The John Muir Trail
The John Muir trail in California is one of the most famous hiking trails in the country. It takes you through breathtaking, once-in-a-lifetime views of Yosemite National Park, Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park, and comes to an end at the highest peak in continental United States – Mount Whitney – at 14,496 feet.
This roughly 215-mile adventure can take as long as you like. The average time for the full-length hike is 17 days. Some expert hikers can aim for less. Months of preparation are required for a successful trip. Make sure to research the necessary permits, reservations, and of course, plan your food supply adequately.
If you don’t have the luxury of much time, there are other ways to see this classic hike with any schedule:
If you have only a weekend to get away, focus on one part of the trail. One choice could be the 31-mile route into the RitterRange. Most of this small mountain range is located in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. You can begin your tour at Red’s Meadow, located near Mammoth Lakes, and head northbound to Shadow Lake. Leaving the John Muir Trail, you can walk west to Ediza Lake.Experienced hikers may then choose to head south to Cecile Lake until the Sierra High Route, which runs mostly parallel to theJohn Muir Trail. If you are a less experienced hiker, double back at Ediza Lake to rejoin the trail. You can then follow the trail southeast to Agnew Meadows, where a free shuttle will take you to your car.
Many people choose to take the hike in sections. An option would be to hike a week at a time and complete the trail over a few summers. No matter what route you choose, the classic trail promises to more than fulfill your expectations.
2. National Geographic Adventure. “Classics Made Easy”. April 2008.