John Muir Trail: A Leisurely 25-Day Itinerary

Hike Your Own Hike. We all have our own preferences, hiking paces, and I’ve come to find that my pace is a lot slower than most. On average, it takes 14-21 days to complete the John Muir Trail, and 2-weeks is usually the average vacation time one is allowed to take from work. I allowed myself 21 days to complete all 211 miles of the JMT, but caught myself soaking in the beauty of just slowing down and enjoying my time on trail. I believe, on average, a JMT thru-hiker will hike anywhere from 10-15 miles/day. My starting pace was a little slow as both my sister and I took our time getting use to the trail, and carrying a heavy pack. By Day 10, I was hiking on average 11+ miles a day and I enjoyed every moment of being able to slow down and taking the time to truly appreciate my journey.

I met “Chugger” at Vermilion Valley Resort on Day 12, a solo SOBO JMT hiker who was on Day 25…at Vermilion Valley Resort. “My son gave me my trail name, and I must mention that this is my hiking pace, not my drinking preference,” he went on to explain how he saw the smallest, bluest, most fragile flower while hiking into VVR, and that these trail runners that speed on through the trail, will never have the chance to see it.

I allowed myself 21 days on trail, but on Day 18 ran into a nasty thunderstorm and needed to shelter for the remainder of the day, a near nero, but still hiked 7.5 miles that day. I tried to slow down a bit, soaking in the creeks, journaling on trail, and actually cook lunch- but I couldn’t get myself to take a ZERO day anywhere! So yes, here’s a leisurely 25-days on the John Muir Trail with absolutely no zero days. 😜

DAY 1
πŸ“ Yosemite National Park > Sunrise Creek
Miles: 10.98
Elevation: +4,088 / -212 ft.

Campsite near Sunrise Creek


DAY 2
πŸ“ Sunrise Creek > Lower Cathedral Lake
Miles: 10.50 miles
Elevation: +2,386 / -1,035 ft.

Campsite at Lower Cathderal Lake

DAY 3
πŸ“ Lower Cathedral Lake > Tuolumne Meadow (resupply) > Lyell Fork
Miles: 10.99
Elevation: +760 / -1,290 ft.

Hiking along Lyell Canyon

DAY 4
πŸ“ Lyell Fork > Donohue Pass β–² > Rush Creek
Miles: 11.48
Elevation: +2,318 / -1,291 ft.

Campsite near Rush Creek

DAY 5
πŸ“ Rush Creek > Island Pass β–² > Middle Fork San Joaquin
Miles: 6.75
Elevation: +913 / -1,152 ft.

Garnet Lake

DAY 6
πŸ“ Middle Fork San Joaquin > Glady’s Lake
Miles: 6.40
Elevation: +1,421 / -1,518 ft.

Campsite at Glady’s Lake

DAY 7
πŸ“ Glady’s Lake > Red’s Meadow (resupply)
Miles: 8.40
Elevation: +395 /-2,298 ft.

DAY 8
πŸ“ Red’s Meadow > Deer Creek
Miles: 6.28
Elevation: +1,598 /-137 ft.

Campsite near Bear Creek

DAY 9
πŸ“ Deer Creek > Lake Virginia
Miles: 10.42
Elevation: +2,244 / -1,081 ft.

Campsite at Lake Virginia

DAY 10
πŸ“ Lake Virginia > Silver Pass β–² > Mono Creek
Miles: 11.47
Elevation: +1,813 / -3,268 ft.

Campsite near Mono Creek

DAY 11
πŸ“ Mono Creek > Vermilion Valley Resort (resupply)
Miles: 10.11
Elevation: +735 / -1,918 ft.

Mushroom City at VVR

DAY 12
πŸ“ Vermilion Valley Resort > Bear Creek
Miles: 9.67
Elevation: +2,348 / -1,070 ft.

Campsite near Bear Creek

DAY 13
πŸ“ Bear Creek > Marie Lakes
Miles: 8.53
Elevation: +1,881 / -302 ft.

Campsite at Marie Lakes

DAY 14
πŸ“ Marie Lakes > Seldon Pass β–² > Muir Trail Ranch (resupply)
Miles: 9.33
Elevation: +495 / -3,351 ft.

Campsite near Muir Trail Ranch

DAY 15
πŸ“ Muir Trail Ranch > Evolution Creek
Miles: 9.81
Elevation: +1,986 / -402 ft.

Campsite at Evolution Creek

DAY 16
πŸ“ Evolution Creek > Wanda Lake
Miles: 11.90
Elevation: +2,467 / -197 ft.

Campsite near Wanda Lake

DAY 17
πŸ“ Wanda Lake > Muir Pass β–² > Le Conte Canyon
Miles: 12.98
Elevation: + 507 / -4,004 ft.

Muir Hut

DAY 18
πŸ“ Le Conte Canyon > Lower Palisade Lake
Miles: 7.46
Elevation: +2,626 / -50 ft.

Campsite near Lower Palisade Lake

DAY 19
πŸ“ Lower Palisade Lake > Mather Pass β–² > Lake Marjorie
Miles: 12.59
Elevation: +2,545 / -2,099 ft.

Campsite near Lake Marjorie

DAY 20
πŸ“ Lake Marjorie > Pinchot Pass β–² > Baxter Creek
Miles: 12.80
Elevation: +2,009 / -3,608 ft.

Campsite near Baxter Creek

DAY 21
πŸ“ Baxter Creek > Glen Pass β–² > Vidette Meadow
Miles: 12.39
Elevation: +2,833 / -2,801 ft.

Campsite at Vidette Meadow

DAY 22
πŸ“ Vidette Meadow > Forester Pass β–² > Sequoia National Park
Miles: 10.79
Elevation: +3,557 / -1,313 ft.

DAY 23
πŸ“ Sequoia National Park > Guitar Lake
Miles: 13.56
Elevation: +2,089 / -2,343 ft.

Campsite at Guitar Lake

DAY 24
πŸ“ Guitar Lake > Mount Whitney β–² > Outpost Camp
Miles: 11.02
Elevation: +3,055 / -4,171 ft.

Mount Whitney

DAY 25
πŸ“ Outpost Camp > Whitney Portal
Miles: 3.81
Elevation: -2,012 ft.

Mount Whitney Portal

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Vanessa is an outdoors enthusiast, hiker at heart, and the storyteller behind Forever She Wanders; a women's lifestyle + travel blog inspiring all to get outdoors, seek adventure and live an active lifestyle. As an outdoors enthusiast, Vanessa has found passion in being outdoors while backpacking, camping, hiking and creating memories of a lifetime.

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