The 211 mile long John Muir Trail is one of the most popular and scenic treks in the U.S. Running from Yosemite Valley to Mt. Whitney, the route runs parallel to the much longer Pacific Crest Trail, passing through King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Park in the process.
Named for the first president of the Sierra Club, who was instrumental in lobbying for public lands to be set aside for outdoor recreation, the trail offers significant challenges at altitude. The route rarely drops below 8000 feet, and crosses through six passes that are above 11,000 feet.
The amount of vertical gain and loss on the trail is estimated to be over 84,000 feet, which has a significant impact on the difficulty of a hike on the trail. Despite that, thousands flock to the trail each year, usually between July and September, to trek some or all of the length.
Backpacker Ryan Commons did just that this past fall, spending seven days on the John Muir, and capturing much of it on video. The results are seen in the movie below, which is very well made and captures the essence of the adventure beautifully. The video is 40 minutes in length, but very well made, and well worth the scenery alone. If you have ever considered hiking the trail, you’ll definitely want to give it a look.
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