Weather and conditions
Trip Start Jul 15, 2009
71Trip End Jun 01, 2010
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The day after going over Pinchot Pass we found ourselves near thunderstorms but never found the thunder or lightning to be on top of us. It rained a bit and it was colder but no major issue. We waited out the weather on a shorter 11 mile hiking day to Rae Lakes.
Most days were sunny or partly cloudy and daytime temperatures varied wildly between just below freezing in the early morning at higher elevation to the eighties (Fahrenheit) at lower elevations (8000 feet). Nighttime temps could be low. we woke up in the night to some ice freezing on the tent or the tops of our sleeping bags at times.
Although snow can fall anytime of year at the elevations that we were traveling, we didn't have to cross any snow fields (unless off trail). The trail was pretty well taken care of, the biggest obstacle was mule poop. The mule train was an intricate part of the constructing of the trail and continues to be the choice traveling method for some people, often including people not able to carry a backpack and travel into the mountains on foot. The mules are used to carry gear for these groups. There was one such guided group that we crossed paths with. it was easy enough to move a little faster than this group of three mules, a horse and eight hikers.
Trail construction was completed in the 1930's and the number of granite stone steps, crushed granite paths, checkdams made of granite, path edges, dynamited cliff faces with the trail blown into them. Anyway, trail construction was incredible and we saw some evidence of continued work to maintain the trail. Thanks to all the trail crews, trail maintainance is crucial and the John Muir Trail appears well taken care of throughout the length.