Scenic USA - California

Marie Lake (JMT)

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Marie Lake - John Muir Trail, California

Photos by Rob Jones
Rob's Trip Report and more photos

JMT - Selden Pass Trail Sign      A quick look at the east-central section of a California map reveals a huge swath of land with one ... only one ... cross road. A closer look indicates that this area is taken up with three national parks, two national monuments, two national forests and six wilderness preserves. In late May, when the mountain passes begin to relinquish their icy grip, California bound backpackers begin to make extensive plans for a special excursion into these wilderness lands over the John Muir Trail. JMT - Golden Mantle Ground Squirrel Tracing the footsteps of Muir himself, Sierra Nevada hikers may experience an incomparable feeling on this into the High Sierra.
     Day 13 out of Yosemite National Park finds this hearty band of wild vagabonds wading through Bear CreekWall Flower - JMT and briefly pausing to admire the dramatic views at Marie Lake. Here, each side of this alpine lake is closed off with 11,000 foot ridges. Just to the east and well out of sight, the topo map indicates someone had fun naming Medley Lake, tying in nicely with Sharp Note and Flat Note lakes. Not wanting to drop their 40 pound packs JMT hikers continue on, climbing up and over the 10,900 foot Selden Pass (inset). Almost halfway into this 28 day journey, the group is seldom without magnificent scenic vistas. Nearby, sights of busy four legged critters (inset) and the delicate scent of wildflowers (where some seem to grow from solid granite - inset) go undetected from afar. In a land so vast and so rugged, sometimes itís the small details that create a lasting impression.

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