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Country: United States
Begins: Aug 20, 2010
Date: Wed, Aug 4th, 2010
Start: Happy Isles
End: Little Yosemite Valley
Daily Distance: 5
Trip Distance: 5.0
Daily Ascent: 2649
Daily Descent: 527
Entry Lat: 37.733436
Entry Lng: -119.514406
Entry Visits: 432
Journal Visits: 1,588
Guestbook Views: 107
Guestbook Entrys: 0
John Muir Trail Map
Had an interesting night in the backpacker's campground. Being so close to everyone made it inevitable that snoring would be heard. The sawing logs on top of the pre-trip jitters made for a restless night. It was also quite warm, and I slept on top of my sleeping bag for most of the night.
Woke up around 8 or so, and were one of the last people out of our tents. What can I say, Kaitlin and I are heavy sleepers! We let someone borrow one of our gas canisters to make coffee, and took pictures of a group that was also starting the JMT today. We headed over to Curry Village where we went to the breakfast buffet. A guy in front of us had an extra ticket so he paid for Kaitlin! He joked that he would pay for me but she was much cuter. I would have to agree. Our "last meal" was amazing, as we scarfed down bacon, eggs, french toast, hash browns, and fruit, among other things.
After our breakfast, we walked to the car where we dropped off our clothes and picked up our packs. We made final calls to our family. I had to detail to my parents where I parked the car, as they would be picking it up in a couple weeks when they were to hike over Kearsarge pass for a resupply. Kaitlin had a mini-breakdown because of the nerves, but once we were on the trail all worries faded away.
We finally started hiking around 11, and entered the chaos of the Mist Trail. I have done this hike a few times, and while scenic, is very crowded. Plus, it is funny to start the JMT walking on pavement! Of course we took the obligatory start photos at the trailhead sign. We passed a group of boy scouts who were complaining and lying on the side of the trail after about half a mile of walking.
Kaitlin and I hiked at a leisurely pace where we met the trail junction of the Mist Trail and the official JMT. We opted to take the official route because we had hiked up the Mist Trail the previous spring, and wished for a little more solitude. Despite the large elevation gain and the hot weather, we got to the top of Nevada falls in good time. Probably due to the tremendous views offered on this stretch of trail.
Had lunch on top of Nevada Falls. Our usual lunch consisted of tortillas, peanut butter and jelly, bars, skittles, trail mix, gatorade, and beef jerky. It got quite old by the end of the trip. A very inquisitive squirrel we named Frederick kept trying to eat our food, and had no fear of us.
After lunch we hiked the remaining 1 or 2 miles to Little Yosemite Valley, where we would be spending our first night. LYV is a backcountry campground that was made because the overwhelming number of people who want to backpack in Yosemite would overwhelm the area if dispersed camping were allowed. Each site has a bear-proof locker and large solar composting toilets are available for use. When we pulled into the campground in the early afternoon most of the sites were already full, but we found a nice one towards the back that was relatively secluded. The highlight of the day was definitely swimming in the Merced River. Just a couple hundred yards from LYV the Merced ambles downstream before it falls violently over Nevada and Vernal falls. There is a nice sandy beach where most people were congregating, but we went 50 yards or so further away to have some seclusion. It was great to rinse off, especially because it was so hot.
We made dinner, recorded our first day's diary on video, and promptly hit the tent. Our worries and fears about the trip seemed to fly out the window once we started hiking, and both of us slept like logs. There was some screaming from fellow campers about a bear, but we never saw or heard it. LYV is king of notorious for bears because they know they can get a pretty reliable food source from the careless campers.
The John Muir Trail passes through a land of 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks, of lakes in the thousands, and of canyons and granite cliffs. It's also a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest climate of any major mountain range in the world. The John Muir Trail is 211 miles long and runs (mostly in conjunction with the PCT) from Yosemite Valley to Mt Whitney, in California.