food and a too-hard first day made the trip unnecessarily hard. 

                                      If I wanted to get to Whitney, I'd add one more day for a pack-free trip there and  back.

                                      I usually think of 12 miles as a normal day for me in the Sierra. But the big passes of the South half of the JMT (and a 52 lb pack at the start to accommodate all the food) made 12-a-cays too hard for me. Once I got tired, and was rationing food to make it last, it was hard to get back in the 12-a-day groove.

                                      Obviously, many would do it differently. Just my take on the route after my experience last year.


                                      John Curran Ladd
                                      1616 Castro Street
                                      San Francisco, CA  94114-3707
                                      415-648-9279


                                      On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 9:22 PM, <steveddy54@...> wrote:
                                       
                                      There was a discussion in the past month regarding an alternate trailhead to access the JMT from the South out of Horseshoe Meadows Campground. I have a few questions: 1. How many trail miles is it from Horseshoe Meadows Campground to the JMT/PCT junction near Guitar Lake? 2. How to get from Lone Pine to the Horseshoe Meadows Campground. 3. What maps cover this area? The maps and guidebooks I have do not extend South beyond the guitar Lake area..

                                      Thanks for your help. This site is proving an excellent planning resource.




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