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West Coast Readers' Choice Hikes: Thru-hike the John Muir Trail, CA

Trek 211 miles through hiker heaven.

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“This trail is the all you-can-eat smorgasbord of what the Sierra Nevada has to offer,” says Cheryl Norlin. And it should be: It tracks right through its heart. You’ll enter Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks as well as the Mt. Whitney Zone. It’s three weeks of sheer rock walls, mile-deep canyons, skyscraper-tall trees, saw-blade ridges, golden-hued granite, translucent green lakes, and cobalt skies. Most hike from south to north, but our team suggests going southbound, to allow more acclimatization time. Target August and early September to avoid snowpack.

Plan a John Muir Trail Thru-Hike

Driving Go to mtwhitneyshuttle.com for public transportation and shuttle info.

Map and GuideTom Harrison Maps John Muir Trail Map Pack ($19, tomharrisonmaps.com); John Muir Trail, by Elizabeth Wenk ($19, wildernesspress.com)

Contactpcta.org

TRIP ID38179