Cicerone The John Muir Trail

Through the Californian Sierra Nevada
Weighs 250g
Code: AW181349
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Guidebook to walking the John Muir Trail through California's High Sierra from Yosemite (El Capitan and Half Dome) to the summit of Mount Witney. The 216 mile hike is split into 21 daily stages, with full information on preparation, permits, wilderness, bears, water and trekking skills. Part of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Cicerone says:

The John Muir Trail (JMT) is a world-famous trek and North America's best known walking trail. It runs for 216 miles through California's Sierra Nevada mountains, from Yosemite Valley (El Capitan and Half-Dome) to the summit of Mount Whitney (14,496ft), the highest peak in the US outside Alaska. It also makes up part of the epic Pacific Crest Trail which runs the length of the Rockies through Canada and the US.

All you need to know to plan and prepare for your trip is contained within this guide, from obtaining trekking permits to buying trek food and forwarding food caches along the trail. Abundant advice is given on such topics as dealing with inquisitive bears, coping with altitude, negotiating river crossings, as well as tips on booking transport to and from the trailheads and on what equipment to take. In addition there is a detailed description of the flora and fauna of this remarkable region.

The walking trail, which is named after the great 19th-century Scottish naturalist, conservationist and writer John Muir, is entirely through the unspoilt wilderness of the American West and passes through three national parks: Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. Information includes:

  • advice on preparation, including trekking permits, food caches along the trail and how to deal with bears and river crossings
  • variants and escape routes, camp sites, bear box locations and resupply points
  • ascent, descent and distance tables for all stages



For nearly 50 years Cicerone have been producing guidebooks on recognised treks, regions, areas and general tips for hikers.

We have used them countless times and they've always provided excellent insight and knowledge that you only get through experience, giving you the edge to make your trip a success and more enjoyable too.

If you're a gram counter you can easily remove sections of the book to take with you making your own ultra-lightweight guidebook with only the essential sections that you require.

- Reviewed by Ultralight Outdoor Gear

  • advice on preparation, including trekking permits, food caches along the trail and how to deal with bears and river crossings
  • variants and escape routes, camp sites, bear box locations and resupply points
  • ascent, descent and distance tables for all stages



August is best, July normally fine but late snow may be a problem


Starts Yosemite and finishes at Whitney Portal; Tuolmmne, Vermilion Resort and Muir Trail Range along the way; access through San Francisco or Los Angeles


spectacular, remote and risks of poor weather; backpacking throughout, carrying all required food; tough trekking but no route-finding difficulties; beware of bears!

Must See

Yosemite (rock walls of El Capitan, Half Dome etc), King's Canyon and Sequoia national parks, Anselm Adams wilderness, Mount Whitney


  • Edition: Second
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
  • Weighs 250g


John Muir
Parks along the JMT
The Pacific Crest Trail
Using this Guide
Planning your Trip
Flights to California
Public Transport to and from the Trailhead
Booking Accommodation
Food Supplies
General Fitness and Trail Fitness
Health and Medical Considerations
Water Purification
Coping with Altitude
Dealing with Bears
River Crossings
Other Natural Hazards
Low-Impact Trekking and National Park/Wilderness Regulations
Camp Routine
Time Difference
Public Holidays in the US
The Natural World by Dr Charles Aitchison
Geology of the Sierra Nevada
Vegetation and Flowers on the John Muir Trail
Birds of the John Muir Trail
Mammals along the Trail
Day 1 Yosemite Valley (Happy Isles) to Half Dome Trail Junction/Sunrise Creek and the Ascent of Half Dome
Day 2 Half Dome Trail Junction/Sunrise Creek to Sunrise High Sierra Camp
Day 3 Sunrise High Sierra Camp via Cathedral Pass to Tuolumne Meadows
Day 4 Tuolumne Meadows to Upper Lyell Canyon
Day 5 Upper Lyell Canyon via Donohue Pass and Island Pass to Thousand Island Lake
Day 6 Thousand Island Lake to the Devil’s Postpile
Day 7 The Devil’s Postpile via Reds Meadow to Deer Creek
Day 8 Deer Creek to Tully Hole/Cascade Valley Junction
Day 9 Tully Hole/Cascade Valley Junction via Silver Pass to Edison Lake
Day 10 Edison Lake to Rosemarie Meadow
Day 11 Rosemarie Meadow via Seldon Pass to the Muir Trail Ranch
Day 12 Muir Trail Ranch to McClure Meadow
Day 13 McClure Meadow via Muir Pass to Unnamed Lake North-East of Helen Lake
Day 14 Unnamed Lake North-East of Helen Lake to Deer Meadow
Day 15 Deer Meadow via Mather Pass to Kings River
Day 16 Kings River via Pinchot Pass to Woods Creek
Day 17 Woods Creek via Glen Pass to Vidette Meadow
Day 18 Vidette Meadow via Forester Pass to Tyndall Creek
Day 19 Tyndall Creek to Guitar Lake
Day 20 Guitar Lake via Mount Whitney and Trail Crest to Trail Camp; and the ascent of Mount Whitney
Day 21 Trail Camp to Whitney Portal

Appendix A Camping Areas on the JMT
Appendix B Ranger Stations along the JMT
Appendix C Escape Routes on the JMT
Appendix D Bear Box Locations on the JMT
Appendix E Mountain Passes and Peaks on the JMT
Appendix F Useful Addresses and Websites in the UK and US
Appendix G Bibliography
Appendix H Trail Summary Table

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