"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." ~John Muir
The John Muir Trail near Muir Pass at 11,000ft
Simply put, the John Muir Trail is California's greatest adventure. This classic backpacking trail winds its way across the spine of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California and rarely dips below 8,000ft. It is a 211 mile long trail that goes deep into perhaps the largest unspoiled wilderness in America outside of Alaska. It is a North-South trail which travels from Yosemite to Mt Whitney in a crescendo of both elevation and scenery. I've hiked the John Muir Trail end-to-end once and hiked several sections of it on other occasions. This and the next couple of posts are my suggestions and guide to this magnificent trail

General Description

Near Donahue Pass, Yosemite National Park

The John Muir Trail starts (or ends) in Yosemite Valley. This is the most cosmopolitan and unfortunately crowded section of the trail. It starts at the Happy Isles Trailhead which is the same trail to Half Dome. From here, it makes a long climb out of the valley and up over Donahue Pass at about 11,000ft. The trail briefly crosses over to the eastern side of the Sierras and up over Island Pass.