The Moon is Waning Gibbous (94% of Full)

Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts

Yosemite Valley

Advanced

Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 01, 2012 10:37PM
Hi folks. There's a high likelihood I'll be hiking the JMT this July, heading southbound from Happy Isles to Mt. Whitney. I figured I see if anyone here has any suggestions to make this trip the best it can be.

I don't have a permit reservation. How hard will it be to get a walk up permit for Sunrise/Merced Lk pass thru? It looks like there are only 4 available FCFS. How early should I show up at the wilderness office to maximize my chances of getting a permit?

I'm planning on resupplying at Red's Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch. From MTR, I'm considering try to hoof it all the way to Whitney. Alternatively, I would hike out over Kearsarge Pass and then hitch into Independence for a resupply. I'm also trying to convince two friends to meet me along the trail or atop Kearsarge with a resupply. That's what friends are for after all, right? smileys with beer

For people who have done this before, is it worth adding the time off trail for a resupply to be able to take a slower pace through the MTR->Whitney stretch? Are there any particular areas that you enjoyed and recommend I spend more time in? I'm planning on taking 21-25 days in total.
avatar Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 01, 2012 11:03PM
You could reserve a permit to Illilouette the first night: either Glacier Point->Illilouette or Happy Isles->Illilouette. It would add an extra day, but both trailheads have plenty of open days in July. The first gets you started on the awesome Panorama Trail, while the second woud have you do every mile of the JMT, though there would be some backtracking to get back on the JMT after going to Illilouette for your first night's camp.
avatar Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 01, 2012 11:04PM
avatar Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 02, 2012 07:01AM
You prob. need to get to the permit office the day BEFORE by 11am.
I think they really don't want you hanging around for hours on end and
sleeping in line anymore... thus the change in permit handling.

My favorite parts were around Silver Pass and Palisade Lakes / Mather Pass / Upper Basin.
Rae Lakes IMHO is overrated.

Maybe you can resupply at Roads End and skip Rae Lakes area...
do that loop some other time ....
Or just go home when you hit Roads End. (that's what we did) (although that was the plan from the get go)

I guess all the other backpackers who look at this forum are still in hibernation... (sans a couple)



Picasa Pictures
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 02, 2012 07:07AM
The other option you have for resupply is to have a packer bring in your stuff - expensive, but an option.

I would list out preferred trailheads and make a run at a walk up permit the day before I wanted to start hiking - but be ready to start the day I walk in. If you go in midweek your chances of a walk up are increased. Also remember that reserved permits are turned loose if no one claims them, and that happens every day. You should double check on whether the Red's Meadow area is open before you start, too, because there were tons of downed trees in the windstorm last November, and a notice on the NF website states that while they are working diligently to clear roads and trails there's still closures and lots of trees down. That includes the JMT south of Reds. It's not closed, but it could get tedious fast climbing over a tree or working around every quarter mile or so... If the road is still closed, even if you mailed yourself a box at Reds it may not get there.
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 03, 2012 05:05PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I hadn't really considered a non-HI start, but I guess that's a good back up plan. I'll be starting midweek, so hopefully showing up to the permit office the day before at 11AM should be good enough.

AlmostThere: thanks for the info about the damage around Red's, I'll keep an eye on that as the date gets closer. 10,000 downed trees was the estimate.. that must have been one hell of a wind storm.
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 04, 2012 07:44PM
On our last JMT hike we chose to resupply at Tuolumne (post office,) Reds Meadow, Muir Trail Ranch and our neigbors packed in our last resupply to Charlotte Lake. This was our first trip to Charlotte Lake and it was a bit of a disappointment...I wished we would've met at Kearsarge Lakes.

On our first JMT hike we had one resupply...period...at the Muir Trail Ranch. Both hikes were 28 days.

I would suggest convincing a friend to meet you at Kearsarge Pass with your last resupply.


I think that the downed tree struation in Reds shouldn't effect the resort...they did a lot of work in the area before "winter" arrived.


And the Rae Lakes experience depends on location, location, location. (Don't camp near the bear boxes.)
avatar Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 04, 2012 09:52PM
hikerchicky, I personally was probably a bit disappointed in Rae Lakes because
soooooo many people do that loop and they talk it up so much. I dunno.
For sure it is spectacular... but it just didn't blow me away... maybe I shouldn't
have hiked all the way up there in one day. I had the entire area to myself since
it had just snowed the day prior. I did think Charlotte Dome was amazing tho...
I just got something for domes I guess.
smiling smiley



Picasa Pictures
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 04, 2012 11:13PM
It appears that the quotas for trailheads have been significantly reduced. Does anyone know whats up with that? To answer your question I think your resupply plan is a good one. Whether or not to resupply after MTR depends IMO on how much time you plan to finish your trip in. Having friends meet you around Charlotte lake would be ideal. If you plan to hike over Kearsarge I would suggest leaving a package in the bear box at the Onion Valley parking lot, which is totally permissable. Just write your info, like when your plan to pick it up on the box. That way you can pitch your tent at Charlotte, leaving your gear behind and hike the 15 miles to go over Kearsarge and back in a day. If you're not in a hurry it's worth it to stop at VVR. The food is pretty good and the first beer is on the house! You can enjoy being served a real dinner and breakfast and the enviorment is friendly and condusive to meeting other hikers. Also you can pitch your tent there for free and take a shower and wash your clothes for a fee.
avatar Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 05, 2012 04:40AM
Quote
rob
It appears that the quotas for trailheads have been significantly reduced. Does anyone know whats up with that?
What trailheads. For two years in a row now Yosemite has been doing a backpacker survey
with the intent of altering the TH quotas to "improve" things. So, since I sort of have an interest in that realm,
I saved the TH quotas from 2 years ago... and looking at it and comparing it to
http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/trailheads.htm
It's the exact same. I asked last year what the deal was and they said they were doing the survey for
another year. I'll ask again soon what is up.
So I presume you are talking th quotas elsewhere.
???



Picasa Pictures
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 05, 2012 09:27AM
I could be wrong but my memory is there were more permits for Happy Isles to Sunset/Merced Lake (pass-through). In any event I'll count myself lucky for getting permits on the first day I faxed in my application for three out of four years! Maybe the ease that I got them with scewed my memory into into thinking there must have been more. I mentioned that you could hike out of Charlotte lake to pick up a package in Onion Valley and wanted to add that you could also camp alongside the trail or at Kearsarge lake to cut off some mileagef. There is no camping at Bullfrog lake.
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 05, 2012 11:38AM
I don't think permit quotas in Yosemite have changed in years. Remember distinctly in 2009 worrying that there were only 6 reservable HI passthru permits per day and I needed 5 of those for our group. But I faxed in my application on the first available day and got the permits. This year there are still 6 reservable passthru slots, and it was probably the same even 20 years ago.

What I think has changed though, is the popularity of long trails in general, and the John Muir Trail in particular. In the last couple of years I've see numerous postings on all the backpacking boards asking for advice in securing JMT permits. So the demand has gone up, but not the supply. Not sure what the park service can do about that, because if they increased the number of permits that would make the trail more crowded and the experience less of a wilderness one. A conundrum.
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 05, 2012 12:56PM
How do other popular trails deal with this?
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 05, 2012 01:50PM
Quote
jackolive
How do other popular trails deal with this?

I would say something ala Half Dome or Mt Whitney permits, which coincidentally are practically the start and end of the JMT.
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 05, 2012 10:05PM
Quote
rob
If you plan to hike over Kearsarge I would suggest leaving a package in the bear box at the Onion Valley parking lot, which is totally permissable. Just write your info, like when your plan to pick it up on the box.

I asked this exact question to a Inyo NF ranger and was told that the TH bear boxes are not intended to be used as food caches for JMT thru hikers and that food may be removed by the rangers. Does that actually happen, or is it just the official (unenforced) line?
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 06, 2012 10:36PM
I backpacked over Kearsarge pass last summer and I investigated all of the bear lockers, I think there are about 4-5 and saw that there were about 6-8 stashes of food/bear atractants. Most of them were bags left behind by backpackers who did'nt want to leave any goodies to attract bears to their cars. There were at least two subsatanial packages left behind by thru-hikers. They had their names on them with dates to let people know, including rangers I presumed, when they expected to pick them up. One was sealed in a box to be picked up soon and one was past dated by a couple weeks or so and people had been raiding it. I think I've demonstrated that my memory can play tricks on me but I think there were rules posted saying it was OK to leave a catche there if you dated it and picked it up within a certain time. Maybe the fact that it seemed to be practiced by other backpackers who got away with it made me think it was safe to do. Lets assume it's not OK to catche food. At the least the bear lockers are there so you can do an out and back trip and not leave any goodies in your car, just like Yosemite. People meet at the trailhead and decide to leave some food, car snacks, etc. behind all the time. So as long as you don't leave a huge amount of food behind how is a ranger to know the difference? It certainly was not being enforced when I was there. As a person who generally respects the rangers job and backcountry rules believe I would have noted to myself if I had thought it was not permissable, but I can't give a definitive answer. One thing I do know is that they don't want you to catche food in the bear lockers in the backcountry, though I have wondered how often they get inspected and emptied. I'm planning to do the JMT this year have debated about what to do about resupply after MTR. Since I plan to just take seven days to finish from there I'm leaning toward just carrying all of my food with me.
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 17, 2012 09:26PM
There are signs in every bear locker I looked in between Kearsarge and Crabtree Meadow not to leave food or trash. There was also trash. There was also two really scroungy looking guys rifling through the trash - we confronted them opening our bear locker in Vidette, and they said they had run out of food a few days ago and were getting "leftovers" out of boxes.

Of course, had we been out fishing, no telling how many of our "leftovers" they would have had for dinner.
Re: JMT resupply recommendations and general thoughts
May 16, 2012 07:48AM
The ranger that was at Charlotte Lake conviscated unattended food/supply stashes (despite drop off/pick up dates,) from the bear boxes and hikers had to contact him to retrieve them. Had to find him first... (2008)


Again, I would stay at Kearsarge Lakes, rather than Charlotte, although the fishing was good at Charlotte.





chick-on...one time we nearly did get "blown away" at Rae Lakes...lightning struck very close one afternoon. Despite being inside the tent (with our eyes closed,) you could see the light flash through closed eyelids. And it was like a dynamite blast with a huge concussion.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login