19 Days on the JOHN MUIR TRAIL – besthike.com


Journey report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles


The John Muir Path in California is our #2 hike on the earth.

Click on PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Although I’d hiked virtually each section through the years, this was my first time climbing over 200 miles regularly.

There are lots of of wonderful JMT Journey Stories on-line. For instance, I loved Jai’s joyful photograph journal from Aug 11-30, 2021.

Moderately than publish a detailed day-by-day account, right here I’ll merely recount a few of my very own HIGHLIGHTS.

If this web page is just too lengthy 😀 … watch highlights of my journey in lower than 5 minutes.

Click on PLAY or watch it on YouTube.


Jai’s group completed in the future earlier than Forest Hearth closures had been introduced.

We had been fortunate too. Aug 7 – 24, 2021. No closures. Haziest day was Aug 23rd close to Whitney.

Local weather change will — in future — more and more make through hikes of the John Muir Path tougher.


The opposite massive fear on the JMT is afternoon lightning. This season Nicholas Torchia, 37-years-old, died after attempting to take cowl by leaning towards a tree whereas climbing near the John Muir Path.


For this journey, I used to be completely happy to have my outdated climbing buddies Brian and Rocco be a part of me for the primary week.

Climbing with mates is extra enjoyable. However logistics extra difficult.

Beneath my failed management previously, we’re often known as the Backcountry Bunglers. AND we managed to bungle logistics once more — although the climbing itself was excellent.

We had Pacific Crest Path 500+ mile permits quite than JMT permits. PCT are a lot simpler to get. BUT require that you just begin precisely the day and trailhead on the allow. Additionally, you must carry a print copy. Classes discovered.

Thousand Island Lake

Close to Reds Meadows we made the quick detour to Rainbow Falls.

And Satan’s Postpile.


Rocco is a pupil of wildlife. He notably loved the various sorts of lovely (and bizarre) timber.


When on the town we felt obliged to CARBO LOAD upfront of our freeze dried future.

Certainly one of our favorite eating places was Breakfast Membership in Mammoth.

On the path my dinners had been largely primarily based on ramen, instantaneous mashed potatoes and instantaneous stuffing. REAL bacon items had been one among my treats as had been Jelly Stomach.


Important to a profitable hike is footwear and foot administration.

What labored finest for me within the California dry warmth was path runners and Injiji toe socks. In reality, I left my standard Merrell Moabs in Mammoth after the primary 5 days.

I cleaned and cooled my ft as usually as potential in the course of the day.

Mid-day I’d cease for about an hour to make use of solar energy to recharge my units.


Within the Sierra Nevada there are many alternatives to wild camp. Arrange your tent wherever not too near water. … Until it’s posted.

Late afternoon we had arrange our tents … earlier than noticing this signal.

It’s EASY to seek out unbelievable locations to tent. Truly.


Many on the JMT persist with the path, unwilling to overlook even a single official step. Not me.

I took four aspect journeys:

  • Reds – Thousand Island lake on the PCT
  • southern Purple Cone from Decrease Crater Meadow junction
  • Goodale Path to Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) as a result of the boat wasn’t working
  • Mt Whitney
southern Purple Cone


On previous hikes I’d by no means made the famed aspect journey to VVR.

On arrival, the brand new homeowners welcome you warmly and provide a free chilly beer.

I’m actually glad I did VVR this time, taking a ZERO miles restoration day. I met extra folks there than the remainder of the times mixed. Discovered myself on the identical desk with PhD college students and veteran through hikers.

I stayed for the Saturday evening all-you-can-eat barbecue. $26.

As a consequence of drought and low blizzard the earlier winter, governments had held again water from Lake Thomas Edison. When this occurs, the ferry can’t shuttle hikers to VVR. It’s a half day additional strolling.

For me it was properly definitely worth the aspect journey.

Lake Thomas Edison – DRY in 2021

I skipped the Ranch.


Highlights for every one. But I’m disillusioned I didn’t take extra photographs. I ought to have woken up extra usually to see the Milky Manner.


The story of the southern JMT is climbing a excessive cross on daily basis.

I loved it. By Seldon I used to be feeling match. My ft had been nice. In reality, I used to be within the BEST bodily form for climbing on the finish of 19 days. It could have appeared EASY to hike again north.


Climate was good — however chilly and windy once I reached famed Muir Move hut.


Navigation is straightforward on the John Muir path with a lot of the widespread climbing apps.

I used Guthook and the free Maps.me app.

One other I actually appreciated is the free PeakFinder app. You should obtain the regional information when on-line as there’s little or no service on the JMT.


Of many, many spectacular peaks en route — together with Whitney — my favorite was Fin Dome.

Fin Dome and Arrowhead lake


The south will get increased and bleaker. I re-read DUNE on this part because it was applicable to the surroundings. Climbing alone I used to be in a position to end fairly just a few audio books, in actual fact.

Right here’s the ultimate push to the highest of Whitney.

I used to be briefly the best particular person within the decrease 48.

Because the climate was good, I made a decision to have dinner atop the height. Keep for sundown. It was very hazy.

A spotlight, nonetheless, was strolling all the way down to Path Camp on the far aspect of the mountain by headlamp and moonlight. My solely evening climbing of the journey.

Subsequent morning I used to be up for daybreak to get pleasure from my ultimate morning on the John Muir Path.

Whitney massif at daybreak from Path Camp

Lastly down at Portal, we celebrated with the standard burger and fries. Relived highlights with hikers whom I’d been strolling with in parallel for a lot of days.

A beautiful journey.

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