With our spur of the moment decision to take off and go do the JMT, my son and I are debating where to start. Coming in from the East from Idaho, I wasn't planning on going into the valley and trying to start at Happy Isles. I grew up in the Valley, and we can go back and hike that section some other time. I really thought that the best bet would be to try for a walk up permit in TM. I've been on the phone lots checking for cancellations, and have had numerous talks with the Rangers. The general consensus is that if you are willing to wait a day or two, and are willing to get in line really early, chances are good for a permit. BUT, coming from Reno, we are three hours from the Permit station, and that plan could easily eat up two days of time. Soooo, Plan B was to just start off at Rush Cr, and hike the 6 miles into the JMT and catch it at Thousand Island Lake. We will miss the Lyell Canyon, and a couple of initial passes, but overall I'm thinking this is still a good compromise, and would allow us to walk up and start our hike with no issues.
So, some feedback? Has anyone 1) tried for a walk up permit with any success; remember, its high use time i.e. July 8-9, 2) Done the hike in from Rush Cr and is it a good option to think about.
thanks for the feedback
(I will continue to check on canellations from Lyell)