JMT Day 20: Crossing Woods Creek Bridge

Saturday 9/11 6:40 PM DAY 20 12.8 miles  📍 Baxter Creek 

Journal entry: Started earlyish today, like 8:45 I believe. Pinchot Pass wasn’t too bad, but I thought it was going to be easier, lol! It was all downhill after that. 2 NOBO hikers today. Nathan from Berkley and his hiking buddy whom I ran into a few hours later. Went skinny dipping today at Twin Lakes. Looks like the last lake before Rae Lakes. Ever since crossing Woods Creek, I guess just the suspension bridge, bear box campground, there were like 5 people and several tents. Glad I pushed forward. From where I’m camped tonight, I have like a 4.5-mile climb to Rae Lakes. Got close, but after 12 miles today, I’m done lol! 12-miles seems to be my daily max lol! Ah well. Canceled my resupply/ride with Williamson. REALLY HOPING CHARLOTTE RANGER STATION HAS EXTRA FOOD. Figured a decent itinerary for Whitney summit on Friday, 9/17, just need to figure out shuttles now to Mammoth. Not looking forward to Glen Pass or Forester lol! The weather was perfect today! Some clouds, not too bad though. Going to be an early night.

Story: I was up pretty early this morning after an early night, and I can already start to feel the seasons change. A short hike up to Lake Marjorie and a little bummed I didn’t make it all the way there the previous night. My campsite was pretty awesome though, but Lake Marjorie was beautiful! I started my hike around 8:45 AM and by 9 AM I was soaking in the views of Lake Marjorie.

A quick snack break with a marmot before climbing Pinchot Pass. The climb wasn’t too bad, but I assumed it was going to be easier than it was! Now it’s all downhill today! I won’t make it to Rae Lakes, but that would be ideal. I canceled my last resupply in Onion Valley, saving me 15-miles!

The trail is quiet today, I only ran into 2 NOBO hikers, but that changed when I reached Woods Creek. I had a feeling I would run into more people around Rae Lakes because it is a popular loop. So I made sure to soak in the solitude probably one last time before running into others. I wanted so badly to swim at Rae Lakes but was nervous there would be a lot of people, so I opted for something lesser-known. Twin Lakes. A little ways off the JMT, but still just as beautiful. I went skinny dipping for the first time on the trail and it was a special moment that I had all to myself.

Before reaching the creek, I slowed down a bit and stopped for lunch. I was making good time, and even though I wouldn’t make it to Rae Lakes that day, there was no need to rush. When I reached Woods Creek I heard a group of people, and sure enough, as soon as I crossed Woods Creek suspension bridge, I saw them camped near the bear boxes, and one in the creek. The suspension bridge was so cool! Way bigger than I ever imagined, and really shaky. I wish I spent a little more time here, but people were around and I really didn’t care to stop.

Now somewhat stuck in the middle of a big climb to Rae Lakes, or opt to camp at Baxter Creek tonight. It wasn’t the best spot I’ve camped at on the trail, but it was a spot nonetheless, and there was water nearby! Either way, I was done climbing for the day. 4.5 miles to Rae Lakes, see ya tomorrow!

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