John Muir Trail / High Trail / PCT loop

on Labor Day Weekend 2019

Friday August 30, 2019
El Granada to Mammoth Lakes

Saturday August 31, 2019
John Muir Trail from
Devil's Postpile to
Gladys Lake

Sunday September 1, 2019
John Muir Trail from
Gladys Lake to
Thousand Island Lake

Each of the past two times I hiked part of the JMT I started hiking very late, which means I got to the campsite very late, which means I got a poor campsite cause everyone else picked the best campsites.
I was determined to get a decent campsite for once this year.
At first I told Ray we'd need to leave the hotel well before 7am so we could avoid the mandatory bus ride into Devils Postpile and get a good campsite.
Eventually I realized this is a vacation and waking up well before 7am is way too early.

2019/08/31 07:36

Ray is starting with breakfast

We got to Mammoth Mountain ski resort shortly before 8am, parked, got our gear together, bought bus tickets, and eventually rode the bus into Devils Postpile.

2019/08/31 09:14

2019/08/31 09:15

I hiked to the top of the Postpile to get 360 pictures.

2019/08/31 09:38

2019/08/31 09:41

After crossing the San Joquin River I immediately took a wrong turn, but quickly realized I was probably headed the wrong way and let Ray consult is maps... which was a good idea, Ray got us turned around.

2019/08/31 09:48

2019/08/31 09:48

2019/08/31 09:56

It got warm quickly as soon as we started hiking since it was pretty much all uphill.
The lakes are all up much higher than the valley floor.
I let Ray know my general plan was to hike up to the lakes are quickly as possible because the lakes are gorgeous and the higher elevation would be cooler.

2019/08/31 10:15

2019/08/31 10:17

2019/08/31 10:17

2019/08/31 10:41

2019/08/31 11:13

2019/08/31 12:07

2019/08/31 12:10

Ray get cell service back so he called his family.
We assumed we wouldn't have cell service again until Tuesday.

At last we got to the first lake - Trinity Lakes - and took a much needed rest.

2019/08/31 12:41

2019/08/31 12:42

2019/08/31 12:47

2019/08/31 12:47

2019/08/31 12:53

One of the Trinity Lakes - 9,463'  - milepost 4.6 on the JMT

We were very happy to be at elevation in the shade!
We had a few quick snacks then pushed on ...

2019/08/31 13:04

2019/08/31 13:04

2019/08/31 13:23

2019/08/31 13:24

We got to Gladys Lake and I started to look for a campsite.
Two years ago I camped at Rosalie Lake, and it felt as crowded as Grand Central Station.
According to the maps there was a campsite near the south end of Gladys Lake, but we couldn't find it.
All we found was a gorgeous lake with old dried out horse manure on nearly every flat surface around the lake.
After a while I gave up and decided to try to find the campsite at the north end of Glady Lake.

There was still old horsepoop everywhere.
Nice that the Rangers are so worried about human's impact on the environment, while the entire lake is surrounded in horsecrap...

2019/08/31 15:02

Gladys Lake - 9,606' - milepost 5.7 on the JMT

2019/08/31 15:02

Gladys Lake

2019/08/31 15:16

2019/08/31 15:16

Finally Ray and I found a spot off the trail with minimal horsecrap.
We set up our tents around 3pm and established our camp.
The mosquitoes were out in force, and they did not give up...

While we were setting up another hiker dropped by and asked us how far away from the lake he had to pitch his tent.

Ray took a nap and I went out to explore ... and quickly found a much, much better campsite.

2019/08/31 15:50

2019/08/31 15:50

2019/08/31 15:50

2019/08/31 15:52

2019/08/31 15:53

PANO - scroll right

2019/08/31 15:55

2019/08/31 15:57

I dragged my gear over to the new site except for my tent while Ray was napping.
I wanted to claim the site since I was sure someone else would if we didn't.
Once Ray woke up we wandered over to the new spot.
At first he decided he's stay put while he helped me move my tent, but after he helped me move my tent he brought his tent and gear over too.

2019/08/31 16:29

2019/08/31 16:30

2019/08/31 16:36

2019/08/31 16:36

2019/08/31 16:37

2019/08/31 16:37

2019/08/31 16:37

2019/08/31 16:37

This was one of the best campsites I've ever had anywhere.

The middle fork of the San Jouquin River is in the valley below us.
The Pacific Crest Trail / High Trail is across the valley from us.
We can see Mammoth Mountain, so we've got cell service (not sure this is a positive).

2019/08/31 17:20

After we explored for a while Ray decided to go find the nearest snowpack.
I decided I'd walked enough for one day and let Ray go exploring by himself.

Ray brought back some snow!

My previously trusty Steripen that I use to purify water ran out of batteries very quickly...
and the backup set of batteries that I'd also tested was just as dead.

I decided the batteries didn't like the cold weather, and that I needed a new water purifier that didn't need batteries.
Fortunately Ray's purifier worked fine and he let me use it.

We cooked dinner and went to bed once the sun set.

Total for the day according to my iPhone health app:
9.2 miles
27,190 steps
125 floors climbed

2019/08/31 17:41

2019/08/31 17:57

2019/08/31 18:33

Friday August 30, 2019
El Granada to Mammoth Lakes

Saturday August 31, 2019
John Muir Trail from Devil's Postpile to Gladys Lake

Sunday September 1, 2019
John Muir Trail from Gladys Lake to Thousand Island Lake