What you need to know before hiking the John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail passes through what many backpackers say is the finest mountain scenery in the United States. This is a land of 13,000-foot and 14,000-foot peaks, of lakes in the thousands, and of canyons and granite cliffs. The John Muir Trail is also a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest climate of any major mountain range in the world.

The trail is 211 miles long and runs (mostly in conjunction with the Pacific Crest Trail) from Yosemite Valley to Mt. Whitney, in California. Winding through the famed Sierra Nevada, the JMT visits some of the crown jewels of America’s park system: Yosemite, John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. The John Muir Trail section of the Pacific Crest Trail will stay with you forever.

If you’re planning to hike the John Muir Trail, here’s a checklist with facts to get you started.

Route: Happy Isles in Yosemite National Park to Mt. Whitney in Sequoia National Park or vice versa

Length: 210.4 miles (an additional 11 mile hike is required to get from the summit of Mt. Whitney to the nearest road at Whitney Portal)

Highest elevation: 15,505 feet

Lowest elevation: 4,040 feet

Total elevation change: 84,000 feet (estimated)

Learn more…


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