Day 9 on the John Muir Trail…
Today, we climb 10,900 ft Silver Pass. Our total ascent is 2,272 ft, but we will also be descending 4,121 ft. to Lake Thomas Edison, where we will ferry to the far end of the lake to rest and resupply at Vermilion Valley Resort. VVR takes us several miles off the John Muir Trail, but it’s a detour well worth taking.
It’s a beautiful section of the trail, and we started off feeling good about the day.
We cross Fish Creek at this impressively sturdy bridge, and begin our climb to Silver Pass.
Our trail takes us up about 2,400 feet in just over three miles. If you’re lucky, you might find a great place to sit and rest.
We were well above tree line, and the sun was warm, but not unpleasant. The views on the trail to Silver Pass are expansive as it winds between a Squaw, Chief, Warrior and Papoose Lakes.
At about 4.25 miles, we finally reached Silver Pass, and took a break for lunch.
From Silver Pass, we headed down to Silver Lake and then alongside Silver Pass Creek. The persistent downhill trail began to take a toll on our feet.
Finally, we reached Mono Creek. The trail follows the creek for miles, but with a much more gentle descent. At the 10 mile mark, we reach a bridge crossing the creek, and a junction towards Lake Thomas Edison.
We headed another 1.5 miles to the ferry landing for Vermilion Valley Resort — commonly referred to as VVR. We were feeling pressure to get there before the last boat left at 5pm. We made it.
The Hiker’s Water Taxi
VVR’s ferry service runs from the east end to the west end of Lake Edison and costs $19 for round trip service. It is possible to hike the route, following the trail along the lake, but this adds 4.8 miles to your journey. For details on hours of operation and alternatives, check the VVR Water Taxi site.
The trip to the opposite end of the lake was longer than I expected. It took nearly 30 minutes to get from one end to the other. When we arrived, we found a campsite and headed to the VVR cafe for steaks and cold beer.
Sitting around the communal tables, sharing stories with other thru-hikers we became an instant community. Looking forward to a zero day tomorrow didn’t hurt, either.
Tully Hole to Vermilion Valley Resort
JMT Day 9 Photo Gallery
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Tomorrow, we enjoy our a “zero day” at VVR.
Originally hiked on August 4, 2010.