[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[pct-l] Wonderland Trail Vs. John Muir Trail?

Wonderland trail has many relatively short 2000-3000 ft gain?losses, due to
the numerous glacial valleys and moraines that are crossed. The weather is
always iffy, with a week of god weather a gift. The JMT has about 10 passes
that are crossed and they are all a grind -- up to 5000 ft gains Rating views
is really subjective, kinda like comparing fruit. Wonderland has incredible
glacial views, and Rainier shows her stuff off up close. Old growth forests
inhabit the valleys. I think the JMT's best features are the numerous alpine
lakes, the numerous forays to above timberline -- way above on occasion- and
the feeling of being in the middle of a vast mountainous ecosystem
essentially unchanged by man -- except for the mismanaged bears. Personally I
was not expecting the grandeur that I encountered. I expected more of a Rocky
Mountain type place with numerous four wheel drive roads crossing the divide
 If I had to choose, I'd take the JMT - It's much drier, all them pretty
lakes. I felt managed On the Wonderland, with reserved designated camps every
night and a no campfire rule everywhere. (Ditto for the Enchantment part of
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Jeffery) On the JMT, you could have fires in the
valleys and camp where ever you felt like, at least when I did it. However no
bear canisters are required on the Wonderland
  And I avoided Whitney all together on my thru hike. I'd already climbed it
and Knew what a zoo it was. I just didn't have any desire to do it again.
Face it: Whitney is just a long distance L.A. City park for fit people
looking to a good workout (with a claim to fame) away from all the diesel
fumes. Can't be there for a wilderness experience, any more than the trekkers
up Fiji. But at least they climb Fiji for spiritual/philosophical reasons.
Think that's true of the examples of competitive American culture that summit
Whitney, comparing times and muscles, or those participating in all night
blowout parties down in the car campgrounds? I wonder---