After last years fires in the Sierras smoked us out of our John Muir Trail section hike, we got permits to attempt to do it again this year. Unfortunately, S could not make it this time and instead a few of my friends (A and E) joined me on the trip.
The schedule was fairly aggressive and it really pushed the hiking team. While S and I both comfortably hike 15-20 mile days, the other two have never done more than nine miles a day. We followed as closely to our original itinerary as possible, but having been issued walk-in permits for Half Dome, we accelerated our schedule to meet our permit date. The number of people on the trail during this time of the year also made it very difficult to find suitable camp sites.
A few quick notes: Yosemite recently changed nearly all of the names throughout the valley, I used an old map and it made it difficult to locate where I was going.
The Quick and Dirty:
Location: John Muir Trail (JMT), between Devils Post Pile to Yosemite National Park
Distance: Approximately 50 miles (+/- a few for Tuolomne Meadows)
Best Time: JMT suggested times (typically August through September)
Duration: Four days (+)
Permits and Restrictions: Permits can be obtained through www.recreation.gov. Make sure to obtain a fire permit online or at the ranger’s office if you plan on using a stove for cooking. A bear canister is also required for this trail and available for rental at the local ranger station. Permit pick up at Mammoth Welcome Center (night box options OK).