The Complete John Muir Trail Adventure Journal

My 13 Days on the John Muir Trail

I’ve had a few people tell me they enjoy the trail reports of my 13 days of adventure  on the John Muir Trail. This makes me happy.

But some of these people have mentioned that the individual reports aren’t all that easy to find on the site for those visitors who want to read the journal entries day-by-day (and disregard my other ramblings).

This is a fair point, and one well-taken. So here is the complete John Muir Trail journey, listed in chronological order along with the briefest of daily recaps and links to the full pages.

The John Muir Trail starts here.

The Complete John Muir Trail Posts

Day One: Snow Plant on the JMT

Day One

Happy Isles to Echo Creek Trail (14 miles)

The adventure begins in a busy Yosemite National Park. A pleasant day of hiking and experiencing scenic vistas, rushing waterfalls, and a few mosquitoes.

Headwound on the JMT

Day Two

Echo Creek Trail to Lyell Forks (18.5 miles)

I get lost for the first time, break my poop shovel, and get my first injury. Overall, a pretty good day.

It's good to be a marmot on the JMT.

Day Three

Lyell Forks to Trinity Lakes (20.5 miles)

I climb Donahue Pass, the first of eight passes south-bound hikers have to negotiate, and a marmot tries to eat my breakfast.

One would think I'd be more careful. This could have been a lot worse.

Day Four

Trinity Lakes to Deer Creek Crossing (11.7 miles)

I don’t see another person for 18 hours—the longest stretch of solitude I had during the hike. Also, I get lost (again) and injure myself a second time. This was a low point of the whole adventure.

Sometimes the trail surprises you. In this case, there was a rock that looked a lot like a chair.

Day Five

Deer Creek Crossing to Lake Thomas A. Edison (22.9 miles)

I hustle to negotiate seemingly endless blow-downs and Silver Pass to reach the shore of Lake Thomas A. Edison by sundown. There’s pretty decent cell phone coverage there—and a ferry.

Day Six

Vermilion Valley Resort (0 miles)

I didn’t do a single thing during this relaxing zero day. Except some reading, some laundry, a quick shower, and eating four meals.

Day Seven

Vermilion Valley Resort to Muir Trail Ranch (19.5 miles)

People say you can’t make it from VVR to MTR in a day. Those people are wrong.

Split rock.

Day Eight

Muir Trail Ranch to Evolution Basin (14.4 miles)

I could have hiked further, but the Evolution Basin is the most beautiful place on Earth. I had to stop and enjoy it. Oh, and I took another blow to the head, right by the rock you see on the left.

Mountain flora on the JMT.

Day Nine

Evolution Basin to Deer Meadow (19.3 miles)

Over Muir Pass, which has the most snow I’ll see on the hike—and it isn’t much.

Mountain flora on the JMT.

Day Ten

Deer Meadow to Woods Creek Canyon (21.6 miles)

Two passes in one day had me chasing the sun to make camp—only to be attacked by an endless horde of mosquitoes. And something was sniffing around my tent that night.

Nalgene bottle with a Backcountry.com goat.

Day Eleven

Woods Creek Canyon to Center Basin (18.6 miles)

I sprained my ankle early in the day, right before crossing over the “one-person-at-a-time” bridge.

Mountainous flora on the JMT.

Day Twelve

Center Basin to just past Timberline Lake (19.6 miles)

Hiking with a sprained ankle is hard, but the scenery is as stunning as ever as I cleared Forester Pass. Only one big climb ahead of me, but that will wait for tomorrow.

Funny signs can be found all over on the JMT.

Day Thirteen

Timberline Lake to Whitney Portal (12.8 miles)

One last injury before the journey ends, a few days earlier than I’d planned. I’m glad it’s over, yet I already miss it. I’m pleased I had the chance to take on this adventure. I’d happily do it all over again.

I’ve also added some navigation elements to the bottom of each page to make it easy to read the entire trail journal from start to finish, should one so desire. Those elements looks like this:

Nothing too fancy, but it should help you travel between the pages a little easier.

Other John Muir Trail Stuff

Preparing for the JMT

Books and Maps

JMT Gear

Complete John Muir Trail Gear List

Basic Needs on the JMT


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