Along the John Muir Trail in 18 Days - Our Story and Guide

Event Update: Thanks for joining us at the Mountaineers' Walking the Wild series where we presented our 18 day trek along the spectacular John Muir Trail!

Now, we're working on putting that story into words and photos. Check back on this page over the following winter months as we're filling out the chapters.

For those of you that don't know:

The John Muir Trail is a long-distance trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. - Wikipedia

Introduction

If you are reading this story and you've already hiked the John Muir Trail, then you know what it feels to experience a true wonder of the world that this trail is. I hope that, through our photos and our recount of this beautiful hike, we can take you back to remember some of the places we have seen and passed through together. For me, those moments on the trail rival my most cherished memories from childhood.

If you're reading and you're on the fence about hiking it, either wary or just undecided, know that I will make every attempt to get you on the trail. This trip is not something anyone should let slip through their fingers. It's an experience of a lifetime.

If you're one of the fellow backpackers who is already set on hiking it and just wants to learn more about it, I hope you will find our photos and story useful. We sure have a few tips for you regarding good camps, gear, and so on.

So, hop along for the next chapters and walk with us along the John Muir Trail in 18 days.

    Chapters

    • How Did We Decide to Hike the John Muir Trail
    • Guide Book, Maps, and Navigation Apps
    • Applying for a Permit
    • Food and Food Storage
    • Gear
    • Transportation to and from the Trailheads
    • Weather, Wilderness Safety, Regulations, and Last Tips Before You Go
    • Internet Connectivity on the John Muir Trail
    • Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows, a Section We Missed on our Permit
    • Day 0: Tuolumne Meadows Camp
    • Day 1: Tuolumne Meadows to before Donohue Pass, via Lyell Canyon
    • Day 2: Donohue Pass to Thousand Island Lake, via Island Pass
    • Day 3: Thousand Island Lake to Garnet Lake to Rosalie Lake
    • Day 4: Rosalie Lake to Reds Meadow, via Devils Postpile
    • Day 5: Reds Meadow to Red Cones to Purple Lake
    • Day 6: Purple Lake to Virginia Lake to Silver Pass Lake, via Silver Pass
    • Day 7: Silver Pass Lake to Upper Bear Creek Meadow
    • Day 8: Upper Bear Creek Meadow to Marie Lake to Muir Trail Ranch, via Selden Pass
    • Day 9: A Zero-Mile Day at Muir Trail Ranch
    • Day 10: Muir Trail Ranch to Evolution Lake, via McLure Meadow
    • Day 11: Evolution Lake to Wanda Lake to Le Conte, via Muir Pass
    • Day 12: Le Conte Canyon to Palisade Lakes, via the Golden Staircase
    • Day 13: Upper Palisade Lake to Lake Marjorie, via Mather Pass
    • Day 14: Lake Marjorie to Rae Lakes, via Pinchot Pass and over the suspension bridge 
    • Day 15: Rae Lakes to Vidette Meadow, via Glen Pass
    • Day 16: Vidette Meadow to Wallace Creek, via Forester Pass
    • Day 17: Wallace Creek to camp between Timberline and Guitar Lake
    • Day 18: Alpine start for Mount Whitney, descend to Whitney Portal and Lone Pine
    • In Retrospect: Best Camps of the John Muir Trail
    • In Retrospect: Stuff we could have done differently, and tips

    Note: the chapters without a hyperlink are not finished yet. Hang with us as we add them over the upcoming months. Subscribe to our RSS feed or through e-mail to get notified when we add new ones (at the bottom of the page).

    Photo Gallery: Along the John Muir Trail

    In a hurry? Glimpse through our favorite 50 images form the trail.

     
     Photo Gallery: Along the John Muir Trail, 50+ of our favorite photos

    Photo Gallery: Along the John Muir Trail, 50+ of our favorite photos