John Muir Trail: Resupply Time

The world’s big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
― John Muir

— Trail Talk —

It’s been 5 years since I’ve put in for permits to go in August for the John Muir Trail. This summer I am embarking on one of the biggest challenges I have ever done in the outdoors; I will be hiking the trail. I’ve set up a John Muir Trail Page for those of you who would like to follow the whole process.

It’s T -8 days till start date of the John Muir Trail and there are couple logistics problems that may come our way due to the Ferguson Fire in Yosemite. We however did send out our Muir Trail Ranch resupply. We are not going to send the other two because we will actually be dropping off our first two resupplies with the help of family. Even though there are more than 3 resupplies on the trail; we decided to go with only 3. See below our strategy.

One of the problems we may have is not starting in Yosemite Valley; we would actually need to find another trailhead and at that point our permits for the JMT are invalid and we would be considered a walk in permit. Hope this doesn’t happen, but if it does we have a Plan B and will let you know what we did.

— What is a Resupply —

A little background on what re-supply means, for those of you who have never done a thru-hike (I’m in that bucket; longest days I’ve been on the trail was 5). Now what is a thru-hike you may ask?

Thru-hiking means that you are hiking a long-distance trail from one and end to the other in one sitting. Thru-hiking dates back many years as foot travel used to be the way to transport oneself from one place to another. There are many thru-hikes around the world, but in the United States there are three rather known long-distance hiking trails. Appalachian Trail (AT – spans 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine), Pacific Crest Trail (PCT – spans – 2,659 miles from Mexico Border to the Canadian Border on the west coast) and Continental Divide Trail (CDT – spans 3,1000 miles also between Mexico and Canada along the Rocky Mountains). If a person thru-hikes the three of these they will earn the “Triple Crown of Hiking”.

It’s absolutely crazy awesome to see people out there doing these trails; who knows maybe after the John Muir Trail I’ll be inspired to take on a longer hike challenge. As you know these long-distance trails you carry everything on your back; but you don’t carry everything for 3 weeks, 6 months or a year.

Resupply stops are essential to the long-distance traveler; a place where you can rest and rejuvenate and pack up all the belongings you will add to your pack like perhaps food, toiletries, even gear on longer hikes. On the JMT there are several resupply opportunities that I will showcase here below or you can go straight to my John Muir Trail: Resupply Page.

— What to Resupply —

There are so many items that are important to resupply along any thru-hike. I’ve put together a simple list of items that are great to put in your resupply box when you have a stop over. We used a 5 gallon bucket that you can buy at Home Depot and also on Amazon. This is probably the best bucket to send you resupply or drop it off because there is no way for mice or small animals to get into the plastic.

For the JMT:

— Resupply Points —

Resupply Point Distance miles from Happy Isles Distance off trail Distance miles from Whitney Portal
Tuolumne Meadows Post Office 22 miles .75 miles 199 miles
Red’s Meadow Resort 60 miles .5 miles 161 miles
Vermillion Valley Resort 88 miles 5 miles 133 miles
Muir Trail Ranch 111 miles 1.5 miles 111 miles

*Elizabeth Wenk’s John Muir Trail Book has all the resupply points available in case you need food or supplies earlier.

So, how are we going to break it up? It’s simple, I think; no not at all, I’ve never done this before. With the help of a lot of reading and books, came to the conclusion that we will use the following resupply points along the trail. *I’ll have an updated resupply page once we are done with the trail itself.

  1. Tuolomne Meadows Post Office (3 day resupply)
  2. Red’s Meadow Resort (4 day resupply)
  3. Muir Trail Ranch (9-10 day resupply)

The Saturday before we leave, we will head up into Mammoth Lakes and spend a couple of days there relaxing. We will go ahead and drop off our Red’s Meadow Resort resupply that weekend. On either Monday or Tuesday we will head to Yosemite and drop off our Tuolomne Meadows resupply and pick up our permits. We haven’t decided which day, but we do leave on our hike first thing Wednesday morning.

Soon to come is my resupply page with more information on all the resupply points and what we put into our resupplies. It will probably be after my hike as I’d like to update with the experiences during the resupplies. Let me know what you guys did for your resupplies. Look forward to hearing about it.

— Check Out My John Muir Trail and Blog Updates —

— Check Out What’s in My Backpack —

— Check Out Some Grub Ideas for the Trail —

— Follow @beyondlimitsonfoot on Instagram —


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