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Topic: Accidentally went off trail on my JMT hike< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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wornoutboots Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2014, 12:24 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Afternoon storms forced me into my tent near the bridge at Garnet lake @ 3:30 & it rained all night long. I was sooo sick of being in my tent that I was out just before 1st light. It was a great morning & I was my normally giddy waking up in the High Sierras! I was taking a ton of pictures from the bridge at Garnet as everything was "lighting up". I then headed across the bridge & accidentally took a left down the rocks because I saw a well worn trail below. After a 15 minute or so I knew I was on the wrong path but decided to follow this old path anyway.  It was one of my many highlights of the trip to test my bushwhacking skills & enjoy the intensity of what  being "off trail" had to offer. I believe it was the "River Trail" highly unused & it was as if I was passing old explorer campsites. I eventually popped out on a switch back below Shadow Lake where I reconnected to the JMT.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2014, 2:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

:)

That happens, I think the absolutely worst I've ever been turned around was in the maze of social trails right around Tuolumne Lodge heading back from a long route out and back from Rafferty Creek TH, there came a point I had zero idea which way to go to get to my car. One of the rare backpacking times a gps would have been useful for it's main function....

BTW: Less used routes aren't necessarily anything but less used, I've been on a couple that were well established but due to very light traffic were just about a boot wide...., and not old or obsolescent at all. The River Trail is a standard optional route out of there.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 27 2014, 6:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(wornoutboots @ Jan. 27 2014, 12:24 pm)
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...near the bridge at Garnet lake...  a left down ...a well worn trail below. I believe it was the "River Trail" highly unused ...."off trail"...

...."off trail"? Hardly, one of the three main trails that connect 1000 Island Lake to Mammoth . A personal local's favorite here as it avoids the crowded Muir corridor, gives access to fishing both Altha and Laura (BTW, These two could be considered off-trail, and where I thought you had mistakenly gone at Garnet,  when first read) and well-used by many coming out of Agnew Meadows - much shorter than all the way to Reds.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2014, 12:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

the trail I was on started strong then was non existent in some places due to many blow downs but it was a great adventure & passed by the rushing stream several times

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2014, 12:57 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah that weird hurricane sort of high wind event a year or two back hammered that area.

http://articles.latimes.com/2012....0120610

"A wind storm that blew through California on November 30 [2011] caused widespread damage to several areas of the Inyo National Forest and adjacent public lands. From Mount Whitney to Tioga Pass, thousands of trees were affected by the storm.
Even with the monumental work accomplished in 2012, more work will be needed in 2013. With each winter storm, wind-weakened trees are being blown down on trails, which will necessitate additional clearing next year. More durable repair of trails will be needed where trail treads have been damaged. Work to restore campgrounds and other facilities will continue in the spring. "


http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/home/?cid=stelprdb5355082
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2014, 9:53 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Sierra is full of trails that are in ridiculous states of disrepair, and campsites now buried under fallen pine trees.

And it's not over yet... another dry year in the making, it seems. I am sad for the trees and hoping they survive.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2014, 11:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A couple of thoughts:

1.  The trail you took is a use trail.  It takes you past the use trail up to Altha Lake (which is lovely) and then continues across the river to the trail down to Mammoth.  But if you DON'T cross the river, the fisherman's use trail on the West side of the river is exactly as you describe it--a real bushwhack.

2.  If you were really camped near the bridge at Garnet Lake you were camped illegally.  that area is closed to camping until you get past the islands in the middle of the lake!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2014, 10:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the info, yeah I never crossed the river & the trail was non existent in many parts.
We camped before you approach the bridge from the N on the left side of the trail. Sorry if it was illegal, there weren't any signs posted & we threw our tents up in a lightening storm to get out of the weather. When I woke, there was 4 or 5 other tents around mine.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2014, 11:30 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I did the same thing this past summer.  Hiked the jmt and took a wrong turn at garnet lake, never crossed the river and realized what I did I followed it down and then back up to shadow lake.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2014, 11:18 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hope you didn't drop all the way down to the river?  That is 600 feet!  Instead probably went by pretty Altha Lake and then continued to Laura where the use trails wander back towards the JMT.  

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=37.70868,-119.14067&z=15&t=T

Sierra is full of use trails and abandoned trails not on maps.   Thus there is wisdom in nurturing the habit of regularly looking at one's topographic map, making note of where one is approximately, when one is traveling down trails while hiking in unfamiliar areas.  And one can only do so if their map is not buried down inside their pack.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2014, 12:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

True, that "follow the freeway" habit can add miles and elevation to a route real fast.

Trail hypnosis?
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2014, 10:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I actually went all the way down to the river & followed it downstream, I never saw any lakes.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2014, 9:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just as you got to the river, there was a trail that went back up over your right shoulder that takes you to Altha Lake.  Lovely spot.



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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 20 2014, 9:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Too bad I missed it!! It looks sweet!!

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2014, 7:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is not anything like going way off the trail like in the OP, but have you ever accidentally gone down one of those channels that go off on maybe a 45 degree angle from the trail, that are built to prevent erosion of the trail? I have. I don't know what you call those channels, but some trails have a lot of them.

One time when I was really worn out I must have fell into that trap at least 10 times. I'd get about 20 or 30 feet down the channel and realize things didn't look right and I was off the trail. Then I'd have to burn extra energy to get back up to the trail. A regrettable mistake when you are tired.

Oh well, that's what I get for acting stupid I guess.

---George
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14 replies since Jan. 27 2014, 12:24 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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