JMT Schedule

As a summary of my 18-day schedule to traverse the entire JMT (as well as the travel/planning logistics needed


Research.  Purchase a couple books.  Read the Yahoo! JMT Group.  Learn logistics and planning needs.

March 2-9

Submit permit requests for the lottery via Fax.  I obtained my permit in the 8th attempt to start the hike August 24 from Happy Isles.  I got the “Golden Ticket” for the entire JMT.


Travel reservations, planning, gear purchase, planning, food decisions, planning, training, planning and sending resupply packages.  I ended up sending the following:

  • A large box to myself via FedEx to a FedEx office in Turlock, CA so I didn’t have to check in my backpack on the flight out.
  • A resupply bucket to Muir Trail Ranch, three weeks before I was to arrive (originally Day 10).
  • A resupply bucket to myself to the Tuolumne Meadows Post Office to pick up on Day 3.
  • A box of return travel needs (e.g. clothes, iPad, toiletries,…) to the Dow Villa Motel where I was staying after the hike.

August 23

Planes, busses and automobiles in order to get to Yosemite.

  • Flight from Columbus to Sacramento (through Chicago)
  • Rental Car from Sacramento to Merced, CA.
    • Stop in Turlock to pick up FedEx box and purchase fuel, lighter and matches.
  • Dinner in Merced
  • YARTS bus from Merced to Yosemite Valley (The Majestic Yosemite Hotel)
  • 1/2 mile walk to the Backpackers Camp

Amazingly, all schedules were on time and there were no hitches.

August 24

Woke up early and walked back to the Majestic to catch the Yosemite Valley Shuttle bus to the Wilderness Center.  Picked up my permit, received the Leave No Trace lecture, and took a bus to Happy Isles to start my hike.  I was on the trail at 9:30am (earlier than I expected).

Trail Schedule

(click on link of the day # for the report for that day)

Day Start End Wenk Campsite Mileage Incline Notable
1 Happy Isles Little Yosemite Valley 1.01 11.9 4800 Half Dome
2 Little Yosemite Valley Upper Cathedral Lake 1.18 12.7 3700 Long Meadow, Cathedral Pass
3 Upper Cathedral Lake Lyell Forks 2.09 15.2 Tuolumne Meadow resupply, Lyell Canyon
4 Lyell Forks Garnet Lake 4.09 13.3 3000 Donohue Pass, Ritter Range, Thousand Island Lake, Ruby Lake, Garnet Lake
5 Garnet Lake Reds Meadow Resort 4.21 14.0 1000 Minarets, Shadow Lake, Devils Postpile
6 Reds Meadow Resort Purple Lake 05.05 13.5 3000 Red Cones
7 Purple Lake Vermillion Valley Resort VVR Tent Cabin 15.6 2000+ Lake Virginia, Cascade Valley, Squaw Lake, Silver Pass
8 Vermillion Valley Resort Bear Creek N/A 2.8 400+ Meals and rest at VVR, Bear Creek Cutoff Trail
9 Bear Creek Sallie Keyes Lakes 07.04 15.8 3700 Bear Creek, Marie Lake, Selden Pass
10 Sallie Keyes Lakes Evolution Meadow 07.24 13.6 1400 MTR Resupply
11 Evolution Meadow Wanda Lake 07.38 11.0 2100 Evolution Valley, McClure Meadow, Evolution Lake, Evolution Basin, Sapphire Lake, Wanda Lake
12 Wanda Lake Dear Meadow/Palisade Creek 08.32 17.0 1400 Muir Pass, Muir Hut, Helen Lake, Star Camp, LeConte Canyon
13 Dear Meadow/Palisade Creek South Fork Kings River 09.06 12.5 3200 Golden Staircase, Palisade Lakes, Mather Pass, Upper Basin
14 South Fork Kings River South Fork Woods Creek 10.08 14.1 2900 Lake Marjorie, Pinchot Pass, Golden Gate of the Sierras
15 South Fork Woods Creek Upper Bubbs Creek 11.12 13.2 2900 Arrowhead Lake, Rae Lakes, Glen Pass
16 Upper Bubbs Creek Bighorn Plateau 12.09 12.1 3200 Forester Pass, Bighorn Plateau
17 Bighorn Plateau Guitar Lake 12.21 9.8 1000 Guitar Lake
18 GuitarLake Whitney Portal   15.3 3000 Mt.Whitney

September 10/11

After arriving at Whitney Portal, I was able to join the shuttle bus that Hilda and Sebastian had reserved as the last rider (avoiding having to hitchhike).  I stayed at the Dow Villa Motel for two nights cleaning up, recuperating and getting my gear packed up to be checked in for the flight home.

September 12

6:15 am ESTA bus from Lone Pine to Bishop.  Transferred to a different ESTA bus to Reno. Arrived at the Reno Airport one hour before my flight back to Columbus (via Denver).  Again, all schedules were on time and I was home by 11pm.


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