John Muir Trail 2015

September 7 - 28, 2015

One day’s exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers’ plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul. – John Muir

Trip completed in 17 days!

Going through pictures and video. More soon!

There’s a reason that “Backpacker Magazine” ranked California’s John Muir Trail as the best Hike in the World in it’s November 2010 issue.

Stretching 215 miles from Yosemite Valley to the summit of the contiguous United States’ highest peak, Mount Whitney, it rambles through some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery that the heart and mind could conceive.  Most of your days are spent above 10,000 feet, where you’ll experience the High Sierras in all of it’s grandeur and beauty as you hike through: Yosemite, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Devils Postpile National Monument, John Muir Wilderness and Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks.

Some perspective on how far 211 miles is. (Give or take a few miles.) Think of walking from:

  • Los Angeles to Las Vegas (Make sure to look at the world’s largest thermometer in Baker)
  • New York To Boston (Figure out whether you prefer Manhattan or New England Chowder)
  • Chicago to Detroit (Not advised in winter)
  • Houston to Dallas (Not advised in summer, spring or fall)
  • London to Manchester
  • Paris to Antwerp
  • Rome to Bologna
  • Tokyo to Kyoto

Total Elevation Change: 80,000 ft (24,000 m)

Total Elevation Gain: 46,700 ft (14,234 m)

Highest point: Mount Whitney, 14,505 ft (4,421 m)

Lowest point:  Happy Isles trailhead, Yosemite Valley, 4,035 ft (1,230 m)

Little, however, is to be learned in confused, hurried tourist trips, spending only a poor noisy hour in a branded grove with a guide. You should go looking and listening alone on long walks through the wild forests and groves in all the seasons of the year. In the spring the winds are balmy and sweet… . In summer the days go by in almost constant brightness… . In the autumn the sighing of the winds is softer than ever… . Winter comes suddenly, arrayed in storms.

John Muir

Founder, Sierra Club

Mile… Mile & A Half

I highly recommend buying/watching the movie Mile… Mile & A Half by The Muir Project. I’ve watched this more than a few dozen times. Wonderfully shot and incredible perspectives.


A group of friends and artists leave their daily lives to hike the famous John Muir Trail & bring inspiration home: 219 miles. 25 days. From Yosemite Valley to the highest point in the contiguous US – Mt. Whitney.

JMT Elevation Profile

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” — John Muir

Hiking Schedule

DayItineraryDay MilesTotal MilesRessuply
7-SepHappy Isles to Sunrise Camp13.213.2
8-SepSunrise to Tuolumne Meadows11.424.6Tuolumne Meadows
9-SepTuolumne Meadows to Upper Lyell Canyon9.534.1
10-SepUpper Lyell Canyon to Thousand Island Lake9.743.8
11-SepThousand Island Lake to Devil's Postpile16.260
12-SepDevil's Postpile to Deer Creek969
13-SepDeer Creek to Tully Hole12.381.3
14-SepTully Hole to Edison Lake11.893.1Vermillion Valley Resort
15-SepREST DAY093.1
16-SepEdison Lake to Rosemarie Meadow12.3105.4
17-SepRosemarie Meadow to Muir Trail Ranch9.5114.9Muir Trail Ranch
18-SepMuir Trail Ranch to McClure Meadow10.6125.5
19-SepMcClure Meadow to NE of Helen Lake12.2137.7LeConte Canyon
20-SepNE of Helen Lake to Deer Meadow11.3149
21-SepDeer Meadow to Kings River12161
22-SepKings River to Woods Creek11.6172.6
23-SepWoods Creek to Vidette Meadow13.2185.8
24-SepVidette Meadow to Tyndall Creek12197.8
25-SepTyndall Creek to Guitar Lake12.1209.9
26-SepGuitar Lake to Whitney to Whitney Portal16225.9

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