The Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail follow the same path from Mt. Whitney to Tuolumne Meadows (roughly 211 miles) except for on this 13 miles stretch. I choose to hike the JMT Route, rather than the PCT route mainly because I've heard it holds spectacular views!
Today, the goal for the group was to get out of Mammoth and back on trail. With no particular goal set for distance, we all took our time in town (coffee and ice cream). With a few different ways to get back on trail, we chose to take the bus up to the ski lifts. This time of year, the bus is taking mountain bikers up to the slopes.
At the ski pass, we hesitated to get off the bus, unsure if it will take us any further. But it wouldn't, so we started the potentially long road walk (I think we figured 8 miles).
Less than a mile into the road walk, we discovered there was a trail just below the road that would cut off a large section of the road walk, but we were unsure what the condition of the trail were, or if it would even take where we wanted to go. Fortunately we had some beer to get rid of the tension and we went for it..
The road that the trail ended at had a small pond with some trash/recycle bins which made me very happy. I did not want to carry a glass bottle the 2.5 days it'd take to reach Tuolumne Meadows. Shortly after the pond, a resort worker in a pickup truck took us the rest of the way to Red Meadows Resort where we would work our way back to the PCT.
The trail back to the PCT passes by the Devils PostPile. This formation was very interesting, but the mosquitoes where especially aggressive, so I quickly took my pictures and moved on.
Camp seemed like it was in a bear prone area, so Riley threw up a rope to hang food from, which we all happily put our extra food on.
Today's mileage I am unsure about.