Day 4: Selden Pass

22 July 2020 Florence Lake Trail to Muir Trail Ranch to Marie Lakes (8 miles, +3,700/-800 feet). Today we headed two miles down to Muir Trail Ranch to get our resupply buckets.  There is a sign to Muir Trail Ranch, but there was a cryptic amendment posted below that was somewhat confusing.  

Day 3: Fifteen Miles!

21 July 2020 Evolution Lake to Florence Lake Trail (14.6 miles, +800/-3,900 feet). Today was another monsoon day in the Sierra, but we were far from any peaks and our only job was down, down, down, so we stayed dry.  We made great time (Bee’s Knees loves “bonus miles!”) and set ourselves up nicely to get our…

Day 2: Storm on Muir Pass

20 July 2020 JMT Bishop Pass Trail to Evolution Lake (12.1 miles, +3,500/-1,400 feet). Even though we were at lower elevation and in a nice campsite last night, most of us had trouble sleeping.  I was especially worried about this because today was quite possibly the most challenging day of the trip.  With monsoon conditions promising thunderstorms…

Day 1: Bishop Pass

19 July 2020 Long Lake to LeConte Canyon (9.9 miles, +1,600/-3,600 feet). Today we spent the whole day just getting to the John Muir Trail.  But the trail we were on over Bishop Pass was itself extremely beautiful in ways I did not expect—even though I’ve been here before! Sunrise on Long Lake was amazing.  I was…

Day 0: Night of the Comet

18 July 2020 South Lake to Long Lake (2.1 miles, +1,200/-300 feet). Today we started our two-thirds-of-the-John-Muir-Trail adventure! First I had to rent a monster truck to carry my wife and our friends and all our gear to Bishop. Then we had to drive from San Diego to Los Angeles airport, grab said friends, and get to…

Slip Slidin’ Away

Red Cones to Horseshoe Lake (6 miles, +1,500/-1,200 feet). Today was super chill.  We rented a place in Mammoth for tonight, but check in was not until 4pm, so we took our time getting up.  We had a long breakfast, and then Geo, Bee’s Knees, Ultrashuffle, and I climbed up to the top of Red…

Red Cones

Fox Meadow to Red Cones (12 miles, +3,400 feet/-1,100 feet). Today we thought we might only make it to Rainbow Falls to camp.  But that area is very close to the developed areas around Reds Meadow, and it is dusty and mostly in a burn zone.  I was hopeful we would have enough energy to…

Fox Meadow

Marsh Lake to Fox Meadow (10 miles, +900/-3,500 feet). I finally slept well last night.  I was still having flashbacks to my nearly-fatal river crossing, but it only took about an hour to mellow out and drift away. I was up before dawn with Ultrashuffle, sitting by the fire and making coffee. Finder found a…

Long Canyon

Marsh Lake Trail to Long Canyon and return (9 miles, +1,800/-1,100 feet). I had a really tough time falling asleep last night. I kept replaying the nearly-fatal river crossing in my head, over and over.  My worst memory was me just holding onto the trunk, falling around on the surface of the water, watching my…

Fish Creek Almost Killed Me

Iva Bell Hot Springs to Marsh Lake Trail (7 miles, +1,900/-700 feet). Today was, in nearly all respects, another beautiful day with friends in the woods. But it was also the worst day of my life. Don’t worry, I will explain. The morning started uneventfully as we packed up from our lovely campsite. We started…

Iva Bell Hot Springs

Crater Creek to Iva Bell Hot Springs (10 miles, +1,900/-1,800 feet). I slept well last night, so I was eager to get up and start the day.  Ultrashuffle beat me to the punch, but not before the end of yet another gorgeous predawn light display. Eventually we all woke up, ate breakfast, and were packed…

Crater Creek

Twin Lakes to Crater Creek (11 miles, +1500/-3000 feet). I’m really lucky I get to do two trips with Ultrashuffle this year.  And on this first one, he brought family and friends! We originally planned to hike from Mammoth to Yosemite Valley on the John Muir Trail, but it’s been a huge snow year and…