Training for the JMT… on Santa Catalina Island

Joan and I sat down and did some serious working on our training plans for the John Muir Trail. On a typical week we will log at least 25 miles, with a minimum of two, hilly mid-week conditioning hikes and one long weekend hike. We’ll be adding in training at higher elevation, primarily on local mountains such as Mt. San Jacinto, Mt. Baldy and San Gorgonio. And we’ve got some multi-night backpacking trips planned, also with some decent mileage.

The first of these is the Trans-Catalina trail, which we’ll be tackling the first week of April. This trail runs from Avalon to the far northern tip of Catalina, and then jogs back to Two Harbors. In all, it’s a little over 44 miles, which — when hiked over four days — matches nicely with the 11-miles-per-day average planned for our JMT thru-hike. And there’s a surprising amount of elevation gain!

The Trans-Catalina trail officially opened on April 4, 2009, and there aren’t many detailed trip reports. I’ll be posting a full trip report when we return, but for now, I’m super-stoked about the trip and really look forward to it.

Up this weekend? The Bridge to Nowhere. I hear there are multiple, thigh-high stream crossings! Should be fun… and wet!

See you on the trails!

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  1. says

    Oh yeah, Little Harbor was one of the coolest places that I’ve camped. No one was there and it reminded me of China Beach. A great way to relax after that serious elevation loss.

  2. says

    We’re camping at Black Jack, Two Harbors and then Parsons Landing. We’ll probably lunch at Little Harbor.

    As for the bison, anything special we need to watch out for? I figured that as long as we left them alone, they’d leave us alone.

  3. says

    Just try not to startle them. Your logic is telling you that they will leave you alone, but I have a picture from way back of a group of them staring at us from the trail ahead. We decided to bushwhack around them until we heard some in the bushes near us. We then took a very large detour.

    They are just so big and it is hard to imagine simply walking in the midst of them. Most advice says to give them a wide of a berth as possible, watching for aggressive behavior.

    Watch out for the wild boars, too. :)

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