Tuolumne Meadows to reds Meadow July 17-24

12:21 p.m. on August 5, 2010 (EDT)
22 reviewer rep
210 forum posts

Friday night 6 of us piled into my Sequoia and with Marshals trailer loaded with our packs we drove to a hotel and stayed the night in Mammoth. Saturday morning we drove to the Mammoth Inn and parked, grabbed our gear and waited on the bus to take us to Tuolumne Meadows. We got to Tuolumne and picked up the permit and started up the Lylle Fork trail. We turned on the GPS to record our distance every day and I showed distances greater than what I had read to expect but whats new about that. According to the GPS we hiked 9mls the first day. We made camp near the back of Lylle Canyon so we could could start up the mountain towards Donohue Pass and the Lylle Glacier with a fresh morning start.

Lylle Canyon is beautiful and here is just a taste of what we saw along the trail.

Debbbie and Tania at a stream crossing.

Sunday after breaking camp we hike the last part of the canyon floor and started up towards the Lylle Galcier.
The green meadow behind me in the center of the pic is close to where our first nights camp was.

Getting closer to the glacier.

This picture was taken from near our camp about half way up the mountain to Donohue Pass. We had to do a water crossing at the little meadow with all the water in it the mosquitos were almost overwelming there. We had mosquitos most everyplace we went but that place was the worse. Everyone had treated there cloths for mosquitos before leaving home and with the help of 100% DEET we faired pretty well.

That is Marshal and Vince hiking up to the glacier.

Monday morning we started for the top of Donohue Pass. I had worried about this part of our hike because of a lot of snow on the trail reports. As it turned out most of the snow had melted and it was a simple matter to go around most of the scarrier places. From the same area these pics were taken was our only near serious accident. Debbie fell and when I got to her she was calling for help and saying that she couldn't move. It was pretty scarry for me for a minute until I realized that she had just fallen on her trekking poles and with the wrist straps on she was completely helpless.

Deb before her fall.

Mark and Marshal near the pass, elevation 11,000+ ft

From the top of Donohue Pass



Debbie Marshal, Tania, and Mark after descending the other side of Donohue Pass.

From there we continued on the JMT headed for Marie Lakes but after some trail finding problems and being exausted we decided to camp in a little valley below the lakes. I finnally got some fishing in and caught quite a few small brookies from the stream and a small pond.

Our camp in the small valley on Monday the third night out.

Tuesday we headed for 1,000 Island Lake. Pics are from the trail to 1,000 ISL.

We knew that the mosquitos would be bad at the lake so as we approached the lake from above we cut cross country to a very nice place that turned out to be a very wise choice considering how bad the skeetrz were at the lake. We spent 2 nights there resting up and enjoying ourselves. The fishing at 1000 Isl lake was bad for us but I did manage a very nice bow that I will try to get a picture of from Mark to post. As it turned out our camp site was only about 300 yards from a lightning strike fire. We didn't know about it until a fire crew came up the first morning to work it. They came up all three mornings we were there and the only time there was smoke was when they were up there stirring it up.

I fell in love with the veiw of Banner Peak and it seems most of the pictures from that area have it in the backround.
Deb and Tania at our camp

Vince and Tania

1000 Isl Lake
Vince, notice all the mosquitos?


The crew Mark, Me, Debbie, Vince, Tania, Marshal.

Thursday morning we got up early and started for Ediza Lake. Ediza was high on our priority list because I had read the John Muir considered it the most beautiful place in all the Sierra. Don't get me wrong, we all agreed it was a very beautiful valley but we didn't see anything to warrant such high praise.

Along the JMT headed for Ediza.
Ruby Lake

Garnet Lake

Shadow Lake

Finally we reached Ediza Lake

Made camp and started fishing. I did OK on the little brookies and Vince caught a very nice bow right off the bat. I got several more brookies in the morning but only one small rainbow.
Me fishing Ediza

Marshal with a bow

A couple of my brookies

Mark fishing Ediza

Friday morning we broke camp early again and started for Agnews Meadow. From there we caught the bus to Reds Meadow and the backpackers camp for the night. At Reds Meadow we were able to get Cheeseburgers and a hot shower, I don't know which was better. We got up Saturday morning and did the 5ml Rainbow Falls to Devils Postpile as a dayhike.

Mark and I

It was a great trek, no rain, mild temps, and wonderful hiking partners. What more could I have asked for. The miles were a little longer(45mls) and harder(8,367ft total ascent)than we had planned but aren't they always. Mark got a huge blister the first day that plauged him the whole way. Everyone took a turn at getting a little tired and cranky but we all got over it. Thats the beauty of this group. We are all friends and understand and care about each other, we always have a great time together.

Now it's time to start planning next years big trek ???

1:00 p.m. on August 5, 2010 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
148 forum posts

Very nice! Looks like you guys had a great trek.

3:08 a.m. on August 6, 2010 (EDT)
2,987 reviewer rep
946 forum posts


I did the whole Muir Trail solo in '81, so it really brings back memories. I will in in CA on sabbatical for the first 6 months of next year and would love to do the Muir Trail, or at least a part of it, again with some or all of my family.

I imagine the "rules" have changed over the years... is there a limit on/much competition for permits? Are permits required on both NPS and USFS lands?

10:23 p.m. on August 6, 2010 (EDT)
22 reviewer rep
210 forum posts

I have not had the time or pleasure of doing the entire JMT but I know that it can be tough to get permits for many dates. As long as you have a few months to fit in your schedule you shouldn't have a problem. There are some JMT specific sites that could give accurate information. My friends and I are planning to do most of the JMT in sections.

7:21 a.m. on August 8, 2010 (EDT)
102 reviewer rep
2,993 forum posts

..is there a limit on/much competition for permits? Are permits required on both NPS and USFS lands?

Most Sierra trailheads have quotas; all require permits. Many of the popular trailheads max out several months in advance. That said, you mention going while on sabbatical for the first six months of the year. It should be little problem obtaining permits for most of that period, since much of the range will still be snowbound in the upper elevations. The bigger challenge that time of year is the long approach hike in, since many access roads will be gated or unplowed for most of that period.

8:00 p.m. on August 9, 2010 (EDT)
244 reviewer rep
5,249 forum posts

Wow very very nice, I need to get back to the high Sierra! Last time I hiked there was in the spring of 1980 when I spent the late winter from Jan to May. Very beautiful place and pictures.

8:23 a.m. on August 22, 2010 (EDT)
47 reviewer rep
241 forum posts

(Read about Gary Palmer's amazing Yosemite adventures in the thread enitled "Wonders of Yosemite")

Advantages of hiking along the JMT in August: No bugs, No snow. Disadvantages: No snow. less water in water falls!

It is not as difficult to get a pass for the JMT as it is written. Yosemite publishes a list of winter dates to apply for a specific summer date. For example, apply Feb. xx for aa permit Aug, xx. It is easiest o get a permit starting in Lyell Canyon which is a great place to start as noted in Gary C's report and photos.

I had two friends who just showed up at the Park and got a pass for the JMT a day earlier than they had planned for.

This August I got a permit for when and where I wanted to hike, the same afternoon I arrived in the Park. In fact permits were not granted ahead of time for that area.

Here is a photo of Banner Peak in August. Note: less snow


12:17 a.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
16 reviewer rep
56 forum posts

man thats just inspiring! Ive been eyeballing the JMT and the Sierras for a while now for my next West-bound trip but i think you finalized my motivation.

Great trip report!

7:15 p.m. on August 23, 2010 (EDT)
22 reviewer rep
210 forum posts

Renegade, depending on how much of the JMT you plan to do and how much time you have this section was great. Another great option if you are not planning to do the entire JMT but would like to hike a little further would be to go from Reds Meadow to Tuolumne and on down to the Yosemite Valley. That would give you a chance to do half Dome and see some of the beautiful falls in the Yosemite valley. Once you get to YV you can take a bus back to Mammoth and you car. We hiked from Tuolumne to YV last year and you can find my trip report here.


We have not been following the JMT anywhere near exact but more or less generally following it and seeing a lot of other areas along the JMT. You could do both sections in a week easy and shave 20+ miles off our two trips if you stuck to the JMT.

10:22 p.m. on August 25, 2010 (EDT)
16 reviewer rep
56 forum posts

Thanks for the great insight Gary. I'll have to start up the planning now for a trek out there for next Spring/Summer. After reading and hearing of your trips it's starting to sound even more of a perfect area for my adventure. Time to start detailed researching....

thanks again!

1:09 a.m. on August 26, 2010 (EDT)
22 reviewer rep
210 forum posts

Renegade, my experience in Yosemite is rather limited but I'm always glad to help if I can, just ask when you start planning. There are several on here with much more experience with Yosemite and with there help I'm sure you will have a great trek.

1:11 p.m. on August 30, 2010 (EDT)
47 reviewer rep
241 forum posts

Ahem...Mt. Lyell (note spelling) was named by the California Geological Surveyors, Hoffman and Brewer, friends of Whitney, around 1863, after this man: Sir Charles Lyell whose works influenced Charles Darwin.


A good source:
History of the Sierra Nevada by Francis Farquhar who also has a mountain named after him!

June 21, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: The beautiful Ozarks Newer: Day trip to Agassiz Peak in the San Francisco Peaks AZ
All forums: Older: What is this plant? Newer: Taking a Feline Along