Experience the thrill of hiking a trail ranked the most awe-inspiring in America.
Starting in Yosemite, it covers 230 miles through 5 national parks, 12 mountain passes, countless river crossings, and a dizzying variety of terrain, wildlife and trail conditions. If you could do only one long-form trail in the U.S. this would be it.
The thrill of exploration - the challenge of High Sierra backpacking - the serenity of the open trail.
When you hike a trail, it's partially for the challenge...but you also want to feel transported someplace special, inimitable and remote. Hiking the JMT is like stepping into an Ansel Adams photograph and having someone flip on the color. From sheer 3,000' cliff drops in Yosemite, to Banner Peak reflected on the surface of 1,000 Isle Lake, to standing in the shadow of a giant under Mt. Whitney - you'll be checking your pulse to make sure your heart hasn't stopped.
You are either going down...or up. A lot of up. While well maintained and easy to follow the trail was conceived with horse-packers in mind so it's numbingly rocky. The high-step packer stairs are a strain to pull yourself up and they batter you unforgivingly on descents. All this while you are struggling to catch your breath cresting 11,000'+ passes under the merciless Sierra sun. They say your baptism isn't over until you've survived a high-pass lunchtime hailstorm.
Ever wanted to sleep beneath a towering peak lording over a glacier fed lake at 11,000'? Roast marshmallows in the multi-hued glow of sunset under iconic Half Dome? Cook breakfast lake-side while eyeing your lunch swimming 10 yards away? It's hard to not to find an awe-inspiring campsite, and it's really hard to leave it - until you realize that there's another one, just down the trail aways...