Silver Divide, John Muir Wilderness, CA

John Muir Trail Map 3 - Reds Meadow to Quail Meadows

Lake Virginia to Quail Meadows

Descend almost 1500 feet into Tully Hole and join Fish Creek for a short distance. Then turn uphill toward 10,700-foot Silver Pass. As the trail reaches timberline it winds among a series of small lakes, including Squaw and Chief lakes. Wonderful views open up at the summit of the pass. A long descent leads to Mono Creek and soon after, Quail Meadows.

At nearby Lake Thomas A. Edison the Vermilion Valley Resort runs a ferry service between the head of the lake and their establishment at the west end ($13 one-day, $23 round trip). Pick-up times are 9:45 and 4:45. The friendly resort caters to hikers and offers accommodations, camping, food, resupply service, showers, laundry, and much more.

Reds Meadow to Lake Virginia

The 11.4-mile trek from Reds Meadow up to the turnoff to Duck Lake is often regarded as one of the least favorite portions of the JMT. Hikers climb through a burned out area with little shade. An early morning start and a good supply of water are recommended. Campsites can be found at Duck Creek. Or if you prefer, a 1-mile lateral trail leads to Duck Lake and good camping.

Two miles farther, the trail dips to Purple Lake and then climbs a short hill to Lake Virginia. Both have good camping spots. For those who appreciate the views from the high country, the lakes are a better camping choice than the dark sites along the creek near Tully Hole.

John Muir Trail elevation profile from Reds Meadow to Quail Meadows