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John Muir Trail 2013
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Loren Mauch

Locale: CA-Central Valley
John Muir Trail 2013 on 11/06/2012 21:31:59 MST Print View

I am planning to hike the JMT in 2013. Probably north to south in 2-3 week. I am 50, an experienced long distance hiker, and looking to slow down a bit. This year I hiked 180 miles on the JMT from Mammoth Lakes Duck Pass trail head to Whitney in 9 days, averaging 20 miles a day.

I'll wait to see the snow pack this year to set dates for my trip.

I live in California, in the central valley and I am also looking for a hiking partner for shorter backpacking trips in the Sierras.

Hike On!

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Central Valley on 11/06/2012 22:56:34 MST Print View

Hi Loren,

There are regular outings of BPLers to the Yosemite/Emigrant area. If you watch the trip announcement section of the forum you will surely find a few. In fact, I am planning to head up to Yosemite this weekend from Saturday through Monday and you are welcome to join. This trip is contingent on a decent weather forecast. I hope to hike with you one of these days.

Edited by Davidpcvsamoa on 11/06/2012 22:58:56 MST.

Loren Mauch

Locale: CA-Central Valley
Re: Central Valley on 11/09/2012 13:08:03 MST Print View

Hi David. Thanks for the reply. I hope to hike with you someday. I have done quite a bit of hiking in the Emigrant area as well as Yosemite. I work weekends so for shorter backpacking trips I usually go Wed-Sat AM. That makes finding partners a little harder. Let me know if are are interested in a mid-week trip sometime. Let me know how your holiday weekend trip went. Hike on!

Josh Greninger
Re on 11/30/2012 18:32:21 MST Print View

Did I tire you out old man? ;)
I'm planning to hike the Rae Lakes loop with my girlfriend next year. We will do about 12 miles a day with 1 day rest camping at Rae Lakes. Maybe we will bump into you!
Oh yeah, I was cleaning out my Gorilla pack a few days ago to dye it black and found your stakes! Email me your ship address:

Kyle Meyer

Locale: Portland, OR
John Muir Trail 2013 on 01/26/2013 14:11:51 MST Print View

My wife and I are starting July 7th from Happy Isles. We'll be taking it slow (23 days including a couple zeroes) for photography's sake, so here's hoping we run into some other BPLers.

Erik Dietz

Locale: Los Angeles
JMT 2013 on 01/27/2013 11:49:44 MST Print View

Me and a buddy are doing a section starting out of Mammoth on July 13th. Maybe we will run into some of you.

Loren Mauch

Locale: CA-Central Valley
JMT in August on 02/04/2013 17:28:59 MST Print View

Kyle and Erik,

I plan on starting from Yosemite on August 4th or 5th. I'm not sure we will see each other on the trail, but I wish you well! Have a great trip!

I'm still looking for a partner if anyone is interested!

Hike On!

Leslie Erickson
Starting at Happy Isles on July 3 on 02/12/2013 11:17:47 MST Print View

I'm new on here, and new to long-distance backpacking. I've just secured my permit to start from Happy Isles on July 3, and I'm pumped. I have a lot to prep for and learn (moving from buying meals to dehydrating and preparing my own, for one thing) and I'm happy to find you all here as a resource.

I'm hiking it solo as of now, but I have a second permit I'll keep till near the date in case a friend who's considering joining me does.

Any advice or info is welcome. I'm happy to see the snowfall is a bit below normal, so I'm happy about that!

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Starting July 29 on 02/12/2013 12:02:49 MST Print View

Secured 3 permits for myself and two friends, starting happy isles July 29. We've never been to the Sierra so we plan on going slow and enjoying the walk (18-21 days).

Maybe we'll see some of you!!

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Starting at Happy Isles on July 3 on 02/12/2013 14:06:42 MST Print View

"I'm happy to see the snowfall is a bit below normal, so I'm happy about that!"

An Iowan shouldn't be afraid of a little snow.

The below normal snowpack brings good and bad. The good part is that the trails open up earlier in the summer and dry out quicker with easier stream crossings. That also means that the mosquito season is early and becomes pleasant by late summer. The bad part is that there is reduced snowmelt running off in mid-summer, and some streams will dry up completely. You might have to walk farther between water sources, and the water quality may be worse. The other bad part is that the wildflower season will be early and very brief.


Art ...
(asandh) - F
JMT and Snow Pack Level on 02/12/2013 16:31:51 MST Print View

where are people hearing the snow pack is below normal.
I am hearing that its above normal.
Mammoth has the most snow of any ski area in the country.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
JMT 2013 on 02/12/2013 16:43:15 MST Print View

I'm too am looking at a JMT hike for this summer with my GF. It'll be a late season hike for us though, starting a few days after Labor Day. We'll have about 10 or 11 days, so we'll need to decide if we want to push it and do the whole thing or break it up into two section hikes (~half this year, ~half the next).

We'll do a few shorter trips earlier in the summer throughout the Sierra to see how we're feeling and decide what sort of mileage we feel like keeping up. 20-25 mile days aren't really an issue for us, it's more about how much leisure time for fishing, photography, etc. we want to take advantage of as compared to time on the trail.

Either way, it'll be fun and I'm looking forward to an extended trip... all of these 1-3 night trips the last few years have just been a tease.

If any of you are planning a late summer trip, maybe we'll see you out there.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: JMT and Snow Pack Level on 02/12/2013 17:20:18 MST Print View

"Mammoth has the most snow of any ski area in the country."

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.


Leslie Erickson
Re: Re: Starting at Happy Isles on July 3 on 02/13/2013 11:02:40 MST Print View

I mostly have to drive, not hike, in Iowa snow!

Thanks for your comments. I have been worried about leaving in early July from what I read, hence my happiness with the lower snowfall. I appreciate your comments and will keep that in mind!

George Suchand
(fastnlight) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: JMT in August on 02/15/2013 12:44:32 MST Print View

Hi Loren,

I want to start around that time as well. I was planning on going solo, but wouldn't mind going with someone. You said you plan on 2 to 3 weeks. Any idea how many miles average a day? I'm in early planning stages and I'm trying to forecast my vacation time and how many days I'll need to take off. I know the date for reservations at Happy Isle is coming up in the next few days for that time period as well.

Loren Mauch

Locale: CA-Central Valley
Re: Re: JMT in August on 02/15/2013 22:57:25 MST Print View

Hi George,

I am planning to submit my permit application this weekend. I am planning on starting the 5th of August with 14-16 days on the trail. I am listing the following as my preferences for trailheads in the following order.

Happy Isles to Sunrise pass through
Happy Isles to LYV
Lyell Canyon

My email address is You can contact me if you want to discuss hiking together. Good luck on getting a permit!


Update: I got my permit for August 5th Happy Isles to Sunrise pass through!

Edited by lorenmauch on 02/21/2013 21:46:14 MST.

George Suchand
(fastnlight) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: JMT in August on 02/17/2013 18:35:59 MST Print View

Let me check out Aug 5. Ill get back to you. Thanks.

George Suchand
(fastnlight) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
JMT dates on 02/20/2013 20:28:31 MST Print View

@Loren. Well it looks like I'm going to try for August 9th start, which means getting reservations this Friday. Starting on a Friday or Saturday allows me to use 3 weekends, which I'll need. Did you get your permits for 8/5? I realize the Monday start works for you because of working the weekends. The more I think of it, probably better I go solo. I really like the flexibility, but am a little worried about so much solitary time...might go stir crazy.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: JMT dates on 02/20/2013 22:54:59 MST Print View

Solitary time on the JMT????

Loren Mauch

Locale: CA-Central Valley
Re: Re: JMT dates on 02/21/2013 21:44:43 MST Print View


I wouldn't worry about going crazy from being alone on the JMT. You will meet people on the trail every day and maybe even find someone to hike with along the way if you are flexible on your mileage and plans. I have had some good experiences in making friends on the trail. About 20 years ago I met a guy on the JMT on day three and we hiked the rest of the trail together. We have stayed in touch over the years and become good friends.

You can also find solitude if you want it. You'll just have to be more selective in where you camp.

Have a great adventure!


George Suchand
(fastnlight) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Solo on the JMT on 02/22/2013 12:50:13 MST Print View

@Loren and Nathan, Yeah I certainly expect to see a lot of people on the trail. Ive hiked parts and always seen alot of foot traffic. I was talking more about the social interaction that takes place at camp during meal times, especially breakfast and dinner and of course at the campfire if its allowed. In my experience, this is where a lot of commraderie takes place that just doesnt happen when you are solo unless you are fortunate like you Loren to hookup with another hiker.

Kevin Garrison
(kgarrison) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area
JMT 2013 on 05/04/2013 12:42:35 MDT Print View

I start June 9th from Whitney Portal. Planning 18 day NOBO trip.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
JMT 2013 on 05/15/2013 21:34:07 MDT Print View

Well it looks like I've bitten the bullet and decided that my soon to be 17 year old son and I are going to do the JMT together this year! This is a dream come true for me to have him along! Our plan is to start July 8 ish, as we will be coming from Idaho and looking for a walk up permit. We are pretty flexible; and I've had a couple of good conversations with the Ranger folks about getting permits. Our plan is to start out of Toloumne as we are coming from the east. If we get the right permit, we are looking at dropping down to do Half Dome, then circling back to TM for a re-supply, before finally heading south for good. This will be a great chance to spend some time with my son, as well as help him accomplish a tremendous acheivment. Our timetable is flexible, and I believe that he will be up to some good miles as we become trail hardened!
This will be a very intriguing and interesting logistical work out for me as I go light, but with a bit more caution as I look out for him as well. Keeping the balance of a light pack for him, and a reasonable pack for me will be fun! I imagine that I will carry a few additional items, but the rewards of having him along will make it all the better. Here's to good weather, the trail ahead, and few bugs!

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Starting at Happy Isles on July 3 on 05/17/2013 13:49:58 MDT Print View


Make sure to bring a headnet.

Small bit of weight to keep your sanity if the bugs are out in force.

In 2011 the group that I was in was forced into wearing our rain gear with head nets in Aug to stay sane, but that was just one day of 15 on the trail....Sunrise High Sierra/Sunrise Meadow area???, which is just before you hit Toluome Meadows.

The conditions we had were more like July as the snowfall was 160-200% of normal.

Treating your clothing with Permithrin might be a good idea too with a small dropper bottle of 100% toxic DEET. (Higher percentage of DEET only means that it last longer and does not increase effectiveness).

Should be a trip of a life time for you.

Enjoy it!