John Muir Trail – Days 1-3 Cottonwood Pass to Woods Creek

Top of Forester Pass

The John Muir Trail 2017 is complete.

This high snow year made for some pretty tricky and dangerous creek fords, along with fun snow crossings. Our team was determined, supportive, positive, courageous, and mostly a lot of fun. But it wasn’t all fun and games. During this hike, most of our group was afflicted with a variety of pain including: altitude sickness, ingrown toenail, blisters, knee problems, Achilles tendon problems, nerve issues, more blisters, arch pain, fatigue and exhaustion, so many blisters, and even an open gash on the buttocks from glissading. A few of us were even were completely submerged in ice cold water during stream crossings and was saved and plucked out by Dan or Grant.

I wish I could say that I dutifully blogged in my tent each night. That didn’t happen. I found that hiking with such a big group, just made it impossible and just plain old unrealistic.

What I did do is engage and enjoy this once in a lifetime chance of totally being with nature, family, and friends. I did take lots of good photos and video. It was hard not to and pretty cool.

I have divided the John Muir Trail blog entries and my favorite photos shot by Dan, Grant, and myself into groups of days.

Photos and Video

If you don’t want to wait, here are all the photos on Flickr and a movie of video clips I put together on Vimeo.


Day 1 – Hiking with the Fast Ones

Let’s Wander where the WiFi is Nonexistent.

July 8
Chicken Spring Lake to 1 mile Above Wallace Creek – 18.1 miles


Chicken Spring Lake
Siberian Outpost
The crew: Dan, Stealthy, Rockin’, Sarah, Silly Chili, Michelle, Doni, Steven


The Whitney Zone
Lower Crabtree Meadow
Lower Crabtree Meadow
Camp above Wallace Creek Crossing
Camp above Wallace Creek Crossing


Day 2 – Easing in on Forester Pass

Bring me coffee, take me HIKING and tell me I’m Sexy.

July 9

Wallace Creek to Vidette Meadow – 14 miles

Wright Creek
Green and White
Bighorn Plateau Tarn
Starting the Climb to Forester Pass
Climb to Forester Pass
Snowy Chute on Forester Pass (Grant took the high route)
Descending down to Vidette Meadow
Camp at Upper Vidette Meadow
Sunset on Zpacks Duplex

Day 3  – Crazy Creek Crossings

Love her, but leave her wild.
~Atticus, To Kill a Mockingbird

July 10
Vidette Meadow to Woods Creek – 16 miles

Ascending Glen Pass
The Team at the top of Glen Pass
Rae Lakes Basin from the top of Glen Pass
Doni and Steven descending Glen Pass
Rae Lake water crossing
Painted Lady
Rae Lake
The whole team taking a dip in Rae Lake
Baxter Creek
Woods Creek Bridge


  1. another great post! so much fun reading your stories
    keep following you,
    your friends at

  2. What an amazing post! All the extra photos, the video, the amazing views and personnel. And the creeks look much more like rivers.

  3. Beautiful photos. I wouldn’t have wanted to do the trail this year, but I’m sure glad you did. Again, beautiful photos of your trip!

  4. John Donaldson

    Beautiful lightning scar on tree to right of photo of chicken spring lake

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      You saw it. Now that is awesome. It is so fun putting together these photos and so much better when others love them too!

  5. You guys just keep looking for harder challenges while I cheerfully search for the easy trips. Going to Wales to hike Offa’s Dyke in September, and I promise I won’t be glissading or fording crazy-current streams. Never slow down Rockin’!

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Ah my author friend, I know. I sometimes think I am crazy. Thank you for your words of encouragement. You rock!

  6. Sniffer (Silky)

    Thanks for the photos. My son/daughter-in-law will begin the Big Seki Loop in a couple of weeks and will be on a part of the JMT … (while I get to house-sit for them in PDX) … I sent them the link to your blog, which will help them prepare. Of course, I continue to travel with you vicariously.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      I am pretty sure those raging creeks will have calmed down by then! BUT I do think there will be lots of opportunities for them to get their feet wet. The snow was fun and no problems. Hope they have an awesome trip.

  7. I love following your trips. This was is just great. Loved the photos, especially the video. Oh, how i wish that I had been there and wish such a wonderful crew. My spirit calls for such places and people.

    • Christy "Rockin'" Rosander

      Barrie, Sounds like you need to start listening to your and plan a trip soon. I love the planning and dreaming the most. Do it.

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