Close this search box.

Thru-Hiking the JMT: Devil’s Postpile to Deer Creek

Fire Damaged Forest

Day 7 on the John Muir Trail…

John Muir Trail Day 7
Distance: 6.5 miles
Cumulative Distance: 70.3 miles
Total Ascent: 2,067 ft
Cumulative Ascent: 19,456 ft
Harrison Map Sheets 10 and 9
We were tired from our 13 mile hike yesterday, and this would be an easy day. We would feast at the Mulehouse Cafe at Red’s Meadow, pick up our second resupply package, have a surprise visit from some old friends, and hike only half our normal average — just 6.5 miles.

As we broke camp, we said goodbye to our new friend and gracious campsite host Chris Ryerson. He was on a 45-day walkabout in the High Sierras. No specific agenda or route, just hiking up and down and over and about from one mountain to the next. We were grateful that he offered to share his campsite with us, and we still keep in touch.

Chris Ryerson

The first stop was about 1/2 a mile away: Red’s Meadow Resort. They have a small market and you can ship resupply packages to them. We ate breakfast at their Mulehouse Cafe, and then divvied up our resupply package.

Red's Meadow Resort

Sometime that morning, I got in touch with a friend who lives in Mammoth Lakes, and was one of the members of my first JMT thru-hike back in 1980. As it turns out, his mom (who was also part of that 1980 thru-hike) and dad were in town, and they surprised us with a visit at Red’s Meadow.

Don & Zandra

We ended up spending all morning hanging out with Don and Zandra, reminiscing about our 1980 JMT thru-hike and catching up. Before we knew it, it was lunch time… so back to the cafe we went.

Get the Milkshake
JMT-JeffreyWhen (not if) you stop at the Mulehouse Cafe in Red’s Meadow, you must order a milkshake. With whipped cream.

It may very well be the best milkshake you have ever tasted. 

After lunch, with full bellies and full packs, we were finally ready to hit the trail.

There are quite a few trails criss-crossing the Red’s Meadow area, and getting on the right one is important. We found the JMT and headed south.

Almost immediately, we emerged in a fire-scarred mountainside. The area is full of new growth, with new pine trees, lupen, and ferns everywhere. And not a bit of shade for quite a while. Being the middle of the day, the sun beat down on us as we climbed out of the valley.


We came upon a mountain spring that percolated into a creek right before our eyes.

Mountain Spring

After two miles, we finally exited the fire damaged area and entered the cool shade of the forest again.

Minarets across the valley

Crossing Crater Creek at the 3.6 mile mark, we stopped for a break in the shade of the forest.

Pics 052 206

Lost on the JMT
JMT-JeffAt the Crater Creek crossing, we met another group of JMT thru-hikers that we had crossed paths with a couple times before. This family group had a teen who it seems ended up on the wrong trail, and they were trying to locate him. Their story has a happy ending. They found the teen (he had headed north instead of south) and were able to continue their journey.

The lesson? Two heads are better than one. If you’re hiking with a group, have a plan to stick together, or meet up at trail junctions. 

The last three miles were easy and scenic. Most of the time we were near either Crater Creek or Deer Creek. There were wildflowers, meadows, and gentle grades. We were all glad to have had an easy “half day” of hiking.

Devil’s Postpile, Red’s Meadow to Deer Creek

Download file: JMT-Day-7.gpx

JMT Day 7 Photo Gallery

Click on any photo to view a larger version. You can also leave comments on any photo.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Don’t miss a single day in our JMT series! Subscribe now and get email updates for each post on SoCal Hiker.

Got a question about the JMT? Something you’d like more info on? Post a question in the JMT forum!

Tomorrow, we hike to Tully Hole.

Originally hiked on August 2, 2010.

Share the Post:

Related Posts