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Wilderness Volunteers

Minaret Lake Trail, John Muir Wilderness, Inyo National Forest, CA (Aug 13th - Aug 19th 2017)

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The John Muir Wilderness encompasses 650,000 spectacular acres of granite peaks, steep-walled gorges and rock outcroppings. This Wilderness Area in made up of many of the lands Muir explored in the late 1800s, as well as the tallest mountain in the continental US, Mt. Whitney towering above us at 14,505ft. John Muir spent his life advocating for the protection and preservation of the Sierra Nevada wild. And what an amazing land he succeeded to preserve; with towering granite peaks plummeting into deep glacially carved canyons littered with wildflowers, this region is a sight to behold.

Our service project will be assisting the Inyo National Forest's Mammoth Ranger District to maintain 2 to 3 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail as well as help rehabilitate over-used campsites in the area. We will backpack 7 miles into the wilderness and set up basecamp for the week in the Purple and Virginia Lakes area (~10,000ft elevation). From camp we will make daily forays to surrounding trails and trouble spots, adding erosion controls and maintaining trail tread. We will also be focusing on campsite rehabilitation and restoration (over-used campsites) and illegal campsite removal and rehabilitation. This is challenging physical work at high altitude. The Forest Service will provide pack support to carry in the group’s commissary, food and work tools. On our day off, we can explore the area, climb nearby peaks, swim in clear lakes, hike over passes into other basins and generally soak up this amazing wilderness.

This project is rated as a challenging project.

Check out photos from last year's nearby Lake Ediza project in our gallery.

We highly recommend that those coming from low elevation (anything below about 5,000 feet) plan an extra couple days in the area before the trip to acclimate to the elevation for your own safety. Altitude sickness is a concern when traveling from low elevation to high elevation and getting acclimatized before the trip is one of the easiest ways to prevent it. If you have had problems with altitude before, be sure to check with your doctor before coming. If you need ideas on things to do/see before the trip contact your leaders.


Aug 13th - Aug 19th 2017

Service Project

Trail maintenance and campsite restoration

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Free Days

Dayhiking, fishing, swimming, photography


Backpack camping

Project Difficulty

Challenging : High altitude project, 7-mile backpack, 2000 to 3000ft elevation gain, moving rock, digging, lifting


Kathleen Worley
Misha Kokotovic

Equipment List