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Best trails in John Muir Wilderness, California

6,755 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in John Muir Wilderness, California? AllTrails has 78 great hiking trails, trail running trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Gearing up for a challenge? There are 48 hard trails in John Muir Wilderness ranging from 5.1 to 82.3 miles and from 4,606 to 14,475 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
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Map of trails in John Muir Wilderness, California
Park information
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Top trails (78)
#1 - Big Pine Lakes Trail
John Muir Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(1050)
Length: 16.2 mi • Est. 8 h 32 m
As of September 2020, trails in this area are closed due to wildfire. See park page for more information: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recarea/?recid=21875 NOTE: If you are planning to stay overnight, you need to get an overnight wilderness permit, please find more information here: https://www.recreation.gov/ This hike starts off slightly uphill for quite a ways until you start rounding some corners and eventually you'll make it to a waterfall. You continue a ways until you make it to the breathtaking scenery of the mountains and mountain lakes. There is no shade for the first 3/4 of the trail. Bring a lot of water. The views at the end (and even on the way there) are INCREDIBLE. Show more
#2 - Little Lakes Valley to Gem Lakes
John Muir Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(587)
Length: 7.2 mi • Est. 3 h 34 m
Please note that the road leading to the trail head is closed adding 1 mile to the hike. A day hike from the Mosquito Flat trailhead through the Little lakes valley to Morgan Pass. Please note that parking at the trailhead is extremely limited. Little lakes valley hike is a beautiful day hike in the eastern sierra that takes you through scenic lakes formed by snow melt. It is a moderately strenuous hike, not due of the elevation gain, but because of being above 10000ft. The trail starts from the Mosquito flat trail head, located at the end of Rock Creek Road, about 10 miles from Hwy 395. The trailhead is at an elevation of 10000+ft, so acclimatization at high altitudes will definitely help.Show more
#3 - Duck Pass and Pika Lake Trail
John Muir Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(355)
Length: 9.5 mi • Est. 5 h 16 m
Please note that the road leading to this trailhead is currently closed (06/16/2020). The walk from the nearest parking lot adds about 3 miles total. This large, grand, austere mountain lake is close enough for a day hike from Mammoth Lakes, but far enough that it still offers solitude to those who want it. Wilderness permit required for overnight use.Show more
#4 - Kearsarge Pass Trail to Kearsarge Lakes
John Muir Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(328)
Length: 11 mi • Est. 6 h 47 m
Although the John Muir Wilderness portion of this trail is dog friendly. After Kearsarge Pass you have entered Kings Canyon National Park, which is not dog friendly. Crampons are recommended in the winter.Show more
#5 - Rock Creek to Long Lake Trail
John Muir Wilderness
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(329)
Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 2 h 11 m
Note: the road to this trailhead is subject to closures seasonally. You can park at Rock Creek Pack Station, which is approximately one mile (1.6 km) from the trailhead.Show more
#6 - Sherwin Lakes Trail
John Muir Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(564)
Length: 4.5 mi • Est. 2 h 25 m
#7 - Mount Muir via the Mount Whitney Trail
John Muir Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(329)
Length: 14.4 mi • Est. 9 h 47 m
#8 - Onion Valley Campground to Flower Lake
John Muir Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(289)
Length: 4.3 mi • Est. 2 h 38 m
#9 - Bishop Pass Trail
John Muir Wilderness
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(224)
Length: 10 mi • Est. 5 h 37 m
Bishop Pass Trail is one of the most popular routes in the Eastern Sierras that offers great views of beautiful alpine lakes and can be done as a day hike or backpacking trip, depending on the extent of your trip. Day hike options include the hike to Chocolate Lakes and Chocolate Peak or you can choose to turn around once you reach the summit of Bishop Pass. The trail starts at South Lake trailhead and climbs to the valley between the Inconsolable Range and Hurd Peak. As you gain altitude the scenery just gets better. At about 3 miles you will arrive at Long Lake and you can see the pass with its numerous switchbacks. You will climb a series of granite benches, with many lakes and ponds. The highest lakes are are found at the foot of Mt.Thompson and Mt.Goode. It is extremely rocky in this area, but the footing is not bad. Once you reach the summit (11,972 feet), you are rewarded with views of the vast and beautiful basin below. You now have the option to continue on and cross the pass to descend into Dusy Basin and LeConte Canyon where the trail eventually meets the John Muir Trail. If you are backpacking, you want to spend several days in the basin, as there may trails and lakes to explore. The two things you must be aware of are bears and cold weather. You are required to use the bear boxes that are provided. It gets cold at night. In the spring and early fall the temperature will go below freezing. Expect some snow on the trail in the spring and early summer and lightening storms in the summer and early fall. Make sure you check the weather reports before heading out. Since this a very popular place, make sure to secure your wilderness permit and overnight parking permit early or you may be out of luck. Once you get out of your car and throw on your daypack or backpack you are in for an incredible adventure.Show more
#10 - Lake Sabrina to Blue Lake Trail
John Muir Wilderness
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(319)
Length: 6.2 mi • Est. 3 h 31 m
From the Sabrina Basin trailhead, follow the trail around the south shore of Lake Sabrina. Take notice of the wildflowers and spectacular view of the Sierra crest. As the trail reaches the back of the lake, it ascends up a large draw. The lower portions of the trail are exposed to the sun so this is a good early morning hike. Take note of the waterfall above the back of Lake Sabrina. Once the trail moves south, into the draw, the switchbacks begin. The trail from this point, all the way to Blue Lake consists of short sections of straight trail sandwiched between repetitive series of switchbacks. Much of these switchbacks are forested but those that are not provide an excellent vista looking back toward Lake Sabrina. While this is a good uphill hump, the view is what will take your breath away. The scenery is spectacular. The trail winds up into the forest and flattens out as the trail approaches the lake. Blue Lake is located at about 10,400 ft. and is very scenic. There are excellent picnic areas at the outlet of the lake and along the back of the lake toward the inlet. Don’t stop where you first see the lake. The best spots are further up the tail. Take some photos, eat some lunch, fish a little, and then retrace your steps back to the Sabrina Basin Trailhead. http://parchersresort.net/bluelake.htm Show more
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