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.
Get a sampler of this backpacking trip of a lifetime in the photo gallery below. Then 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.”
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One key to finishing and enjoying the 211-mile JMT (221 miles including the descent off Mount Whitney, which is not part of the JMT) is keeping your pack weight as light as possible. See my tips on ultralight backpacking.
Obtaining a permit for a JMT thru-hike can be as challenging as doing the hike itself, which normally takes two to three weeks, and the time to apply for that permit is now. See my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit.”
Get the right pack for you. See my “Gear Review: The 10 Best Packs For Backpacking”
and my “5 Tips For Buying the Right Backpack.”
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