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Kris Sherwood
(Tuskadero) - F

Locale: Washington State
JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/14/2011 18:09:56 MDT Print View

Question for all that have already completed the JMT. What is everyone's opinion on the best swimming along the trail as well as cliff jumping in to lakes? Being a Western Washington guy, I love late summer alpine lake swimming and jumping high in to those deep alpine lakes. Would love some tips on some good spots to stop on my thru hike in late August.

Thanks!

Robert Perkins
(rp3957)

Locale: The Sierras
JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/14/2011 22:02:07 MDT Print View

I'll list a few sites from North to South that I like. Most are more like good wading/shallow diving spots, but a couple places are dive-able.

-Lyell Canyon has lots of wading holes and flat rocks that the river slides into pools.
-Garnet Lake has a few spots to shallow dive from.
-Good swimming hole on Fish Creek between tully Hole and the bridge crossing.
-Squaw Lake.
-Bear Creek has numerous swimming holes and flat rocks to warm up on.
-The inlet to Evolution Lake. Lots of small pools, and rocks to warm up on.
-Woods Creek has numerous pools, some take a little finding to locate, but worth it.
-Rae Lakes has a lot of places to jump off rocks, including a couple little island/rock outcroppings that for some odd reason have a little warmer water in and around them.
-Tyndall creek.
-Guitar Lake has a few jump-off spots.

I love the invigoration that cold Sierra water gives me. It is like a boost for me in the warm afternoons, and I can usually push on for quite a few more miles after taking a plunge. All of the water is FREEZING A%S COLD, but if you time it right the surface temps of some of the lakes warm up a bit. Hope that helps.

Edited by rp3957 on 05/15/2011 09:36:19 MDT.

Kris Sherwood
(Tuskadero) - F

Locale: Washington State
Re: JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 13:03:05 MDT Print View

Awesome list! Thanks for the tons of info!

Robert Perkins
(rp3957)

Locale: The Sierras
JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 15:11:53 MDT Print View

Kris, Happy swimmin' and jumping! Have a great trip. When are you doing the JMT? I'll be out mid August maybe we'll run across each other.

Kris Sherwood
(Tuskadero) - F

Locale: Washington State
Re: JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 16:07:55 MDT Print View

Robert, we enter Happy Isles on Aug 24...15 days. I'm looking forward to it beyond description. Especially as I write this looking out the window at another miserable Seattle rainy day.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 16:17:53 MDT Print View

One of the danger spots is very early in the trip. Tourists will get to the top of Nevada Falls, then wade out into the river current to try to shoot a photo looking over the edge. An extra wave hits them and...

Sometimes the bodies can't even be recovered due to the jumble of boulders at the base.

--B.G.--

Robert Perkins
(rp3957)

Locale: The Sierras
JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 17:59:44 MDT Print View

Bob, Nothing like a little up-beat optimism to add to the thread. Anyone dumb enough to go swimmin' or jumpin' above a waterfall probably aint the 'sharpest knife in the drawer', and I'm pretty sure Kris would be smart enough not to go swimming or wading above a waterfall. Thanks for throwing a nice 'buzz-kill' into an otherwise cool question.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 18:35:05 MDT Print View

"Anyone dumb enough to go swimmin' or jumpin' above a waterfall probably aint the 'sharpest knife in the drawer' "

Yes, but it happens a lot in Yosemite. Death in water (drowning or falls) is one of the biggest causes of death in the park.

Nah, once he gets to Lyell Canyon, he will need to cool off. I've been in those deep spots on the Lyell Fork.

--B.G.--

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT: Best swimmin & jumpin on 05/15/2011 20:06:41 MDT Print View

038
Lyell Fork

114
Palisade Lakes

127
Rae Lakes
I don't think there is any bad swimming holes or creaks on the entire JMT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 21:15:45 MDT Print View

Cheat a little bit. From Reds Meadow Store (7755'), take the Rainbow Falls Trail and then turn left a mile before the falls, onto the Fish Creek alternate route. You thus avoid the pumice slog up the JMT/PCT to Virginia Lake and Tully Hole. Descend into the Fish Creek canyon to a great camping area just across the bridge over Fish Creek (at 6360'). Turn left and climb gently to Ida Bell Hot Springs (at 7150'). total 11 miles.

Be advised, these popular hot springs are very definitely "clothing optional". All the clothing we saw was hanging on trees or on the ground. Be prepared to wait your turn for a pool.

There are no signs to these pools, but there are use trails. There are four pools - two down low in the meadow and two more up the hill. The higher ones are hotter. There are several large, well-used hard-packed campsites by the lower pools. If you come around a long, sweeping curve and out of the trees and are facing switchbacks, you've gone 100 yards too far. Turn around and look for a use trail going off to the left. Plan to camp here.

The next day (start early), you pay for all this with an 8 mile 2000' climb back up to rejoin the JMT/PCT (at 9190')south of Tully Hole.

Both routes - JMT and Fish Creek - are almost exactly the same number of miles and close to the same elevation gain/loss.

=======

If you are re-supplying at Muir Trail Ranch, you take the 3/4 mile long short-cut trail steeply down 900' to the Florence Lake Trail that leads to MTR. There are hot springs pools south of the ranch, along and across the San Joaquin River. I haven't visited them, but you must ford the river to reach them. The Florence Lake Trail then leads you 1.5 miles gently south, back to the JMT near the San Joaquin River crossing.

Enjoy.

Edited by wandering_bob on 05/15/2011 21:23:14 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/15/2011 21:41:54 MDT Print View

"There are hot springs pools south of the ranch, along and across the San Joaquin River."

That's Blaney Hot Spring. The main part is a pool with a warm water spring in the center. Then there is another small hot tub. It's not a bad place to go as long as the San Joaquin River depth isn't great.

--B.G.--

Kris Sherwood
(Tuskadero) - F

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: JMT: Best Swimmin & Jumpin on 05/16/2011 13:15:28 MDT Print View

Bob I promise I will stay well away from falls and fast water!

Jay, I knew I could count on you for some killer pics of swim spots to hit!