John Muir Trail
The John Muir Trail is located in the Sierra Nevada Range of central California. It is named after John Muir, who made protection of the natural environment his life’s work.
The length of the trail is 211 miles from end to end and stretches from Happy Isles (4,035 feet) of Yosemite National Park to Mt. Whitney (14,495 feet), the highest peak in the United States mainland. In summer, many backpackers from around the US and all over the world visit this beautiful trail.
About the Trail
The elevation ranges of trail are 8,000 feet forest area and the alpine ranges over 12,000 feet, passes through the meadows, beautiful lakes, deep canyons, the plateau and the high steep passes. This is the place where you can enjoy the backpacking under the blue sky and dry summer climate. Many people take about 20 days for walking all the length of trail. It is based on the length of vacation or the physical strength of walker.
The Highlights of the John Muir Trail
The first several miles the trail is crowded with the many day hikers who go to Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls and the Half Dome which is a symbol of Yosemite Valley. This is very hot and long steep ascent slope, and is the first trial for the backpackers.
Tuolumne Meadows is the first oasis of the John Muir Trail. There are post office, grocery store and the food box at the trailhead are can be used as first resupply.
The steep Donohue Pass trail comes after flat trail in the Lyell Canyon. Then, you leave Yosemite National Park, and it goes into Ansel Adams Wilderness. Ansel Adams is a photographer and has a gallery in the Yosemite Valley.
After passed Island Pass, there is a first lake area. Thousand Island Lake, Emerald Lake, Ruby Lake and Garnet Lake are stand on line may contend for the beauty.
A grocery store in Reds Meadow of near the Devils Postpile National Monument will keep your second stock of food for 1 dollar per day.
The second beautiful lake area is start from 15 miles from Red Meadows. The Lake Virginia is a quiet lake surrounded by grasses and trees. Silver Pass Lake is just down at the Silver Pass, many small lakes are around here that you can enjoy to take pictures. You feel special charms of the Marie Lake when you looked down it from Selden Pass.
After you passed the Heart Lake and Sally Keys Lake the trail goes down steeply about 3,000 feet into hot forest. At the the Muir Trail Ranch backpackers can keep their resupply of 40 dollars each box. There is no road between Florence Lake so horses and mules are only transportations.
There are five over 12,000 feet high passes in the south part of John Muir Trail.
Muir Pass is the symbolical pass in this trail, as the Muir Hut at the top of there and Wanda Lake and Helen Lake named from Muir’s daughter are both side of the pass.