The John Muir Trail is one of the most classic backpacking trails in the world. Our 23-day backpack is a wilderness experience like none other, navigating the rugged spine of California’s High Sierra. Join us as we climb 8 high-mountain passes, traverse 3 national parks and attempt the summit of Mt Whitney (14,500’), the highest point in the contiguous US. Expert guides, seamless logistics and world-class scenery make the John Muir Trail the “trip of a lifetime”.
Your trip begins at Tuolumne Meadows Campground in Yosemite National Park. There are a couple of options to get there:
Option 1: We provide a private shuttle from Fresno to Tuolumne Meadows on Day 1, which can pick you up at the Fresno Yosemite Int'l Airport or nearby hotels. If you plan to use our shuttle, consider staying in Fresno the evening before your trip at our preferred hotel
Option 2: Coordinate your own transportation to Tuolumne Meadows on the first day. Just keep in mind that we will not be returning there at the end of the trip, so plan accordingly.
Any additional luggage you have will be stored at our secure facility and returned to you for your final night in Lone Pine. We'll provide your transportation back to Fresno on the last day of the trip, we recommend booking flights no earlier than 3pm on this day.
Due to increasingly competitve permitting for the JMT, actual permit location starts can vary and you will be notified before the trip of any changes. One common alternate joins with the JMT just south of Donahue Pass. This does not add any additional costs to the trip, and the logistics on Day 1 stay the same (meeting in Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite). The timing of the trip stays the same as well and doesn’t affect the overall nature of the 23-day expedition.
The JMT is our most difficult trip, traveling long distances over high mountain passes with uneven terrain for 21 trail days carrying a fully weighted pack (30-35 lbs). Not only do we want you to complete the trail with us, but we want you to have fun doing it! On the JMT, it’s not a question of whether you can climb a high mountain pass, but if you can get up the next morning and climb another... and then another... which is why training for this trip is so important. In addition, long sustained periods in a remote wilderness setting requires a unique mental toughness.
We recommend a rigorous training plan in the months leading up to your trip, focusing on:
Looking for more tips? Check out our blog here!
We strongly encourage having recent backpacking experience before embarking on the John Muir Trail with us. The most successful people have completed several backcountry trips carrying a fully weighted pack (35-40lbs) for at least 5 days. If you do not have this experience, we recommend joining us on a "shake-out" trip prior to your JMT trip.
To help keep pack weight down as much as possible, we schedule four food resupplies throughout the trip. The first two resupplies on Day 4 (Reds Meadow) and Day 7 (Vermillion Valley Resort) are front country resupplies where there are bathrooms, showers, food, payphones, etc available. The final two resupplies on Day 13 (LeConte Canyon) and Day 17 (Vidette Meadow) are remote resupplies brought in by pack mules. You are welcome to pack certain items for yourself to be included in the resupplies. More details about the resupplies and what to pack will be sent to you upon registration.
Kevin S, 2019
Todd B, 2019
Sarah C, 2018
Karen G, 2017
Deb N, 2016
Paul C, 2014
Karen & Russ S, 2013
Viv D, 2007