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New Life List: Thru-Hike the JMT

A lifetime of weekend trips is like trying to live on appetizers. Get real sustenance with a two-week trek through the best of the Sierras on California's John Muir Trail.

RESOURCES: Getting there The JMT’s northern trailhead: the Happy Isles shuttle stop in Yosemite Valley. Southern trailhead: From US 395 in Lone Pine, turn west onto Whitney Portal Road and follow it 13 miles to its end. Guidebook John Muir Trail, by Elizabeth Wenk and Kathy Morey ($18; Maps Tom Harrison Maps John Muir Trail Map-Pack ($21; Contact Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-0740;; Inyo National Forest, (760) 873-2485;

-Vermont’s 273-mile Long Trail offers a three-week immersion in the intimacy and ruggedness of the Green Mountains’ dense forests and craggy peaks. Get maps, photos, and GPS tracks at

-Minnesota’s 235-mile Superior Hiking Trail may be named for the lake, but it works as an adjective, too. This ridgeline trip is crazy with cliff-top views, lakes, and waterfalls. (218) 834-2700;

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