Day: 2 | Distance: 8.6 mi
Today, we leave Little Yosemite Valley Campground for Sunrise Lakes High Sierra Camp, starting our journey at a leisurely pace around 9:00 am. The trail takes us through a forest that was devastated by a wildfire in 2013. The blackened and charred trees are a stark reminder of the power of nature, but we can already see new growth beginning to sprout. It’s fascinating to witness nature’s resiliency and how it can bounce back from even the most destructive events.
As we trek along the winding path, we can’t help but look forward to the days ahead. We are eagerly anticipating exploring Tuolumne Meadows, a beautiful area that we’ve heard so much about. It’s exciting to think about the sights we’ll see and the memories we’ll make.
Tonight, we’ll camp under the stars at Sunrise Lakes, and we’re looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep. It’s the perfect opportunity to rest up and prepare for the adventures that await us on the JMT.
Posting Up and Making New Friends on the JMT
The views around the campground are breathtaking, and we are reminded once again of why Yosemite is such a beloved destination. The meadows and forests around Sunrise Lakes are apparently untouched by the wildfires, which is great news.
Even though the campground is full when we arrive, we manage to find a perfect spot overlooking the meadow with a fire ring and plenty of space for all of us. We take a moment to relax and soak in the landscape and scenery around us.
Don is his usual friendly self, making rounds around camp and introducing himself to our neighboring campers. One person he meets is Elijawa, a JMT thru-hiker who is just one day out from finishing his 23-day trek. Elijawa joins us at our campfire and shares stories from his adventure. We listen intently, asking questions and admiring his accomplishment.
It’s moments like these that make backpacking trips so special. We get to meet new people, share experiences, and create memories that last a lifetime. I feel grateful to have this opportunity and to experience the beauty of the wilderness so many good friends.
Sleeping Under the Stars in Yosemite
As the sun sets, a full moon rises from behind the mountains. The sky turns to a magical mix of blue and purple before giving way to darkness. Yosemite natural beauty is truly awe-inspiring, and it is moments like these that make a JMT backpacking trip so special.
While there are designated campsites at Sunrise Lakes, I chose to set up my tent cowboy-style on a boulder overlooking the meadow. One thing I have learned is that it pays to be adaptable and make the most of the terrain when it comes to setting up camp. Sleeping under the stars was an incredible experience, and I would highly recommend it to anyone planning a backpacking trip in Yosemite.
My Backpacking Meal Plan
Having a well-planned meal is essential for a successful backpacking trip. For breakfast, I once again enjoyed a warm bowl of oatmeal with milk and blueberries. Oatmeal is a classic lightweight backpacking meal that is both filling and nutritious, making it an excellent choice for a long day on the trail.
For dinner, I switched it up with Pesto Parmesan noodles, another recipe by Andrew Skurka, along with some green tea to wash it down. It’s essential to have a variety of meals planned out for a backpacking trip, so you don’t get bored with eating the same food every day. That’s not just good advice, it’s also a bit of foreshadowing.
Looking Ahead to Tuolumne Meadows
On day 3 of our JMT backpacking trip, we will finally reach Tuolumne Meadows backpackers camp. While in town, Don and I will pick up our first resupply at the post office before we head out of Yosemite on day 4 to complete the rest of our JMT backpacking trip.
Links & Resources:
- John Muir Trail
- Backpackers campgrounds
- Sunrise Lakes High Sierra Camp
- Wilderness Permits
- Tuolumne Meadows Resupply
- John Muir Trail Day 13 – Mt. Whitey Summit from Crabtree Meadows Past Guitar Lake - January 10, 2017
- John Muir Trail Day 12 – Vidette Meadows Over Forester Pass to Crabtree Meadows. - January 9, 2017
- John Muir Trail Day 11 – Lake Marjorie over Pinchot Pass and Glen Pass to Vidette Meadows. - January 8, 2017