Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days
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30 Photos That Will Make You Want To Hike The John Muir Trail

In 2015, I hiked the 210 miles of the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. I spent some time looking back over my photos from that summer, and have put together my 30 favorites!

In 2015, I hiked the 210 miles of the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. The time of year has come for this year’s class of JMT hikers to begin making their way through the Sierra Nevada mountains. I look forward to following their journeys as they post their accounts from the trail. I spent some time looking back over my photos from 2015, and have put together my top 30 photos that I hope will make you want to hike the John Muir Trail!

Don’t forget to check out my full John Muir Trail Guide, with information on permits, training, gear, food, and more!


1.) Early morning reflections on tranquil lakes 

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


2.) Garnett Lake With Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


3.) Rae Lakes

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


4.) On The Way To Forester Pass

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


5.) Reaching the 100 mile mark at Marie Lake

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


6.) Secluded meadow campsites with only the deer as company

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


7.) Making it to Thousand Island Lake After A Storm

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


8.) Views of Vidette Peak through the forest 

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


9.) Alpine lakes on the climb to Muir Pass

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


10.) Seeing the world in a new light

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


11.) Swim, drink, enjoy

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


12.) The stunning Virginia Lake

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


13.) Dreaming trees in Yosemite Backpacker’s Camp

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


14.) Celebration at the top of Muir Pass

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


15.) The stunning waters of Wanda Lake

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


16.) The storm before Donahue Pass

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


17.) Wildflowers

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


18.) Finishing on the highest point in the contiguous United States, the 14.505ft Mt. Whitney

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


19.) Watching the sunrise next to the Keeler Needle

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


20.) High Alpine lakes

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


21.) The views amidst the forest

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


22.) The views from Silver Pass

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


23.) Beauty, even after a fire

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


24.) Following the water downhill

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


25.) Rewards for a hard uphill climb

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


26.) Pretty close to the Trail to Peak logo

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


27.) The most beautiful campsite I’ve ever stayed at

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


28.) Entering the Rae Lakes Basin

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


29.) Pure alpine waters

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


30.) Yosemite National Park

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


Bonus: Feeling accomplished after 221 miles and 80,000ft of elevation change through 3 National Parks

Hiking Backpacking The John Muir Trail Photos In 11 Days


I’m Drew, creator of Trail to Peak. Trail to Peak brings content to life on the web through breath-taking photography and captivating video. I launched Trail to Peak in 2014 with a goal to inspire readers to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors. I have traveled to 19 countries, walked Camino de Santiago, hiked the John Muir Trail, trekked through the Andes of Peru, and am constantly seeking new adventures in my home state of California. Joining me on my weekly adventures is my partner, Julia, our son, Owen, and our two goldendoodles, Isla and Lilly.

69 comments on “30 Photos That Will Make You Want To Hike The John Muir Trail

  1. Muy Bien Lindo, Gracia

  2. Wow! You seems to have a very long run in this adventure. Hope to hike sometimes 🙂

    By the way, great photos.

  3. Mountains and water, two of the things I like most! Some of these sceneries are stunning! Goal reached: I wanna go there!
    Have a great day,
    Greta

    • Mountains and water make photography about as easy as one could hope. Each view was just incredible on the JMT. Hopefully you can make it out to hike this someday!

  4. Absolutely incredible! I’m ok with a 5-day trek on my own but this JMT…. I would need to take it one stretch at a time or pick a pretty shorter part.
    Amazing views, though!
    Thanks for the tour!

    • Thanks! 5 days is a nice amount of time on the trail. We did this in 11, and had a really great time. Some people walk slower and do it in 20+ days. I think that would be too long for me 🙂 I like to cover a lot of ground. If I was on trail for 20+ days, I’d want to cover 500+ miles like I did on Camino de Santiago.

  5. Amazing! If I ever go back to the States to live I’ll do it 🙂

  6. Omg this looks incredible!!! Definitely need to do this at some point in my life :O Wish the flights to USA weren’t so expensive

  7. AMAZING PICS!!

  8. Wowwwwwww pics. Gr8

  9. Stunning!!! My favourites are #7 and #27. I want to experience camping at the latter.

    • Thanks! Camping at Thousand Island lake was pretty spectacular. I’m definitely planning to head back up there for a weekend trip.

  10. Gorgeous! Your photos get me really excited. We will be leaving July 4 NOBO from Cottonwood Pass, a few days south of Whitney. I apologize if I have already asked you this, but where is your “most beautiful campsite”? I would love to stay there, too!

    • Awesome! You’re only a few weeks away! My top places to camp on the JMT are not all places I did camp. There were a few places I hit midday that I’d love to go back and camp at. My favorites are Thousand Island Lake, Garnett Lake, Lake Virginia, Marie Lake, and Rae Lakes. Those are just off of the top of my head. I’m sure I’m missing a few. I’ll look forward to seeing your pictures when you return!

      • Thanks for the tips. Hopefully, we will end up at some of those lakes late in the day and can set up camp there. The conditions on the trail seem pretty hazardous so far with lots of late spring snow still on the passes and raging rivers. I am hoping for things to normalize before the 4th, but that’s not too far away now!

      • I’ve been following a lot of hikers on the trail right now. The conditions are much worse than last year. Some of the passes seem pretty well packed in. Silver Pass was empty last year, but I just saw some pictures with a few feet of snow. The good news is that we’re expecting a wave of heat to move in this weekend, so hopefully a lot of that snow will start to melt off. Even in a drought year last summer, we got snow in July when we arrived to Tuolumne Meadows. It wasn’t enough to stick, but the conditions can be crazy in the Sierra.

  11. So inspired. I am planning my 4th JMT hike this August, now age 58 :). Your site has supported me wonderfully during the planning stages. Photos take my breath away and I hear the mountains calling me and I just gotta go…again…Thank you.

  12. Wow those photos are stunning! Looks like quite some adventure- and what a feat to do it in just 11 days!

  13. Wow it has to be the most beautiful photo collection I have ever seen. I can’t wait until I can make those trips on my own! 🙂 (sorry if my English isn’t good written I’m from Belguim.)

    • Thank you very much. That’s very kind of you to say. Your English is very good. You probably speak Dutch, French, and German, so to speak English too is quite the feat!

  14. WOW. These photos are incredible. The JMT is on my must do list. This has fueled my desire that much more. Thank you for sharing. Your skill behind the camera is obvious in how well you’ve captured these incredible landscapes. Great work.

  15. Great photos! Please check and follow my new blog https://secretrecipesweb.wordpress.com

  16. Motivated! 😉

  17. Catherine Bergeron

    Wow amazing photography! What camera gear did you use to take these shots?

  18. Yep. Want to hike it now!

  19. Your photos are so crisp I feel like I can breathe the fresh air!

  20. Absolutely stunning. And mission accomplished…I want to hike it now. Very badly.

  21. Lydia McDowell

    Inspiring photos! My sister and I will be hiking the JMT in early Sept. It looked pretty cold for your mid-late Aug hike. What were the temperatures? Also what camera did you use? Love it all!

    • Thanks, Lydia! We hiked in early July and it was pretty cold. Most nights were right around freezing for us, but the days were very pleasant. I used a Sony a6000.

  22. Very inspiring Photos, Thank you for sharing 😉

  23. Anonymous

    What time of year did you hike this. Your photos are breathtaking.

  24. Amazing… Your blog reminds many to go for it.

  25. Stunning pics! I leave SOBO on July 25 and can hardly wait!

  26. Mike Hohmann

    Simply fantastic… I’ve seen a couple of these places… maybe more one day soon. Thx 4 sharing!

  27. I wish I can go hiking now at John Muir trail. This article proves that the view up there is absolutely amazing!

  28. I already wanted to do the JMT, but this just cemented it; I will do the John Muir Trail. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Pingback: 3 Basic Tips To Start Tackling The John Muir Trail – McKenize

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