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Tips for Planning a John Muir Trail Hike
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Brett Marl
(brettmarl) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Tips for Planning a John Muir Trail Hike on 06/23/2008 21:51:36 MDT Print View

We have permits to hike the Wonderland Trail on July 12th. Washington is still buried under a lot of snow - that it's looking like we can't make the trip.

I'm looking for an alternative and thinking of flying south for better weather :)

I don't know much about the JMT - other than it's reputably spectacular. I have a few questions for any JMT gurus out there on BPL:

1. Whats the permitting situation? Are we too late to get permits?

2. What would you recommend as a good 50-75 mile section of the JMT?

If not, the JMT - any other last-minute snow-free, spectacular backpacking suggestions? :)


Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Tips for Planning a John Muir Trail Hike on 06/23/2008 22:15:21 MDT Print View

Book recommendation is the John Muir Trail by Elizabeth Wenk with Kathy Morey, Wilderness Press, 4th edition, plus get her spreadsheet of GPS waypoints ( ).

Some good links:

I'm doing a 161 mile segment from Reds Meadows to Whitney Portal in late July so I can't speak firsthand about the trail except the segment from Wallace Creek to Whitney Portal which coincides with High Sierra Trail which I've done. I'm sure others (such as Bob B.) will pipe in with suggestions and they know more firsthand about the trail.

Definitely, join the John Muir Trail Yahoo Group (a lot of BPLs are on that list too):

b s
(smyth) - F
JMT Permits on 06/26/2008 14:17:46 MDT Print View

If you're going to do the whole JMT starting from Yosemite Valley (Happy Isles trailhead) and heading south to Whitney, you're not going to be able to reserve a permit at this point unless you start tomorrow or in late September. This is the current list from the NPS website which shows dates where the trailhead quotas reservations are FULL.

Happy Isles->Sunrise/Merced Lake (pass through)

June 25 26 28 29 30

July 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

August 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

September 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 15 16 19

Forty percent of the permits are saved for walk ups though, so if you have the time and are flexible, you could try your luck and go that route. Or you could start from another trailhead if you're not worried about doing the whole trail.

Lot of info here and also on the JMT yahoogroup webpage as Roleigh mentioned.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: JMT Permits on 06/26/2008 14:43:57 MDT Print View

Please don't let the permit situation discourage you from going. If you don't have a permit you can do what I did last year. Show up mid-week the day before you wish to leave and get a walkup permit. There are quite a few. Then you can stay in the backpackers' camp before heading out the next morning. I arrived in the valley on the YARTS bus at about 2pm sunday afternoon in mid-august. Myself and about 6 others on the bus all got permits out of happy isles. There are also glacier point and tenaya lakes trailheads that will join into the jmt within about 15 miles that can be used. These are also booked so you'd need to go the walkup route for these as well but it does increase the available quota.

Michael Schwartz
(greenwalk) - MLife

Locale: PA & Ireland
Tips for Planning JMT on 06/26/2008 15:44:53 MDT Print View

Sorry, no advice for the JMT, but have you been following this thread??:

Also, check out the video Sarah mentions re snow conditions on WT on June 14:

Good luck,

Edited by greenwalk on 06/26/2008 15:46:57 MDT.