John Muir Trail 2016, 4th Section: Reds to Tuollumne

 Day 20: Clean and happy, we had breakfast at the cafe at Reds Mountain Resort. It was wonderful, and we carboloaded for a few more days of strenuous hiking. We took a short bus ride to Agnew Meadow, and started hiking there at 9:45, saving a few miles of uneventful trail around Devils Postpile.

We had hiked the same route to Thousand Island Lake in 2015, and it was just about as tiring as then. When we got to the Lake at 4 pm, we had a few hours before dark, and found a campsite a quarter mile or so counter clockwise from the outlet. It was a bit windy, but calmed down as it got dark.  This short but tiring day was about 7 miles, and 1800' of elevation gain.

Our gear is listed here

Preparation for the hike

JMT Food Plan

First Section, Cottonwood to Rae Lakes

Second Section, Rae Lakes to MTR

Third Section, MTR to Reds Mountain Resort

Day 21: Jim and I headed for Island Pass, which was so gentle it was hard to tell where the pass was. Donahue was more of a challenge, and Luke and Ian caught up and passed us just before the 9900' Donahue Pass. We had phone service there, and we all had a chat with somebody at home. Jim and I left and headed down the other side, and left the Willnerds on the top, and we found out later that they were talking to their Mom.  Below: sunrise over Thousand Island Lake.

 Above: our last look at Thousand Island Lake and Mt. Banner.

Above: our last look at Thousand Island Lake and Mt. Banner.

 Above: close to Island Pass.

Above: close to Island Pass.

 Above: Island Pass area

Above: Island Pass area

 Above: a little closer to Donahue Pass.

Above: a little closer to Donahue Pass.

Jim and I reached the Lyell Fork of the Tuollumne River, crossed, and followed the trail down the Lyell Canyon. The valley, lakes and river were beautiful. I ran out of gas at about 9800' level and we camped.  An hour or so later the Willnerds showed up, and we ate our last trail dinner.  Below: Lyell Fork looking back at Donahue Pass.

Day 22: We lost some elevation to get to the lower elevation of the river, then followed the meandering river toward Tuollumne. It was flat easy trail, and I think we hiked 8 or 10 miles to the road. First we hit trails with lots of non-hiker looking folks of all ages, from infants to old folks in wheel chairs.

 Above:  Lyell Fork of Tuollumne River

Above:  Lyell Fork of Tuollumne River

 Above:  more Lyell Fork.

Above:  more Lyell Fork.

 Above:  more Lyell Fork.

Above:  more Lyell Fork.