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Thru-hike the John Muir Trail: Gear List & Strategy 2023


Considered the most iconic thru-hike and backpacking trail in the US, the John Muir Trail (also called the Nüümü Poyo Trail) is a 211-mile hiking trail in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The California trail climbs Mt. Whitney, travels through Yosemite and Sequoia National Park, and passes by Half Dome.

I’ve thru-hiked the JMT four times, spent three summers living in the Sierra hiking along the JMT as part of my work, and authored the book Long Trails: Mastering the Art of the Thru-hike.

This John Muir Trail gear list features what I’ve learned from four thru-hikes of the JMT, along with numerous other long trails and routes. The strategy includes how to get JMT permits, the permit process, resupply, a 21-day sample itinerary, and details on John Muir Trail section hikes.

My goal is to walk you through a step-by-step guide on what gear to carry as weather and ecosystems change from a 4,040-foot elevation at Happy Isles in Yosemite to a 14,505-foot elevation at the JMT’s highest point on Mt. Whitney (and the highest peak in the lower 48).

Whether you’re planning a dream long-distance hike or section hiking parts, this in-depth guide will give you guidance for your John Muir Trail gear checklist and strategies for hiking and developing self-care routines to thrive on your journey.

You can find Liz's full gear list & strategy here.


October 22, 2023

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Liz Thomas

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