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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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1 day ago

Hmmmmm... thinking about all of the things I'm grateful for...
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

Photo by Instagram user @pardonmyfrencheee
#keepbishopsafe #Thanksgiving2020
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Hmmmmm... thinking about all of the things Im grateful for...
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!!

Photo by Instagram user @pardonmyfrencheee
#keepbishopsafe #Thanksgiving2020

Comment on Facebook

FWIW, it's interesting that "Visit Bishop" posts a photo of scenery that's 60 miles away. Just sayin'... but I love this photo! <3

Adorable.....just like Bishop! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone❤️🦃🍁

What a great photo !!

Great picture thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤🦃🦃

Happy Thanksgiving!

See you soon!

Shana Gordon

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1 day ago

Members of the Emmy-award winning CBS show “One Day at a Time” and state health expert Dr. Diana Ramos share important tips and information on how to have safe family holidays in the time of COVID-19. Check it out!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

youtu.be/Tn0VVFnHSkQ (English)
youtu.be/0QCmyWRhF_A (Spanish)
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3 days ago

This is Bishop from the Tungsten Hills looking east. Our little town is almost like an island. We have to travel hours to do most major shopping, or for any major medical issues. For most of us, it is absolutely worth it because we love the Eastern Sierra and although our town is small, our “backyard” is big and full of majestic natural beauty. We know many of you who live far away love this place as well. ❤️

So as you are making holiday plans this year, please remember to protect the people and places you love to play in. We appreciate it!!

Photo by Betsy Forsyth Johnson
#keepbishopsafe
... See MoreSee Less

This is Bishop from the Tungsten Hills looking east. Our little town is almost like an island. We have to travel hours to do most major shopping, or for any major medical issues. For most of us, it is absolutely worth it because we love the Eastern Sierra and although our town is small, our “backyard” is big and full of majestic natural beauty. We know many of you who live far away love this place as well. ❤️

So as you are making holiday plans this year, please remember to protect the people and places you love to play in. We appreciate it!! 

Photo by Betsy Forsyth Johnson
#keepbishopsafe

Comment on Facebook

We were campground hosts at Mammoth & went to Bishop for nice dinners on our days off, get haircuts, do laundry & see dentist. Enjoyed Bishop Mule Days too.. Besutiful area to spend the summer... Had to edit & add Schat's Bakery 💞💞

My first trip to Bishop was 57 years ago and have been back more years than not. I plan to keep coming back until my legs can’t walk the trails anymore. It’s truly a special place.

Wish I could be there. Great place to do star watching. Seem to be extra stars in the sky over there. Wishing you all the best for the holidays. Wish that bakery could deliver. So yummy. Stay well. <3

Loved growing up in Bishop, many fond memories there! I bet the town has changed since 75, but never the scenery!

One of my favorite places to camp don't how many times I've been there but I've been a bunch of times love it over 30times

I love it too! Grew up in Big Pine, worked in Bishop and Big Pine! 😊

best town I ever lived in

A place and time far far away! A place named Bishop, where I was born.

Take care! Hope to see you again next year!

Lived in early 50’s I lived in a mine camp Sheelite till the mud slide, moved to Rovanna To a mine housing . Parents bought a house in Tungsten City, up behind Rocking K Ranch, attended school in Round Valley Lots of memory In the area

Maybe you need to stop Blaming people that travel to the Eastern Sierra for your local problems. Its not really that small of a town and With the tax you get from tourism build a real medical facility and hospital!

Best place to grow up ‼️

Bishop is always one of our stopping points if we're visiting Yosemite and Death Valley. Bishop Creek Canyon, Rock Creek Canyon, Schats Bakery, Jacks, Spellbinder Books, Whiskey Creek- all previous haunts. Once normal travel arrangements return, we'll be back to visit one of our favourite places in the USA.

My Dad grew up in Bishop, he actually worked at the Tungsten mines for awhile before heading to El Paso to go to college. Then the war started and he joined the Army Air Corps . I spent many a summers staying with my grandma Duffy, playing with my cousins in that magical place. Still my favorite place on earth.

I know this viewpoint........magic.

I really miss Bishop and the Owens valley.....

Lived at Hilltop Estates/ Swall Meadows for quite a few years in the late 70’s to the early 80’s. Only place in California that keeps me coming back every couple years.

We would love to move there! Love the area.

Thank you for the words and picture you are blessed to live there xo

Our favorite place to go. Always come to the car show.

Home🇺🇸

To bad its in commiefornia. Love bishop

I remember Lone Pine too. Loved it

Small Town, Big Back Yard. 🥰

Can I have a friend request please

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6 days ago

Flashback to Main Street, 1886. Who would like to escape to this scene?

#LoveBishop #historicbishop
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Flashback to Main Street, 1886. Who would like to escape to this scene?

#LoveBishop #historicbishop

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I will take 1986. Had a cool uncle living there. Free lodging, and his Land Cruiser was available for deep snow drives.

Heck no...especially after I saw the video on "the old western hygiene". Talk about funk and stink! Whew, even the women stunk! Man-o-man....plus add on disease, diet and doctoring! Nope...lol 😆

I wonder if they still had to pose to get the exposure by 1886. Probably not.

Hmmm...1886 in Owens Valley? Was there a Sheriff? Or just a bunch of gun toting fools on horseback.

might be a sale but I will think it is a Halter class in the middle of the street and that will make me happy

Love that picture

I would love it. 🙏❤️🙏

I see Rusty’s!! Lol

It would be hard an cold but very free it would be something to go back in time

Every horse looks so healthy (extra shiny coat).... all that great pasture of the area > Owens Valley!

No thank you. I love Bishop, but I can't imagine living there without AC or a swamp cooler. lol

Even tho these days were hard ,they were free to enjoy great days.

Life was harder back then but better in My opinion.

Looks like a stock sale. If it were today, I would call it a horse show.

A busy place!

Early "Mule Days"?

I would buy that Appaloosa .

I would escape in a second :)

great pic

Right on

Can we visit but not stay?

Me

Great picture

Me toooooooo

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1 week ago

Ahhhh, we sure love sunsets in the Eastern Sierra!! 😍

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau
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Ahhhh, we sure love sunsets in the Eastern Sierra!! 😍

Photo by John Paul DeRousseau

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An amazing picture of a beautiful sky. Thanks for sharing 🙂🙂❤❤

The dinosaurs are still around when you see the sky like that

Hermoso,Bishop calf.

Awesome

Felicidades yerandi que tela pases muy vien

The ponds. Nice

I'm ready to FISH

Wow

Fantastic!

That's the sky color of snow on the way!! Lovely😍😘🐈😷

That is amazing beautiful blue sky I like winn you took that picture of the amazing beautiful blue sky

Amazing picture to put up on a wall

Gorgeous photo!

Wonderful!

So beautiful!

Beautiful

Beautiful

Beautiful!!

Beautiful

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