Book Look: Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail

Highs and Lows on the John Muir Trail

 A gift from 'A Doug's Wife', I dug into this book with anticipation. Any Sierra hiker knows all about the JMT - and this one had me thinking about moving this ~30 day hike up to the top of my bucket list. 

Some random quotes and passages:


"Then a strange thing happened as we followed the creek. It looked like we were crossing a low valley, but it turned out to be a very high valley that spread into a large meadow. I could see a large grove of trees at the far edge of the meadow, but then what?"

"By now our set-up was pretty predictable. We set our packs down, I scouted around to see if there was a better campsite then the first one spotted and then we made our decision. It was probably too close to the lake to meet leave-no-trace principles but had clearly been used before, so rather than crush more fragile plants, we set up our tent on a compacted sandy site."

"Entering Evolution Valley, it was apparent that it was as beautiful as everyone had said. It was an idyllic scene with a meandering creek, lush green meadows and granite spires stabbing at the sky. Horses grazed peacefully like a scene from the Big Valley TV show. It was enough to make me want to throw down my pack and build a log cabin to live out the rest of my days, national park restrictions on that sort of activity not withstanding."


"On and one we went, across the vast slick slabs of polished granite shimmering with sluiced panes of water, through rustling forest, crossing and re-crossing murmuring books. Finally we collapsed at Mono Creek, fast water tearing across the path, too tired to go on."








Comments (4) -




Hey, read my mind, I've been thinking about doing the northern portion of the Jerking Me Throughly  trail. Ups and Downs, it's all up or down nothing level but the north half is the best scenic hike. From Yosemite/Touloume/Mammoth/Iva Bell and if you want to go the full half ends at the Muir Trail Ranch. Did it in "05" and it's been calling to me since I left California. I was thinking of next summer August into September and I must warn you only planning 5-10 miles per day because I'm an old fart now and never was in very good shape.


Chuck, I may join you. Let's work the deets this year, keep in touch. Virginia could meet us at Muir Trail Ranch, she's always wanted to check it out.  Just a thought.


Sounds great! In fact there's a group out of Fresno that books the ranch for the week after Labor Day. I stayed for 2 days in "05" ($135/night back then). They have a cook and provide 3 meals a day (boxed lunch) and I had a cabin but there are other tent cabins as well. Maybe we could join in for the week as they help defray their cost by taking in JMT hikers to fill open cabins. That's how I did it. Best thing is to contact Muir Trail Ranch, online, and then they can put us in touch with whoever is in charge or any others that might offer something similar at a different time.

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