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”.
More trips on the John Muir Trail
Aug 8 – 12
- 1st night’s stay at Tuolumne Meadows Campground
- 20 nights of wilderness tent camping (permits included)
- Last night’s lodging at Best Western Frontier Hotel Lone Pine
- All group gear including stoves, cookware, water filters, group first aid kit, etc. Each person carries a small portion of this gear.
- Personal backpacking gear provided by request: backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, trekking poles, and tents
- Day 1 private shuttle from Fresno to Tuolumne Meadows Campground
- Day 7 Ferry across Edison Lake
- Day 22-23 private shuttle from remote trailhead to hotel and back to Fresno
- Starting with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on Day 23 (excluding front country meals, see “Not Included” below)
- Backcountry gourmet meals including trail snacks. Each person carries a full bear can of food shared among the group.
- Hot tea or coffee served each morning
- 4 remote food resupplies
A Few More Notes
Travel & Logistics
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.
Training & Preparation
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:
- Endurance, cardio, and aerobic activities
- Core and leg strength (don’t forget those abs and quads)!
- Day hikes and overnight trips (5-7 days) 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 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.
What's not included
- Personal clothing & footwear
- Meals at Vermillion Valley Resort and last night’s celebratory dinner in Lone Pine
- Recommended 10%-20% gratuity for guides
- Trip Insurance (strongly recommended)
Linda B, 2021
Brian G, 2020
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