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Intro

The John Muir Trail (JMT) is an American classic—211 miles that wind through some of the West’s (and the country’s) most beautiful mountain terrain—sequoia forests and granite mountaintops and deep canyons. The trail’s namesake, John Muir, is well-respected for founding the Sierra Club and for his involvement in shaping Yosemite National Park in the late 1800s. The trail follows along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for 160 miles, connecting its northernmost point at the Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley to the highest peak in the continental United States at its southernmost point—Mount Whitney—whose summit rises to 14,505 feet. While seasoned hikers often take three or so weeks to hike the trail, some do it in less time, and others, more. Either way, take your time to enjoy the scenery—at your pace. There’s no other trail like the JMT in the world.

What Makes It Great

At just over 200 miles long, the John Muir Trail courses through some of North America’s most beautiful terrain. You’ll hike through Yosemite Valley and past its steep granite canyons, through Sequoia National Forest and beneath some of the tallest trees in the world, through the crevices and valleys of Kings Canyon National Park and the Sierra Nevada, and into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The John Muir Trail is a legitimate through-hike, giving an abbreviated journey along some of the PCT without compromising the vastness of scenery the Sierra and Northern California are famous for.

There are couple ways to access the JMT near Bishop. The first option is to drive about an hour and 20 minutes south from Bishop to connect with the trail at its endpoint at Mt. Whitney. This is obviously the best option if you are thru-hiking from end to end as well.

If you just want to sample the JMT trail, or take a shorter backpacking excursion, the best place to hit the trail is via the Bishop Creek Trail. Starting at South Lake and heading up the Bishop Creek Trail, you’ll climb almost five miles just to get to the JMT/PCT Trail. But along the way, you’ll pass by several scenic lakes with mountain landscapes in the distance. Once you get to the JMT, go as far as you would like in either direction, then turn around and go back the way you came. There is no permit required for a day trip.

If you plan to have supplies delivered along your route, plan for deliveries near LeConte Canyon/Bishop Pass or Kearsarge Pass. Wilderness permits are required before beginning your trek. Many ask whether they should hike from north to south, or south to north. Both routes are common, and are entirely up to the preference of the hiker(s). If you hike north to south, you’ll summit Mount Whitney with a heavier pack at the beginning of your hike; whereas a southbound JMT hike eases into the higher, more technical sections of the trail, making this the more popular route. Black bears are common along the trail and it’s required to properly store food. Please be mindful of wilderness as bears that come in contact with humans are often euthanized. Pack in bear spray, and have it on hand at all times.

Who is Going to Love It

The JMT is a great destination for many folks, including those who’ve done a through-hike and those who are just beginning longer backpacking excursions. It’s nowhere near as long as the PCT or the Appalachian Trail, but it has no shortage of scenery. Because it’s just 211 miles long, it’s a through-hike that can be achieved in a shorter amount of time—anywhere from two weeks to more than a month, depending on your endurance and timeframe. Some take on the JMT as training for a longer through-hike, while others take on the JMT as a reminder of a completed feat. To many, the JMT is their ultimate goal.

Directions, Parking, & Regulations

Generally speaking, the trail is open from July through September. It’s vital that hikers plan their course with weather in mind, and follow the forecasts before embarking on their adventure.

Weather can change quickly in the Sierra and it’s necessary to be prepared and have a course of action in case inclimate weather interrupts your journey.

Food caching is illegal along the John Muir Trail.

Featured image provided by Peretz Partensky

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22 hours ago

What's your favorite season in the Eastern Sierra?

Beautiful photo by @robert_lachman from October 12, 2019
#keepbishopsafe
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Whats your favorite season in the Eastern Sierra? 

Beautiful photo by @robert_lachman from October 12, 2019
#keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

I go every year! 2nd or 3rd week of October! Beautiful scenery and weather!

Fall

I was raised on the Eastern side of the Sierras. When I was young it was Summers. When I got a little older it was Spring for the opening of trout season. Now at 73 it's Fall...😊

Nice One!

Fall when leaves change and late summer when tubing in cut off’s by day with jeans and flannel by the fire at night

I have to say mid to late fall. Although mid spring is awesome as well. ✌️

Fall

Beautiful picture

Fall is the best...but the other 3 run a close 2nd!

Yes! 😅😁

We from Bishop

Fall🍁🍂🎃

Gorgeous

FALL...used to go up from L.A. EVERY OCT.

Autumn and Winter

Spring

Anything but fire season 😭

Love the fall leave. We try to go every year in October

Fall by far! I love the colors. We try to go every year in October for my husband's birthday.

In Bishop all of them. Bishop picture love this site 🙂🙂❤❤

So pretty

Beautiful

Fall

Fall for sure. Before the snow shuts the roads. And early summer. When it is just a little cooler. 🐈😷

Beautiful!

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3 days ago

With fires, poor air quality and COVID-19 all currently going on, who needs a little something to look forward to??
How about Wynonna for Labor Day Weekend of 2021!!
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With fires, poor air quality and COVID-19 all currently going on, who needs a little something to look forward to?? 
How about Wynonna for Labor Day Weekend of 2021!!

Comment on Facebook

Lol whatever floats your boat Bishop. With way things are we might be in a middle of some other bs that will shut it down. I’m done hoping and waiting for “better” times to come.

its sept 21??!!

Can’t wait!!

oh next yr ugh

Looks like she needs an enema !

Mary Allegra Nicol

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6 days ago

Wishing all of the firefighters and emergency support teams a safe weekend. Thank you for all that you are doing!!!

Sending love from Bishop to all who are being affected by the fires. ❤️

This photo by Instagram user @sammyzz17 and is from February of 2018 when we had the Pleasant Valley Reservior Fire. Hoping that he and his crew are safe!
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Wishing all of the firefighters and emergency support teams a safe weekend. Thank you for all that you are doing!!! 

Sending love from Bishop to all who are being affected by the fires. ❤️

This photo by Instagram user @sammyzz17 and is from February of 2018 when we had the Pleasant Valley Reservior Fire. Hoping that he and his crew are safe!

Comment on Facebook

🙏God Bless you all. I have been praying for rain to help put all the fires out and is in the forecast for some areas yeh!

God Bless all of you amazing men and women fighting these horrible fires. Stay safe!🙏❤️👩‍🚒👩‍🚒👍

Thanks guys!! Hope you all stay safe and return home to your families soon!!! Bless you all❤️

Wonderful pic.of these brave Firefighters! Prayers for their safety! 🙏🏻💕🙏🏻

Thank you to ALL FF's and Incident Command crews, Strike Teams busting butt out there. Love & prayers for All Your Safety from Santa Rosa 💜😷🐈

🙏 to all the first responders and thank you for your hard work.

Thank you Bishop firefighters for all of your extremely hard work!

A big Thank You To All Our Firefighters God Bless You And Your Families Stay Safe

Sending love and prayers from the Florida Panhandle. Be Safe! God Bless you and yours!

Thank you for your service. and God Bless You All .

God be with you all. Thank fort doing what you do

What a commitment! Thank you! Your work can never be repaid!!!

God bless you boys! Please stay safe!

Thank you God bless and stay safe

God Bless you all🙏☮️

Thank you all for what you do for us everyday 💗

Stay safe 🚒😊👍🏼

Amen

Ty

👊👍🤙😎🙏

Thanks to all the firefighters out in California, Oregon & Washington who work tirelessly everyday ❗️❗️. You are true heroes❗️

This is a spectacular photo, a real prizewinner! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thanks never were more than a few brave people

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7 days ago

To any of our Inyo County residents....Please take a minute, if you haven’t yet, to sign up for the Inyo County emergency alerting system, CodeRED. This will ensure that if there is a local emergency such as an evacuation notice or missing child report that you will be notified. Stay safe and stay informed!
Click on this link to sign up:
public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/DAD807D480BF

📷 by John Paul DeRousseau
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To any of our Inyo County residents....

Comment on Facebook

Jack Lila McKinney just making sure your signed up ❤️

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