The John Muir Trail is a long-distance hiking trail in the High Sierra backcountry, named after famed naturalist, author and Sierra Club founder John Muir.
For 211 miles, the trail follows the Sierra Nevada mountain range from its southern terminus at Mount Whitney to its northern terminus at Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley. The trail coincides with the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail for about 160 miles, and rarely dips below 8,000 feet elevation.
The trail is usually hiked in July, August or September after most of the snowpack has melted. Hiking earlier in the season often requires carrying an ice axe and fording streams bloated by snowmelt.
As with other long-distance hiking trails, the John Muir Trail is popular with thru-hikers, who attempt to complete the entire trail in one trip. Most thru-hikers on the John Muir Trail attempt the hike from north to south, because the southern half of the trail is more remote and at higher elevation.