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Ultimate Guide To The John Muir Trail

If you are a naturalist and you seek solitude, you will wish to visit The John Muir Trail. This guide will help all visitors to better understand this beautifully, isolated, and challenging trail. The trail itself was named after a famous naturalist John Muir in his honor.

History and Information

Construction of the trial began in the year 1914 and the completion of the trail took several years to finish due to the lack of funds and the depression. The entire trail project lasted for forty six years and was finally finished in the year 1932.

The John Muir Trail is located within three national parks. The trail begins in the Yosemite National Park, and extends through the Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. The full length of the trail is two hundred and ten miles in length.

The John Muir Trail is open for three months per year during the months of July to September visitors can experience the joys of the trail. The trail scenery consists of mountains, wilderness scenery, wildlife, plants and foliage. Visitors should all be aware of their surroundings, especially the local wildlife. Some of the wildlife can be dangerous as well as some of the foliage within the park along the trail.

Visitors in the numbers of one thousand five hundreds each year flock to this famous trail. The John Muir trail is also known as the “Americas most famous trail”. The trail begins at the trail head located in the Yosemite National Park.

The trail begins in Yosemite national Park’s Yosemite Valley, and ranges two hundred twenty one miles along the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The trail ends at Mount Whitney at the height of fourteen thousand four hundred ninety seven feet above sea level.

The trail head begins in the Yosemite Valley then heading northeast to the Tuolumne Meadow. The trail then turns south toward the Sierra Nevada. The trail then ventures into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Finally the trail head ends in the Whitney Portal making the total length of the trail to two hundred twenty one miles long.


In order to visit the John Muir Trail visitors must obtain a wilderness permit. The wilderness permit can be obtained when the visitors reserve the permits in advance. There is a limit on the number of permits sold. The reason for the limit is to keep the number of visitors to the trail down, thus greater increasing the privacy and solitude of the experience of the trail.

Visitors Activities

The John Muir Trail can be a challenging path high in the mountain scenery, and it is eight thousand feet to ten thousand feet above sea level. Trail difficulty is rated at moderate to slightly strenuous. Visitors to the John Muir trail can use the trail for several different activities such as running the paths, hiking and backpacking are also favorite visitor activities.

For the more adventurous visitors there is also the horseback riding along the beautiful mountain peaks, as well as the plentiful wildlife within the national parks. Visitors can bring their own horses into the national parks and can camp in designated areas along the trail. The trail has certain areas that are specifically set aside to accommodate horses and owners.

During early July the peaks of the mountain’s and the low lying area slopes can be hazardous as they could still be icy. Although the site is beautiful and breathtaking the trails can also be seriously challenging under these conditions. For this reason many visitors choose to visit the trail during August and September.

The John Muir trail cannot be completed within a day’s visit. Therefore most visitors usually visit several times during the open season to experience the most the trail has to enjoy. Visitors who have an extended amount of time to stay and camp out within the parks can experience the entire trail in thirty days or more.

Wildlife on the John Muir trail

The more time the visitors spend on the trail the more familiar they become with the nature, the peace and tranquility the nature trail can bring to the individuals who visit.

All visitors should also be courteous and considerate of the park and other visitors. The visitors should pick up all refuse and take it to the designated disposal areas.

Visitors should enjoy the wildlife the park holds as the park is filled with deer that roam freely through the park. Many different birds’ species also inhabit these national parks and build homes along the trail. Reptiles such as snakes can be interesting but also deadly therefore visitors should be cautious. Other wildlife like lizards, frogs, squirrels and many other small furry creatures inhabit the trail within the national parks.

The most important wildlife within these parks and along the trail is the Black Bears as well as an occasional Mountain Lion also called Cougars. These species are beautiful as long as they are at a distance. All visitors should follow park rules involving food goods. Use the protective containers approved for food storage. These containers will keep the aroma of foods contained.

Animals rely on their sense of smell if they cannot smell the food they will not be tempted to approach a visitors camp site. If however a visitor should encounter one of the trails larger animals please remember that the animals are as afraid of humans as the humans are of the animals.

It is best to talk loudly and slowly back away from the animals’ area as the visitor may be infringing on the animals territory. Please be safe and enjoy The John Muir trail.


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