The John Muir Trail is one of the most famous trails in the world. It follows the rugged spine of the Sierra Nevada, passing by pristine alpine lakes, wildflower-strewn meadows and hulking glaciated peaks. This section will take us northward from Florence Lake to Yosemite Valley, tackling the imposing Selden, Silver and Donahue Passes, visiting Cathedral Lakes, and continuing to the Northern Terminus of the JMT: Yosemite Valley. The JMT Northbound takes you backpacking through what the guides call “Postcard Country” among the sparkling lakes beneath the imposing Ritter Range.
2024: $4495 per person
Price based on shared hotel occupancy
Single Room Supplement:
Requested $110, Forced $55
Explore Custom Trip Options
- 1st nights lodging at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Fresno
- 11 nights of wilderness tent camping (permits included)
- All group gear including stoves, cookware, water filters, group first aid kit, etc.
- Personal backpacking gear provided by request: backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, trekking poles, and tents
- Day 2 private shuttle from Fresno to starting trailhead
- Day 2 ferry across Florence Lake
- Day 13 private shuttle from Yosemite Valley back to Fresno
- Starting with breakfast on Day 2 and ending with lunch on Day 13
- Backcountry gourmet meals including trail snacks
- Hot tea or coffee served each morning
- Food resupply halfway through the trip
A Few More Notes
Travel & Logistics
This trip begins and ends in at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Fresno, CA. The hotel is conveniently located across the street from the Fresno Yosemite International Airport and provides a complimentary shuttle service from the airport if needed. Plan to arrive at the hotel before 6pm so you can meet your guides and group for your trip orientation. If you are driving to Fresno, you are welcome to leave your vehicle parked at the hotel during your trip for no additional fee. Any additional luggage you have can be stored at our secure facility. At the end of the trip, a private shuttle will pick up the group in Yosemite Valley and will drop off at the Fresno airport or at the Fairfield Inn. We recommend booking flights no earlier than 6pm on the last day.
To help keep pack weight down as much as possible, we schedule 2 food resupplies for this trip on Day 4 and Day 7. The first resupply takes place in the backcountry at the inlet of Edison Lake. The second resupply (Day 7) is at Reds Meadow where there are bathrooms, showers, payphones, etc. You are welcome to pack certain items for yourself to be included on the Reds Meadow resupply only. More details about the resupplies and what to pack will be sent to you upon registration.
Training & Preparation
The JMT Northbound is one of our most difficult trips, traveling long distances over high mountain passes with uneven terrain for 12 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:
- Endurance, cardio, and aerobic activities
- Core and leg strength (don’t forget those abs and quads)!
- Day hikes and overnight trips with a weighted pack (30-35lbs) to train for both the physical and mental aspects of backpacking
- Cycling, running, step-master or stairs are great cross-training
- Include hilly terrain and steep climbs whenever possible
Looking for more tips? Check out our blog!
We strongly encourage having recent backpacking experience or practice before embarking on this section of JMT. The most successful people on these trips have completed several backcountry trips carrying a fully weighted pack (35-40lbs) for 3-5 days. If you do not have this experience, we recommend joining us on a “shake-out” trip prior to joining the John Muir Trail trip.
What's not included
- Personal clothing & footwear
- Dinner on Day 1 and snacks in Tuolumne
- Recommended 10%-20% gratuity for guides
- Trip Insurance (strongly recommended)
Frank R, 2023
Fiona B, 2019
Peter & Judy D, 2017
Henry T, 2013
Alan H, 2011
Dave & Tracy F, 1999