John Muir Trail Day 4: Farewell Yosemite

Monday 8/23 7:57 PM DAY 4 📍Rush Creek  11.6 miles  8:16 hrs

Journal entry: Camping way off trail today, just the way I like it. Rush Creek. Woke up early, got on trail 8 AM! Donohue Pass. Ran into Canada “Commando” from Tuolumne Meadows. Lyell Fork is beautiful. Lots of water. Big meadow. Proud of sis. Bruised shoulders, 2 blisters, not much complaining. Camping at Rush Creek, way off trail. Mashed potatoes + broccoli for dinner. Lots of people top Donohue Pass. Really windy, didn’t stay long. Around 1:11 PM we ran into Shawn who was NOBO w/ 2 days left and giving away food. He gave us each a Snickers, so I call him Snicker Shawn. Not liking the Kula cloth, not keeping dry at all! Need to do laundry tomorrow, we have 6.8 miles to Rosalie Lake, passing TIL and Garnet Lake along the way. Then Wednesday, hiking out to Reds Meadow to take a shuttle to Mammoth. It’s 8, almost 9 PM now and it’s smoky. I messaged Heather and asked but maybe she’s sleeping already. Tomorrow is a shorter day. Finally one other SOBO passed us today. Older gentlemen didn’t even see him pass. Made a joke and asked about pizza at the top of Donohue Pass. “Started from the valley, now we way over here!” LOL So long Yosemite. It’s been real. Experiencing Yosemite backcountry with my sister has been awesome. I’ll miss her company when she’s back home, but I can’t wait to HMOH. Hike My Own Hike.

Story: We were up early this morning and actually packed up before the sun completely came out. It was a chilly morning and we can see the mist burning away from the creek as the sun came up. It was 8: 30 AM when we got on trail. The hike along Lyell Creek was absolutely beautiful. I wasn’t expecting there to be as much water as there was. Today, we climb Donohue Pass and officially leave Yosemite National Park.

Donohue Pass is our first real pass on the JMT, and we started our climb around 12:30 PM after a long lunch break at the creek. Right before our big break and climb, we ran into a NOBO JMT hiker named Shawn. He only had 2 days left on trail, and he was giving away full size Snickers! I deemed him Snicker Shawn and we were very grateful for the pick-me-up. It was hot, it was hard, but we took our time. We stopped plenty of times to look back at the canyon below us. It’s always neat to see how far you’ve come. We stopped for a quick snack and water break at a lake right below the pass. A beautiful lake I wish we spent a little more time at, but we were already taking our time climbing the pass.

I’m not exactly sure what time it was when we reached the top of Donohue Pass, but I was a little bummed with the views from the other side. And that’s what I get for assuming there would be anything less than what it was. We saw a few people chilling at the top, and I joked about there being pizza. We snapped a photo, took a photo of another 2 hikers, and started the climb down. The views started to become a bit familiar as I was now hiking in an area that I have previously hiked. I feel like I’m connecting the dots now. With views of Banner Peak from a side I’ve yet to see, I knew Thousand Island Lake was in the near distance, but we would not make it there that day. With Island Pass still to climb, we opted for a spot near Rush Creek, some ways off trail.

It was neat to have such an open spot and we took full advantage of the space we had. I had baby red mashed potatoes with dehydrated broccoli and it was delicious, oh- can’t forget the Taco Bell hot sauce too! My new favorite backpacking meal ever.

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Vanessa is an outdoors enthusiast, hiker at heart, and the storyteller behind Forever She Wanders; a women's lifestyle + travel blog inspiring all to get outdoors, seek adventure and live an active lifestyle. As an outdoors enthusiast, Vanessa has found passion in being outdoors while backpacking, camping, hiking and creating memories of a lifetime.

4 thoughts on “John Muir Trail Day 4: Farewell Yosemite

  1. Hey! Super cool blog. My name is Brandi and I actually ran into you on the JMT! I was there with my boyfriend and his Uncle. You might remember us crossing paths a few times. The last time we saw you you were on your way up to Whitney while we were coming down. Your blog popped up in my recommended articles on my phone and I just wanted to say hi!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brandi! You found me 🙂 I do remember you and your group, there weren’t many others that I ran into out there. LOL. I actually still keep in touch with Firefox. It was so crazy running into him and you guys again. I didn’t think I would see another SOBO hiker, and sure enough- leave it to the last day! I hope you’re doing well. Planning for any big hikes next summer? 🙃


    1. Hey Chris! Thanks for following my JMT journey! The weather was absolutely perfect when I was on trail from late August to mid-September! I only had one day with bad weather, but that’s common for the Sierra!


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