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PCT Day 63 The John Muir Trail

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 18th June 2015

Mileage 30

Tuolumne Meadow to Yosemite Village via Clouds Rest

I looked at my watch, 4.50am. There was stirring at the campsite right near my head. Time to get up. We planned an early start to complete the last of the John Muir Trail (JMT). A possibility to complete the trail while still on the PCT. The JMT is a 211 mile hike from Mt Whitney to Yosemite Valley.

It parallels the PCT for the majority of the route but at Tuolumne Meadows the PCT continues north and the JMT heads over to Yosemite Valley. We were unable to get a camping permit so we day hiked the 30 miles. We carried our camping gear with the plan to camp in Yosemite valley.

To make it even harder for ourselves we chose to make a detour to clouds rest, a high lookout point over Half Dome and the valley. Countless thousands of feet of elevation gain and loss.

The first half of the trail appeared to have a lot horse traffic. The trail just seemed more eroded than other sections of trail. The meadows we passed almost had a manicured appearance. Bright green grass interspersed with white and grey granite boulders and occasional small shrubs.

Around 10am we passed the turnoff to clouds rest. The trail climbed and fell its way past several lakes before making its final climb. Steep at times until it made its way on a knife edge along the summit ridge. Expansive 360 degree views opened up of Yosemite Valley with it centrepiece of Half Dome on one side and the high Sierra filling in the gaps on all other sides.

We lingered until we realised that we had no water left. It was several hours before we descend to a stream to fill the water. We all suffered very mild dehydration on this day with desert like temperatures.

As we passed an impressive Nevada falls our only thought was for pizza. In a rush we stormed the pizza place. Our ravenous hunger satisfied.

Too tired to move we made our way to the campsite. We couldn’t bring ourselves to put up a tent. We slept where we fell with little care that a bear might disturb our slumber.

10am
walking the knifes edge to the summit of clouds rest
half dome
nevada falls

Next : Day 64 Back on the PCT

The Best information about the Pacific Crest Trail:
Complete Guide to the Pacific Crest Trail
Resupply Guide for the PCT
PCT Gear List

PCT Gear Review

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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6 thoughts on “PCT Day 63 The John Muir Trail”

  1. Doing Cloud’s Rest and 30 that’s amazing! I really wish there was a way to relax the permitting just a little without it feeling like Disneyland.

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  2. Beautiful! I don’t know that I will ever do the entire PCT, but the John Muir Trail is definitely on my list. Your photos and wonderful trail descriptions are making me want to do it ASAP! Enjoy!

    Reply

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