Photo Gallery: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail
By Michael Lanza
The John Muir Trail is frequently referred to as “America’s Most Beautiful Trail,” and there may be no long backpacking trip that’s more spectacular, step for step, than a thru-hike of the JMT through California’s High Sierra. From Yosemite Valley to the summit of 14,505-foot Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park, you walk 211 miles past jagged peaks of clean, golden granite, through a constellation of sparkling mountain lakes and more waterfalls than anyone could name, and over numerous passes from 11,000 to over 13,000 feet.
See a sampler of this backpacking trip of a lifetime in this photo gallery.
Obtaining a permit for a JMT thru-hike can be as challenging as doing the hike itself, which normally takes two to three weeks. See my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit.”
But don’t underestimate the difficulty of hiking 221 miles (including the descent off Mount Whitney, which is not part of the 211-mile JMT) through remote wilderness. One key to finishing—and enjoying it—is keeping your pack weight as light as possible. See my tips on ultralight backpacking.
Read my story about my JMT thru-hike, which includes more photos, a video, and lots of tips on pulling off your own thru-hike of “America’s Most Beautiful Trail.”
And if you’re looking for gear for a JMT thru-hike or any trips, you definitely want to visit my Gear Reviews page.
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