Date Day Daily Miles Total Miles Starting Campground Ending Campground General Notes
July 17th 1 7.1 7.1 Backpacker’s Campground Yosemite Valley Bridalveil Creek Entry @ Pohono Trail
18th 2 13 20.1 Bridalveil Creek Cloud’s Rest Spur Campground 1.04 (Wenks)
19th 3 10 30.1 Cloud’s Rest Spur Cloud’s Rest Spur Hike Half Dome and Cloud’s Rest
20th 4 11.4 41.5 Cloud’s Rest Spur Lower Cathedral Lake Campground 1.22 (Wenks)
21st 5 15.8 57.3 Lower Cathedral Lake East of Bridge Across Lyell Forks of Tuolumne Campground 2.07 (Wenks). Resupply in T.M. Eat lunch in town.
22nd 6 9.5 66.8 Campground 2.07 1000 Island Lake Donahue Peak (add 3.3 miles)?
23rd 7 2.6 69.4 1000 Island Lake Garnet Lake Banner Peak? General wandering around.
24th 8 15.4 84.8 Garnet Lake Somewhere around Rainbow Falls Resupply at Red’s Meadow. Dinner at town. Leave JMT @ Fish Creek Trail
25th 9 12.1 96.9 Rainbow Falls Iva Bell Hot Springs
26th 10 11.5 108.4 Iva Bell Lake Virginia Join JMT again @ Purple Lake.
27th 11 12.9 121.3 Lake Virgina Mott Lake/Blue Jay Lakes
28th 12 16.9 138.2 Mott Lake Rose Lake
29th 13 13.8 152 Rose Lake Somewhere near Piute Trail Junction Resupply at MTR. Turret Lakes? Campsite?
30th 14 12.6 164.6 Piute Trail Darwin Bench
31st 15 13 177.6 Darwin Bench Helen Lake Side trips up Mt. Spencer and Black Giant (mileage included in daily total)
Aug. 1st 16 16.8 194.4 Helen Lake Lower Palisades
2nd 17 16.8 211.2 Lower Palisades Bench Lake Side trip up Split Mt (mileage included)
3rd 18 21.9 233.1 Bench Lake 60 Lake Basin
4th 19 11 244.1 60 Lake Basin Vidette Lakes West Vidette?
5th 20 24 268.1 Vidette Lakes Guitar Lake
6th 21 5 273.1 Guitar Lake Mt. Whitney Peak Side trip up Mt. Muir
7th 22 10.4 283.5 Mt Whitney Peak Whitney Portal The End.

Because the John Muir Trail is so remote and highly regulated, its important to make plans and make them early.  Yosemite is notorious for their strict back-country permit system, and this permit is required the entire length of the trail.  Its not uncommon to get rejected for a permit even if you apply months in advance.  I’m starting from a VERY non-traditional trailhead, the Pohono Trail (the northern terminus, and where most people start, is Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley), so I didn’t have any trouble getting my permit approved.

The JMT travels through 3 National Parks (Yosemite, King’s Canyon, and Sequoia) and two wilderness areas (Ansel Adams, and John Muir).  The southern terminus, Mt. Whitney, is also the highest point in the lower 48.  It covers 218.5 miles along the way. Most people take anywhere from two weeks to a month to finish.  I have a number of side trips planned, so I’m walking 283 total miles in just over three weeks.

What I’m looking forward to most:


The Pohono Trail


Cloud’s Rest

1000 Island Lake/Banner Peak

Iva Bell Hot Springs

Darwin Bench/Evolution Lake

Guitar Lake

Mt. Whitney

Swimming in every lake I possibly can


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