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Itinerary for the John Muir Trail

Planning for the John Muir Trail

This was our planned itinerary for the John Muir Trail. You’ll note that the first day is a helluva hike, but a big part of the elevation gain comes without carrying a pack. We’re planning to stash our packs and ascend Half Dome as long as we’re there.

DayItineraryMileageAscentDescentTotal MilesTotal Ascent
1Happy Isles to Half Dome Junction12.35000185012.35000
2Half Dome Junction to Sunrise Camp7.6260040019.97600
3Sunrise to Tuolumne Meadows11.4400120031.38000
4Tuolumne Meadows to Upper Lyell Canyon9.5120010040.89200
5Upper Lyell Canyon to Thousand Island Lake9.72200195050.511400
6Thousand Island Lake to Devil's Postpile16.21800410066.713200
7Devil's Postpile to Deer Creek9170015075.714900
8Deer Creek to Tully Hole12.3205020508816950
9Tully Hole to Edison Lake11.81850315099.818800
10REST DAY00099.818800
11Edison Lake to Rosemarie Meadow12.333501050112.122150
12Rosemarie Meadow to Muir Trail Ranch9.510503350121.623200
13Muir Trail Ranch to McClure Meadow10.62200200132.225400
14McClure Meadow to NE of Helen Lake12.224501300144.427850
15NE of Helen Lake to Deer Meadow11.310002900155.728850
16Deer Meadow to Kings River1233002000167.732150
17Kings River to Woods Creek11.620503700179.334200
18Woods Creek to Vidette Meadow13.236502600192.537850
19Vidette Meadow to Tyndall Creek1238002500204.541650
20Tyndall Creek to Guitar Lake12.118001200216.643450
21Guitar Lake to Trail Camp1032002600226.646650
22Trail Camp to Whitney Portal6.8503700233.446700

Following this itinerary, our  average daily mileage is 11.67 miles, our average ascent per day will be 2,335 feet, and the largest single day elevation gain will be 5,000 feet.

2013 UPDATE: I’ve added links to the corresponding actual trail covered for each day. We kept to this itinerary pretty closely until Muir Pass. You’ll spot the tweaks we made as you read through the posts.

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