John Muir Trail Via Yosemite Valley

HARD 91 reviews
#13 of 217 trails in

John Muir Trail Via Yosemite Valley is a 203.1 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Mariposa, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

DISTANCE
203.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
46,030 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

This is the John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley to Whitney Portal.

backpacking
1 month ago

I hiked the JMT solo in 2015, but got off the trail in mile 180 (Kearsarge Pass Jct) because of ankle and knee injuries. In 2015, I resupplied twice: Reds Meadow and Muir Trail Ranch (estimated 9 days of food until Whitney Portal). I finished the last 31 miles in 2016 starting from Cottonwood Lakes to Kearsarge Pass (it’s about 72 miles including Mt. Whitney, Lake Charlotte, and Kearsarge Pass Trail). I didn’t resupply for this 7 day hike. Final thoughts about the JMT: challenging, nonetheless it was an amazing experience. Trail easy to navigate in low snow year, plenty of water sources on the trail, mozzies are relentless, beautiful views, mountains and lakes for days, and great people on the trail.

Transportation set up: I left my car in Lone spine and hitched a ride to Yose for my 2015 hike and to Horseshoe Meadows trailhead in 2016. Getting back to my car from Kearsarge Pass, I hired a shuttle service to take me back to Lone Pine. Reasonable rate.

3 months ago

amazing. not to be missed.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a fantastic trail that should be considered by all that love the high sierra. I did this in July 2015 over 15 days starting south of Whitney and ending in happy isles. Days where long but not outragous. I was on my own but never felt lonely. Lots of people on the trail to talk to if you want. You can also just hie along and people will leave you alone. Finding a camp site or water wasn't hard. I tried to finish my day making it halfway up a pass. This way I could rest the night and make it over the pass for breakfast the next day. Be sure to pack lite, I mean really only bring what you need as that pack certainly gets heavy after 15 days on the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

Not a very hard trail for downhill but it offers a great view of the Nevada fall and the valley. It also has a small cascade which you will walk under that brings you a great experience for the summer.

5 months ago

This is my favorite trail so far! I hiked it 5 times alone. I liked it so much that I even hiked it twice in one month (2009). Then I went back to hike it in 2011, 2012 and 2014. It’s time to do it again! I always hiked it in 9 - 12 days. I would like to spend more time on it, like 2 weeks to relax also.

backpacking
6 months ago

hiked this in 2012...it was meant to be a thru hike but partner got sick so we had to leave right about the half way point. I went back 2 years later and finished it. One of the crown jewels in US places to backpack.

hiking
7 months ago

This is the single most impactful trail I've ever experienced. The JMT, when done it its 211 mile entirety, will yield lifelong cherished memories. Its not easy, and you must do months of preparation. Its beauty is absolutely breathtaking. I cannot recommend this trail highly enough. Six stars.

8 months ago

I am not a poet. Words cannot describe how humbling gods work is. Over every peak, the trail gets more beautiful.

backpacking
8 months ago

Did this hike in 5th grade and planning on doing it again this year! It was an amazing experience and such great scenery. But extremely difficult and can be tough to follow if you do not have an experienced hiker with you.

hiking
8 months ago

One of the most beautiful sections of the PCT

backpacking
8 months ago

check out two applications: Guthook JMT for $9.99 and Hikerbot for crowd source information. Both have better and more detailed info than Alltrails.

backpacking
9 months ago

most wonderful, difficult, beautiful, amazing trail ever! Go NOBO from Whitney.

9 months ago

Did the whole length SB July 2016. Completed the thru-hike in 14 days with one resupply at John Muir Ranch. Amazing experience and completely life changing!

10 months ago

most amazing experience in my life

11 months ago

Beautiful in June. Expect some uphill challenges.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Above and beyond expectations

hiking
Thursday, August 31, 2017

*Edit from last review

.. rather, AllTrails lists the Snow Creek Falls, Tenaya Lake, Yosemite Valley via JMT loop as dog-legal

hiking
Wednesday, August 30, 2017

In doing a bit of research, I found that only sections of the JMT is dog-legal. AllTrails lists the Yosemite portion dog-legal, as per written description and according to map; Snow Creek trail, as well. Having a dog on-trail could result in a fine and possibly being escorted out of the park.

"The National Parks (both Yosemite and Sequoia / King's Canyon) do not allow dogs on any parts of the trails. The only sections that would allow a dog are those in the National Forests. John Muir Wilderness in Sierra National Forest and the Ansel Adams Wilderness in Inyo National Forest. Therefore, you'd have the trailheads from Muir Trail Ranch to Gem Lake (just short of Donahue) to hike with a dog (about 90 miles or so)."

backpacking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

Life-changing trip! I completed the trail SOBO from Tuolumne Meadows to Whitney portal and from July 16th to the 31st. This year was a heavy snowfall year which made for some snowy passes and high/fast flowing rivers and creeks, but it also made for an exceptionally beautiful trail! Saw the most beautiful views, met the best people, and had one of the most memorable experiences of my life. Make time to do this at some point in your life, would recommend to anyone!

backpacking
Monday, August 07, 2017

Absolutely life changing!

backpacking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

My wife and I hiked the JMT NOBO via Whitney Portal to Happy Isles in Yosemite, with a resupply over Kearsarge Pass to Onion Valley. With the resupply our total mileage was 238 miles.Beautiful weather the entire 21 days

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Joined up with this trail on my way back down from Nevada Falls and it has some really great views. I recommend taking Mist Trail up and this one back down to the Valley. I was glad I did it that way because I got some amazing photos on this hike.

backpacking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

I love that trail. I wish I was that forest ranger who worked out of the post in Evolution Valley.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Whoa Nelly!!!!

backpacking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

One of the most incredible things I've ever seen. astounding.

backpacking
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Did this while I was hiking the PCT. Summit Whitney. Great two weeks.

backpacking
Sunday, April 09, 2017

I hiked the JMT in summer of 2016. Solo. North Bound in 25 days. By far, the hardest thing I had ever done to date. An incredible empowering experience that I'll never quite be able to do a good job of putting into words. Unforgettable! If you're thinking about it. Do it. Go for it. After you do your homework and preparation.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Incredible views.

backpacking
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Amazing trail.

backpacking
Wednesday, January 04, 2017

John Muir Trail from Devils Postpile to Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley
August 3 – 12, 2015

Monday 3rd: We drove all day through the barren wasteland of Nevada. The trip was made enjoyable by listening to Julia Sweeney’s standup, “Letting Go of God.” Hilarious!
When we arrived in Mammoth, we went on the Reds Meadow Shuttle down to Devils Postpile. The Postpile was formed less than 100,000 years ago when a cooling lava flow cracked into multi-sided columns. The basalt was exposed and smoothed by glaciers.
Our first night we slept at the Whispering Pines at June Lake. The outside view from the hotel was beautiful.

Tuesday 4th: Today was dedicated to Yosemite. We started with breakfast at Nicely’s restaurant in Lee Vining, California. Then we went to Tuolumne Meadows to drop off our food cache in the bear boxes. Next, we headed down to Yosemite Valley. That place was crazy! It was packed with people, most of them speaking different languages (e.g. the tower of Babel). People clearly come from all over the world to enjoy this place.
We took a hike in Tuolumne Grove to see the giant redwood trees. I had never seen redwoods before and they are truly magnificent, ancient, and massive.
Yosemite is filled with granitic plutons, cooled, hardened and then uplifted and exposed by erosion. There are mountains of white-gray granite everywhere. One such rock is called El Capitan. I think Brennon and Devon should climb it.
While we were standing there admiring the “big rock”, a mama doe and her two baby fawns walked out of the bushes right in front of us. They wandered around for a minute and then happily hopped back into the forest.
Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in the United States. Although it was a little anemic (not much water) its sheer height was impressive.
We left the truck and trailer in the Yosemite Valley and decided to take the car. The only problem was that the car was on the tow dolly and it was completely dead. Luckily some good Samaritans helped us shove the Mazda off the dolly and we jumped it with Uncle Steve’s truck. We had gas station burritos for lunch.
At the end of the day we stopped at Tuolumne Meadows to scope out the backpacker’s camping spots and find the trailhead. Mission accomplished except one tiny problem. We’d walked around so long we forgot where we parked the car. After much walking and searching we eventually found the car (in 15 min parking) and headed back to Nicely’s for dinner, and Motel 6 for one last night in a bed.
Day 1: We left Devils Postpile early Wednesday morning. For lunch we stopped at one of the small Trinity lakes along the trail. Each time we stopped to eat we also had to pump water for our bottles. Lunch consisted of granola bars, trail mix, beef jerky, and craisins. After a little more hiking we came upon Gladys Lake, which I thought was even grander than the little Trinity lake.
Along the trail we met some interesting people. Today was the first time we met our friends from Canada, two men from British Colombia (although the older gentleman spoke French?). They shared our lunch spot, and they were headed the same way we were; we would see them again before our hike was finished. We also met a nice couple from Israel heading south. The third pair of fellow hikers I will call the Swiss Miss Twins (although they really came from New Hampshire). They were both blond with two braids in their hair. They were clearly experienced hikers even mentioning a hike they did in South America, but today one of them had blisters. They were heading to Red’s Meadow to take a day or two off and see if they could rest the feet and continue on. We hiked 7.5 miles today, climbing 2000 feet, and Rosalie Lake was our first campsite. It was by far the most beautiful of the lakes I had seen that day.

Day 2: Breakfast is a Steve’s Special – a mixture of several different kinds of cereal and a yummy rehydrated milk powder (I promise it tastes better than I make it sound). We left Rosalie Lake heading north on the trail. We walked past a zillion switchbacks to get to Shadow Lake. Next, we hiked along Shadow Creek, over a log bridge and past some amazing little waterfalls. To simplify the hike experience I will describe it like this: up, up, up, up, then down, down, down, down (repeat). We strolled past Garnet Lake, Ruby Lake, and Emerald Lake before arriving at 1,000 Island Lake aptly named because it is filled with small little islands. We were supposed to camp at 1,000 Island Lake, but decided to press on another 1.5 miles to Island Pass. We were tired when we arrived and it was a little cold, so we made camp, pumped water, and had a delicious Chili Mac for dinner.
Our notable fellow hikers today were two ladies from Germany, one from Berlin and the other from Munich. We also saw our first trailrunner. She cruised by us just fast enough for me to ask if she wanted applause – she said yes. 

Day 3: As we

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