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July or August for Whitney/JMT?
#58303 01/28/21 09:48 AM
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Hello experts,

I plan on hiking the JMT northbound this summer. I could either hike from 7/16-8/7 or 7/28-8/21, are either of these dates good or should I plan a later start? Which dates would you choose? I've read that mosquitos and snow can be an issue in July.

Again, thank you for your input.

Re: July or August for Whitney/JMT?
Trevsooner #58304 01/28/21 10:23 AM
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Later dates are more likely to encounter smoke from forest fires. August is usually the most rainy in the Sierra, too.

Re: July or August for Whitney/JMT?
Steve C #58309 01/31/21 03:28 PM
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Good point about the smoke and fires, thanks for the answer.

Re: July or August for Whitney/JMT?
Trevsooner #58310 01/31/21 06:05 PM
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I did the JMT NOBO in late August last year - 2020 (Aug 24 - Sep 2) and I had literally no issues with mosquitos at all. Actually, it was kind of odd. I brought a spray can of OFF - Deep Woods Dry spray and I never used it once. I actually gave it to a south-bound hiker. I think it all depends if we get a heavy snow and wet rain season - mosquitos will be a problem. Last year was extremely dry - no mosquito problem.

As for the forest fires, I started at Horseshoe meadows and the Sequoia complex fire blew smoke northwards and it was really bad. Whitney was awful, and crabtree meadows was a snow storm of ash. As I passed Forester Pass, the smoke was never a problem for the remainder of the hike. I finished just as the Creek Fire started - got lucky.

Forest fires will be an issue this year if we get another dry weather pattern - hopefully more snow will arrive in the sierras!

Good Luck! I too am doing the JMT again this summer and NOBO is for sure a great way to go.

Re: July or August for Whitney/JMT?
Trevsooner #58323 02/10/21 09:44 PM
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There is a reason why runners and speed hikers usually choose the last week of August/first week of September for the JMT - best trail conditions and best chances of good weather.

Last edited by Anton; 02/11/21 08:48 AM.

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