John Muir Trail • 210 miles • California High Sierra Range
The John Muir Trail runs for over 210 miles through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of California. It starts in Yosemite Valley and travels to the summit of Mt. Whitney. The JMT is one of the most popular hiking trails in the country and is an incredible adventure for thru-hikers, section-hikers, and day-hikers. It passes through beautiful and scenic protected areas including Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, and two national forests. By all means check out our interactive JMT map today!
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Frequently Asked Questions about the John Muir Trail
What is the best guide for hiking the John Muir Trail?
FarOut created the best and most popular smartphone guide for the John Muir Trail.
The FarOut JMT guide is the best because the trail data and map information is constantly updated. See the interactive JMT map here.
How long is the John Muir Trail?
The JMT is about 210 miles long but than is not including the distance from Whitney Portal which will bring the total closer to 223 miles.
The JMT follows the same footpath as the longer Pacific Crest Trail for about 160 miles.
Will I see Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hikers on the JMT?
Most northbound PCT thru hikers will hike along the JMT section in mid June and early July.
What is the highest point of the JMT?
The highest point of the JMT is the southern terminus on top of Mount Whitney (elevation 14,505 feet).
What is the best time to hike the JMT?
The best time to hike the JMT depends on the snow pack levels. The snow covering the high elevation passes don’t normally clear until late June. Snow can easily linger into early July during heavy snow years. Therefore, if you want to avoid snow a start date in late July through early October is ideal.
How long does it take to hike the JMT?
Because of the length of the JMT and the high mountain passes it usually takes around 3 weeks to hike the entire trail. Average hikers finish closer to 3 weeks while faster hikers finish closer to 2 weeks.
The fastest known time to hike the entire JMT is 3.02 days held by Jeff Garmire.
Do you need a permit to hike the JMT?
Yes, getting a permit to hike the JMT at the desired time can be extremely difficult. Daily permits are capped, and permits are issued by a lottery application. For additional information visit the Yosemite National Park Service.
How much does it cost to hike the entire JMT?
The cost to hike the JMT varies, so FarOut created a cost calculator where you can estimtate the cost of your hiking trip based on your hiking style.
How do you know where to camp and find water along the JMT?
The FarOut JMT guide includes places to find water and camp plus a lot more. As an illustration of the utility of our guide you can check out our free Mount Whitney section here.
What gear do I need to hike the John Muir Trail?
What gear you need for the John Muir Trail depends on the time of year and direction you hike. Treeline Review’s gear list and strategy breaks down recommended gear, skills, and transportation logistics to get between trailheads.