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[pct-l] Muir Trail Ranch

Robert Bedichek <robertb@transmeta.com> asked:

>>on a perhaps-related topic, has anyone on this list had experience with
"the muir trail ranch".  i noticed that jardine doesn't list it.  perhaps
this is because he is opposes horse traffic on the pct. i am planning a
food drop there.  i found their web page from margo's post.  how are
through-hiker's treated there?  how do people feel about the environmental
impact of the ranch?  from craig's pct planner, it looks to be at about
8000'. vegetation at that altitude is fragile.<<

I resupplied at MTR a couple of years ago on a JMT hike.   Let me address
your questions based on how I found it then.  I believe the management may
have changed in the last couple of years, but I am not sure if that is the

First, Muir Trail Ranch is not _on_ the PCT.. it is off-trail a couple of
miles.  Horses used to supply the ranch do not travel over the PCT, though
you may see MTR horses on the trail being ridden by guests.  At the time
that I was there there were several vehicles, including a pick-up truck and
a small fire engine, parked at the Ranch.. I do not know the circumstances
of their use or by what route they arrived but I suspect they were ferried
across the Lake and driven down the trail.  MTR is _outside_ the designated
Wilderness boundary and is private property.

I had no problem with resupply at MTR, other than finding my box in their
storage room.. which is dark (solid stone walls, steel anti-bear door).
Bring a flashlight.  I was provided with stove fuel (Coleman) for a nominal
charge per liter.  I left my trash and empty supply box to be hauled out as
part of their service.  I also left several (stamped) post cards which they
mailed for me on their next supply run.   They maintained a supply box in
which you were invited to leave any of your extras and help yourself to
anything you might need.

I was treated cordially, though it was fairly apparant that I was not
particularly welcome to hang around.  At the time, a stay at MTR was
_extremely_ expensive and they catered to the very-rich crowd.  That may of
changed, but judging by the fee they charge for a food drop it is probably
still very high.

I dont think the MTR has any more impact than any other resort in this part
of the Sierra.. perhaps less since it probably gets a lot less traffic.  It
is not visible from the trail, is outside the Wilderness, and hikers have to
seek it out.. it does not intrude on the PCT, though if you were hiking in
from the west to join the trail you would have to go right by it.

. . . Kurt

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