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Video: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

Posted On September 8, 2016 at 4:26 am by / Comments Off on Video: Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail

By Michael Lanza

Every year, when the pleasant temperatures and bug-free days and evenings of late summer arrive, I’m reminded of one of the best backpacking trips I’ve ever taken: my thru-hike of the John Muir Trail. Do you have plans or dreams of backpacking “America’s most beautiful trail?” Take your first step on that adventure right now by watching this video of images from my JMT thru-hike.

Calling the JMT “America’s most beautiful trail” can sound hyperbolic, given the competition in places like Grand Canyon and Glacier national parks, southern Utah, and even elsewhere in California’s High Sierra.

But the description has stuck hard to the John Muir Trail for many years, nonetheless—and it’s hard to argue against the claim. Meandering 211 miles from Yosemite National Park to Mount Whitney, it crosses a landscape dappled with thousands of lakes, and mountain passes over 13,000 feet high (like Trail Crest on Mount Whitney, in the photo above) below peaks soaring to 14,000 feet. Sheer granite cliffs loom everywhere, and roaring waterfalls are too numerous to even all have names. The JMT passes through contiguous, pristine wilderness in three national parks—Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia—and two federal wilderness areas, the John Muir and Ansel Adams.

It’s popular and hard to get a permit for the trip. But if you can’t get one for this year, it’s not to early to start planning for next year. See my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit.”

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Wondering whether you should hike it—or are up to it? Check out the video below from my JMT thru-hike, then read my story about it, where you can view lots of photos and get detailed advice on planning this adventure of a lifetime yourself. And see all of my stories about the John Muir Trail, all of my stories about backpacking in Californianational park trips, and about backpacking at The Big Outside, including “My Top 10 Favorite Backpacking Trips.”

Visit my Youtube page, where you’ll find many more videos from other great trips I’ve written about here at The Big Outside. You may find some ideas for your next big adventure, whether it’s on the JMT or elsewhere. You can also scroll through menus at my All Trips page of all stories about my adventures at The Big Outside.

Do you like The Big Outside? I’m Michael Lanza, the creator of The Big Outside, recognized as a top outdoors blog by USA Today, a Trip Advisor site, and others. Subscribe for updates about new stories and free gear giveaways by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this story or in the left sidebar, and follow my adventures on Facebook and Twitter.

This blog and website is my full-time job and I rely on the support of readers. If you like what you see here, please help me continue producing The Big Outside by making a donation using the Support button at the top of the left sidebar or below. Thank you for your support.



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