John Muir Trail Day 14: In the Land of Big Trees

A very large westeren cedar


Daily Neet Beat
We decide to hike around the Lake Edison which adds an additional 6.9 miles as opposed to chancing it with the “ferry” ride with a leaky boat and no life jackets. It is a late start for us today because we join the crowd of thru-hikers and firefighters at 7am to eat breakfast at Vermillion Valley Ranch. After finishing carbo-loading, we start off down the Mono Creek trail around 8:30am. Most JMT thru-hikers that leave Vermillion Valley Ranch take the Bear Creek or Bear Ridge Trail back to the JMT. ┬áBeing purists and first-timers, we don’t want to miss any sections of the trail so we hike back around the lake to where we left the trail. This is harder than taking either the Bear Creek or Bear Ridge trails as you end up climbing over 1500 feet in 1.5 miles and it steeply winds up the slope, but’s that’s OK. We end up hiking almost 14 miles today with a lot of elevation gain and loss. We find a camp around 9,200 feet near Bear Creek in the trees. The trees are amazing here and very large. Check out the picture of the western cedar with me standing next to it. We camp about a half a mile away from the junction to Lake Italy, a day hike we have planned for tomorrow. We do our usual chores of filtering water and setting up camp and tuck in for the night.

Just the Facts

From VVR to near the junction with Lake Italy Trail, camp at 9160 feet
Miles: 13.6
Total Miles: 149.1
Elevation gain and loss: 2,480 feet up and 923 feet down
Sunny; we haven’t seen a cloud in days

Photos of the Day
Acidic cold spring probably fault controlled
Ranger’s Buttons (Sphenosciadium capitellatum) seem to be very popular with bees, wasps and other insects. The bees and wasps seem extremely happy rolling around on the buttons.
Hiking along Bear Creek in the John Muir Wilderness Area

One comment

  1. So there are cedars in the U.S.?! I always heard no true cedars. You must explain this to me when you get back! Great and enjoyable blog.

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