11 Reasons the John Muir Trail is the Best Long Distance Hike (For Trekking Newbies)

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Make no mistake about it, the John Muir Trail is epic, but it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s quite achievable for the active adventurer. Located within the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, John Muir a 211-mile hike that can be completed in anywhere from 15-21 days. The route contains some of the most photographed images of America’s national parks, including Yosemite Valley, Mt. Whitney and Sequoia National Parks and is comparatively shorter than its Triple-Crown Trail siblings: the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), the Appalachian Trail (AT) and the Continental Divide. If you’re looking to whet your whistle with outdoor adventure this summer, here’s everything you need to know about this iconic Cali expedition.

1. Humble Beginnings

What better way to celebrate the trail’s namesake than by honoring John Muir’s inspiration for the conservationist movement? Yosemite National Park is the suggested starting point (or ending point) and the park’s iconic cliffs (Half-Dome, El-Capitan), waterfalls and giant sequoias immediately immerse hikers with grandiose nature. Whether hikers are starting or concluding their hike, Yosemite holds a special place in the history of the trail and our national park system (it is the third oldest).

2. Short and Sweet

The JMT is classified as a long-distance hiking trail, but it pales in comparison to the other “Triple Crown” trails, which range from 2100 miles to 3100. The estimated time of completion depends on the skill level of the hiker, but 2-3 weeks is about standard. The aforementioned trails can take 6-9 months to complete and are more soul searching journeys than scheduled trips. The John Muir Trail is perfect for those wanting to see a lot in a relatively short amount of time. * Continue reading on the next page.

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