JMT 13. 8. 2019 – Evolution Meadow to Senger Creek – 11.3 miles

(all images are clickable for a larger version)

After a start around 8 am I continued further west, crossing first a tributary to Evoluation Creek, and then the creek itself. Both were easy, at least in the morning.

But the creek showed its force at other places, rushing over small cascades. After about 1 mile some switchbacks led down another 800 ft into Goddard Canyon (9.500 ft). Down there a footbridge traverses the South Fork San Joaquin River, still a small creek at this place.

At the next footbridge the South Fork has grown a lot, with the water from Evolution Creek, and the big steel bridge allows easy crossing even in early summer. The trail followed the narrow canyon always close to the creek. Two mule trains from Muir Trail Ranch crossed my way around noon.

The footbridge over Piute Creek marks the boundary between Kings Canyon National Park and John Muir Wilderness. While it may seem that this is just an administrative matter it really shows some change. Not only the trail signs altered from those well readable dark brown signs with white letters to wooden plates, sometimes quite weather-beaten; also the trail itself changed apparently.

And it got better! Until now it was quite stony – the builders of the trail seemed to have thrown all available stones on the trail, to mark it, or to keep it free from vegetation. It is clear that you have to balance over rocks and stones on the alpine stretches, but very often the trail was stony also while leading just through a forest. My feet often ached. Now the trail became more sandy instead. I also found that fallen trees are better removed from the trail so walking became much nicer.

After I walked down to 7.900 ft the trail started to go up again on the ramp to Selden Pass (10.900 ft). If I had followed the Florence Lake trail instead of the JMT here I would have met the Muir Trail Ranch (MTR) after 1.5 miles which is the first resupply opportunity for northbound hikers.

I had sent my resupply bucket to Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) 20 miles further, with the idea to maybe have a small extra resupply at MTR out of their hiker boxes which are known to be well-stuffed. But my bear can was still filled enough for the next two days so I decided to save the extra time and skip MTR.

This afternoon I had two little problems: first I suffered from a sudden nose bleeding which forced me into a one hour break, and restart carefully and slowly after this break. And then I had not watched the water situation well enough and found myself on a 5 mile stretch without safe water source, and with just half a liter of water left. Luckily I found a small creek having just enough water that I could refill my bottles – the advantage of a summer hike. In autumn I may have had an issue there.

At 8.500 ft around 5 pm I found this notice on a tree but could not see or smell anything from this fire which had started there 3 weeks ago and was now most probably extinct. This was the only fire notice on the whole hike.

Later I crossed Senger Creek and still went up to 10.000 ft where I set up my camp around 7:30 pm, about 3.5 miles from Selden Pass.