A Complete Guide To The John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail covers 211 miles through the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in California. In this guide, I’ve put together everything you’ll need to plan your own hike, including tips on permits, gear, food, training, and logistics.

Hiking Little Lakes Valley (Gem Lakes) via Mosquito Flat - Bishop, CA

Hiking Little Lakes Valley Trail (Gem Lakes) via Mosquito Flat – Bishop, CA

A hike of Little Lakes Valley via Mosquito Flat makes for a quintessential Eastern Sierra outdoor experience. This 8.5-mile out-and-back hike passes by six alpine lakes and provides side trail options to quite a few more. Hikers will pass under the 13,000+ ft mountain peaks of Bear Creek Spire, Mt. Dade, Mt. Abbot, and Mt. Mills.

Hiking Around Patriarch Grove In The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest - Bishop, CA

Hiking Around Patriarch Grove In The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest – Bishop, CA

Patriarch Grove rests at an elevation above 11,000ft, and requires 13 miles of driving on an unpaved dirt road. There are two .5 mile hikes at Patriarch Grove, the Timberland Ancients Trail and the Cottonwood Basin Overlook Trail. In this guide, I’ll provide directions, photos, maps, and instructions on combining these two hikes for a 1-mile figure eight loop. 

Hiking The Discovery Trail At The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest - Bishop, CA

Hiking The Discovery Trail At The Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest – Bishop, CA

The Discovery Trail is a short 1-mile loop hike that gains a mere 276 ft of elevation within the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. Although this hike is short, it can still be a challenge since it begins at an elevation above 10,000ft. The trailhead for the Discovery Trail is located at Schulman Grove, right outside the Ancient Bristlecone Forest visitor center. In this guide, you’ll find driving directions, maps, instructions, and photos.

Hiking And Camping At Fossil Falls

Hiking And Camping At Fossil Falls

Fossil Falls is a basaltic lava flow located just off of Highway 395. In this guide, I’ll provide all of the information you need to find Fossil Falls, hike out to the dry fall area, and find a place to camp if you’re looking to make this an overnighter.

Big Pine Lakes Hike Hiking North Fork Trail Temple Crag

Hiking To Big Pine Lakes via The North Fork Trail

The hike to Big Pine Lakes via the North Fork Trail is a great way to see the beauty on display in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Starting at the Big Pine Creek Campground, this trail passes by Mt. Alice, before entering the John Muir Trail Wilderness of Inyo National Forest. There are 7 Big Pine Lakes numbered sequentially. For this hike, we only visited the first three, as snow and ice were blocking the trail for lakes 4-7.  The first three lakes are known to be the most scenic, as they sit with the majestic Temple Crag in the background. 

Hiking Mono Lake South Tufa Trail

Hiking The Mono Lake South Tufa Trail

Mono Lake is a large and shallow salt water lake just east of Yosemite National Park on HWY 395. Mono Lake is best known for it’s sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and it’s iconic tufas. One of the best places to see tufas along the shores of Mono Lake, is on the South Tufa Trail.