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
2.) Garnett Lake With Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak
3.) Rae Lakes
4.) On The Way To Forester Pass
5.) Reaching the 100 mile mark at Marie Lake
6.) Secluded meadow campsites with only the deer as company
7.) Making it to Thousand Island Lake After A Storm
8.) Views of Vidette Peak through the forest
9.) Alpine lakes on the climb to Muir Pass
10.) Seeing the world in a new light
11.) Swim, drink, enjoy
12.) The stunning Virginia Lake
13.) Dreaming trees in Yosemite Backpacker’s Camp
14.) Celebration at the top of Muir Pass
15.) The stunning waters of Wanda Lake
16.) The storm before Donahue Pass
18.) Finishing on the highest point in the contiguous United States, the 14.505ft Mt. Whitney
19.) Watching the sunrise next to the Keeler Needle
20.) High Alpine lakes
21.) The views amidst the forest
22.) The views from Silver Pass
23.) Beauty, even after a fire
24.) Following the water downhill
25.) Rewards for a hard uphill climb
26.) Pretty close to the Trail to Peak logo
27.) The most beautiful campsite I’ve ever stayed at
28.) Entering the Rae Lakes Basin
29.) Pure alpine waters
30.) Yosemite National Park
Bonus: Feeling accomplished after 221 miles and 80,000ft of elevation change through 3 National Parks
Share This Post!
73 thoughts on “30 Photos That Will Make You Want To Hike The John Muir Trail”
Muy Bien Lindo, Gracia
Gracias, Pastor Luis!
Wow! You seems to have a very long run in this adventure. Hope to hike sometimes 🙂
By the way, great photos.
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,
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!
Yay hope that as well!
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 days at a time, then! The scenery is so enticing! But I have so much to hike before I can head to JMT…
Amazing! If I ever go back to the States to live I’ll do it 🙂
Thanks! If you ever make it back out, this one should be at the top of your to-do list!
I just want to quit teaching English and hike the world…silly bills! 🙂
I hear you on that! Life gets in the way of all the fun!
True dat! (Do people still say true dat?)
They do now!
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
It’s a really great trek. Hopefully you’ll be able to make it out here to do it someday!
Wowwwwwww pics. Gr8
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.
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.
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.
Thanks for the comment, and it’s great to hear you’ll be walking the JMT at 58 years young!
Wow those photos are stunning! Looks like quite some adventure- and what a feat to do it in just 11 days!
Thanks! It was an incredible adventure!
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!
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.
Thank you so much! I’m glad I was able to add a little fuel to your JMT fire.
Great photos! Please check and follow my new blog https://secretrecipesweb.wordpress.com
Wow amazing photography! What camera gear did you use to take these shots?
Thanks, Catherine! I used a Sony a6000 with a Sony 10-18mm lens. I used 7 batteries for 11 days on the trail.
Yep. Want to hike it now!
Your photos are so crisp I feel like I can breathe the fresh air!
Absolutely stunning. And mission accomplished…I want to hike it now. Very badly.
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.
Very inspiring Photos, Thank you for sharing 😉
What time of year did you hike this. Your photos are breathtaking.
Thank you! We hiked in early July.
Amazing… Your blog reminds many to go for it.
Stunning pics! I leave SOBO on July 25 and can hardly wait!
Awesome! Have fun!
Simply fantastic… I’ve seen a couple of these places… maybe more one day soon. Thx 4 sharing!
I wish I can go hiking now at John Muir trail. This article proves that the view up there is absolutely amazing!
Hopefully, you can make it out!
I already wanted to do the JMT, but this just cemented it; I will do the John Muir Trail. Thanks for sharing!
That’s great, Wade! I hope you can hike it soon!
I’m hoping that maybe in 2017!
this should be updated all in 2016.
Wow! Awesome adventure! Bless you for sharing this with those of us who are dreaming of doing this hike!