When I staggered into Red’s Meadow off the John Muir Trail I had â€” like most hikers â€” a wide grin on my face.
What’s not to love?
The well-stocked General Store has groceries, sporting goods, fishing tackle, sundries and souvenirs. If you’re hiking the back-country, you can have a supply package sent to yourself at The Resort.
The Mule House Cafe serves up delicious home cooked meals. Both open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. … The resort is located at the comfortable elevation of 7,500 feet.
I had dinner at the Mule House with two grizzled thru-hikers named Bigfoot and Captain America.
My only complaint â€” why the $18 / site camping fee at nearby Inyo National Forest Reds Meadow Campground? The night I was there every thru-hikers site had only 1 person.
Inyo has a designated camping area for thru-hikers. But it’s with the car campers!
Why not have a walk-in backcountry camp for hikers? Note that the designated hiker’s sites in Glacier National Park near the Swiftcurrent Motel are free. The camping near the hot springs at Muir Ranch is free.
If Inyo wants to encourage people to walk â€” reducing environmental impact â€” why are they not encouraging self-sufficient, low impact thru-hikers?
Why are they catering to, even subsidizing, car camping?
I’ll contact Inyo with my “suggestion”.
PS â€” Hikers generally do not complain because they are so happy with the wonderful natural hot spring showers at that campground. For some, $18 is a small price to pay.