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John Muir Trail Mile-by-Mile Photos & Trail Journal, Red’s Meadow to Muir Trail Ranch

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John Muir Trail: Red’s Meadow to Muir Trail Ranch

To view all images from this segment, and/or to purchase prints, visit my John Muir Trail: Red’s Meadow to Muir Trail Ranch photo gallery.

View the John Muir Trail Trip Report

Not every mile is represented in the photos for one reason or another.  Direct journal entries in italics.

This segment of the John Muir Trail, from our first resupply to our second, was characterized by mostly dry, dusty conditions (but with plenty of water) and again, more mosquitos.

Previous: Lyell Canyon to Red’s Meadow | Next: Muir Trail Ranch to Mather Pass

Mile 61: 1992 Rainbow Fire

“Site of 1992 fire impressive.  Up the hill, past Red Cones, Crater Meadow, and into our campsite.”

Rainbow Fire

The 1992 Rainbow Fire near Red’s Meadow was ignited by lighting. It was not declared officially extinguished until 8 months after it started. Mile 61.

Mile 62: San Joaquin River Drainage

San Joaquin River Drainage

Looking down into the San Joaquin River drainage from the trail as it climbs out of an area burned by the 1992 Rainbow Fire near Red’s Meadow. Mile 62.

Mile 63: Red Cones

Red Cones

One of the interesting volcanic features, Red Cones, seen shortly after leaving Red’s Meadow. Mile 63.

Mile 64: More From the Devil’s Windstorm


Lupine growing along the trail in an area not devastated by the 1992 Rainbow Fire, but by the 2011 Devil’s Windstorm. Mile 64.

Mile 66: Deer Creek Camp

“Camp had signs of horses last night, fire pit still smoking and cigarette butts outside of the fire pit.  A father and son from Los Angeles joined us.  The son is 11 years old and almost quit, but kept going, trying to do the whole John Muir Trail.”

Map Study

Taking a break at the Deer Creek campsite to rest and study tomorrow’s route. Mile 66.

Mile 68: Fish Creek Canyon

“Left Deer Creek, slow steady 1,000′ climb to Duck Pass Trail – good views of the Silver Divide.”

Mountain Views

Views across Fish Creek after leaving Deer Creek. Mile 68.

Mile 70: Trail Views Between Deer Creek and Duck Lake

Trail Views

Looking southwest from the John Muir Trail between Deer Creek and Duck Lake. Mile 70.

Mile 71: Approaching Duck Lake

Double Peak East

Looking towards Double Peak East from where the trail approaches the trail to Duck Lake. Mile 71.

Mile 72: Cascade Valley

Mountain Views

The trail between Duck Pass and Purple Lake has occasional breaks in the trees for views across Cascade Valley. Mile 72.

Mile 73: Purple Lake

“Short, steep 400′ climb out of Duck Lake then a shallow descent into Purple Lake.  Another break there surrounded by colorful mountains.”

Purple Lake

Purple Lake is surrounded by rocks with various chemical compositions. Mile 73.

Mile 74: Exposed Trail to Virginia Lake

“Another 400′ climb out of Purple Lake and into a saddle.  Came across a young PCTer who looked like he had been walking through the Sahara.  He asked me for food because he was out with one day left to get to Mammoth.  Gave him some bars and he scarfed them down.”

To Virginia Lake

The trail passes through a small, exposed saddle before descending into Virginia Lake. Mile 74.

Mile 75: Lake Virginia

“Shallow descent into Lake Virginia – very picturesque, surrounded by meadows and tall peaks to the east, with views of the Silver Divide to the south.”

Lake Virginia

The northwest end of Lake Virginia has a great meadow for camping, with the backdrop of gorgeous mountains in the background. Mile 75.

Mile 76: Silver Divide Views

The Silver Divide

Great views of the Silver Divide on the descent into Tully Hole. Mile 76.

Mile 77: Switchbacks into Tully Hole

“Steep switchbacks down into Tully Hole, great views of Red Slate Mountain and others to the south of that.  1,300′ descent into Fish Creek after crossing cool old bridge.  Mosquitos are back!  I bought a head net in Mammoth though.  Pissed dark orange this afternoon.  I suppose I should drink more water.  Passed a lot of PCTers, hardly any JMTers.  PCTers for the most part all cool and excited about sharing trail reports.  Then some won’t even say Hi back to you.  Fuck ’em.”

Tully Hole Descent

Steep switchbacks descending into Tully Hole. Makes you glad you’re not going up. Mile 77.

Mile 78: Fish Creek Footbridge

“Boring crowd tonight…I don’t know what time it is, I don’t think the sun has set yet, but everyone was in bed when I got back from taking photos.”

Fish Creek Bridge

The steel & wood Fish Creek Bridge over some cascades. Mile 78.

Mile 79: Early Morning up Silver Pass

“I left camp early because I wanted good light at Silver Pass.  Windy with mosquitos but great views.  Next time I need to camp at the multiple small campsites on the way up this trail.”


A small footbridge crossing a stream originating higher up on Silver Pass. Mile 79.

Mile 80: More Red Mountain Heather

Silver Pass Trail

Red Mountain Heather lining the trail near a stream crossing approaching Silver Pass. Mile 80.

Mile 81: Chief Lake

Chief Lake

Chief Lake, meadows, and red mountain heather below Silver Pass. Mile 81.

Mile 82: Silver Pass

Silver Pass

Panorama looking west from atop Silver Pass. Chief Lake, Papoose Lake, and unnamed ponds below. Mile 82.

Mile 85: Silver Pass Creek

“Stopped for break at granite slabs in Silver Pass Creek.  After that had awesome amphitheater views of peaks and a cascade to the east.”

Silver Pass Creek Cascades

Silver Pass Creek cascading into the North Fork of Mono Creek. Mile 85.

Mile 87: North Fork of Mono Creek

Mono Creek

The North Fork of the North Fork of Mono Creek. Great campsites alongside it near the footbridge. Mile 87.

Mile 88: Climbing Out Of Mono Creek

“Climb out of Mono Creek pretty steep but flattened out, shaded all the way with occasional views of Vermilion Cliffs.”

Mono Creek Climb

The sun coming up through the trees on the switchbacks south out of Mono Creek. Mile 88.

Mile 89: Vermilion Cliffs View

Vermilion Cliffs

As the switchbacks out of Mono Creek go higher and higher, views of the Vermilion Cliffs become more frequent through the trees. Mile 89.

Mile 92: Trail Aspens


Only a few areas of the John Muir Trail go through aspen groves, this on the south-facing Bear Ridge. Mile 92.

Mile 94: Bear Creek

Bear Creek

Looking south on Bear Creek, after descending down from Bear Ridge. Mile 94.

Mile 96: Upper Bear Creek Meadows

Upper Bear Creek Meadows

Sierra Shooting Stars line the trail approaching Upper Bear Creek Meadows, near the Seven Gables trailhead. Mile 96.

Mile 97: The Seven Gables

Seven Gables

The moon rising over the Seven Gables. Mile 97.

Mile 99: Marie Lake

“Another one of those days I’m covered in mosquito guts.  All PCT people I passed warned me – bad after Bear Creek.  Super bad here at Marie Lake.  Climb up here very scenic, tough in spots, with mix of meadows and giant steps.”

Marie Lake

Looking south on the west shore of Marie Lake. Mile 99.

Mile 100: Marie Lake from Selden Pass

“Woke up at 5:30ish and went over Selden Pass – mosquitos already in full force.”

Selden Pass

Early morning on Selden Pass, looking towards Marie Lake. Mile 100.

Mile 101: Sallie Keyes Lakes

Sallie Keyes Lakes

First views of Sallie Keyes Lakes after descending from Selden Pass. Mile 101.

Mile 102: Trail Between Sallie Keyes Lakes

Sallie Keyes Lakes

The trail in between Sallie Keyes Lakes in early morning. Mile 102.

Mile 106: Muir Trail Ranch

“The descent into MTR sucked – I can’t imagine the climb out.  Resupply and recharge at MTR – cool place. But no bathrooms and the store was small.  As expected.”

Muir Trail Ranch

One of the old buildings at Muir Trail Ranch. Mile 106.

To view all images from this segment, and/or to purchase prints, visit my John Muir Trail: Red’s Meadow to Muir Trail Ranch photo gallery.

Previous: Lyell Canyon to Red’s Meadow | Next: Muir Trail Ranch to Mather Pass

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