So you’ve decided to take on the John Muir Trail but don’t know where to start? You’re in luck! After my 2014 Southbound thru hike, I created this page of hiking resources with the help of some hiking friends! Dive in! Get all your general planning questions answered in my Ultimate JMT Planning Guide, read all about my thru hike, check out multiple itineraries from past thru hikers, and more! Have a question? Feel free to shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help!
This 13 page guide contains critical information including your permit options, transportation to the trail, online and print resources, recommended sources for discounted gear, bear canister low down, and resupply options. Links and other pertinent information such as phone numbers are included as well!
Check out these itineraries to get you started. Using these as a guide is a great option for the following reasons:
1) It will help you determine the number of days you should plan for.
2) You will see specific trends such as ideal camping locations (hikers often camp before a pass).
3) It may spark new ideas you never would have thought of!
4) It will get you researching! If I were you, I’d have a JMT map and a guide book with my while looking at these.
1) You will not follow your itinerary to a “T”. The itineraries included have been revised from each hiker’s planned itinerary to reflect their hike. You may generally stick to your itinerary or you may make changes on day two. Be flexible!
2) I’ve included a few different options to reflect a variety of approaches, but do your own thing! A 16 day hike may feel comfortable for you or 25 days may. Think about acclimating, daily pace, planned zero or nero days (zero = day of no hiking; nero = very little mileage compared to your average). Do you want to add side trips? Are you having someone meet you along the way? Would you rather have more time in camp at night or a mid day rest? It’s your hike!
3) If you are hiking with a partner or group, make sure to understand how each of you hike and plan your itinerary with this in mind.
My 15 Day Southbound JMT Thru Hike– Happy Isles to Whitney Portal
Jeff Hester’s (SoCal Hiker) 22 Day Southbound JMT Thru Hike– Happy Isles to Whitney Portal
Walking Womad’s 25 Day Southbound JMT Thru Hike– Happy Isles to Whitney Portal
Lindsey and Amanda’s 27 Day Southbound JMT Thru Hike– Glacier Point to Whitney Portal
BONUS: Trail to summit 15 day Southbound journals & Lady on a Rock’s 15 day Northbound journals!
There are many resources now available for JMT hikers. Which one ranks as the best? There’s no simple answer. Roleigh Martin, lead moderator of the 3600+ member John Muir Trail Yahoo Group reviews all 5 guidebooks/mapsets. See how they rank!
Hi! Thanks for the super useful information. This is one of the most user-friendly sites I’ve found yet, and very comprehensive. I’m searching for a day-to-day itinerary for an approximately 21-day northbound hike and having trouble finding an example. I will definitely take your advice and keep it flexible but for my Inyo/Mt. Whitney permit I need to give an example itinerary. Any tips for finding one? Thanks!
I’d love to see some more northbound iteneraries (that are a bit longer than one mentioned above) and the preferred campsites before passes. We are bringing kids along so hoping for shorter miles per day and really taking our time.