The John Muir Trail (JMT) is a stunningly beautiful trail encased in Northern California’s most dramatic backcountry terrain. Spanning north to south by 220 miles from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney the JMT lends views that has inspired hikers since the trails completion in 1938. The trail encapsulates the vision of its namesake, John Muir, through the idea to preserve natural beauty amongst the rapidly changing urban world around. There are still places exempt from civilization and this trail takes you through it. So get lost within the JMT while still making it back to work on Monday with Elizabeth Wenk’s informative guidebook.
Elizabeth Wenk simplifies the process of planning and navigating through the JMT in her book, John Muir Trail: The essential guide to hiking America’s most famous trail. She takes the adventure out of the planning so you can save it for the trail.
The 5th edition of Wenk’s guidebook has meticulously broken down every aspect of planning and hiking the JMT. The first time JMT hiker will absolutely benefit the most from this book. Wenk begins with detailed logistics for getting the trip underway and how to keep pushing forward. From obtaining the proper licensing to planning out resupply points while on the trail, all of the basics are presented and then some. She continues with the breakdown of each leg which is segmented in thirteen parts. Each part contains near step by step directions as you can almost hear the voice of Wenk navigating you through the rocky switchback incline you have yet to encounter.
Within the thirteen parts the reading gets technical and specific to that leg of the trail. Each part containing elevation graphs, distance charts and detailed maps. The maps contain additional information for a successful trip such as campsites, ranger stations and nearby peaks and trails. Apart from detailed step by step of the trail itself, Went offers the description of the land and vegetation around. She gives the who’s who on what you are seeing at that moment of the trail, adding yet another angle to marvel at while on the JMT. There are also descriptions of side trails to further your exploration just off of the main JMT. She lends the way to make your own path by providing clear information resulting in a personalized experience.
Through the guidebook you have numerous years of the applied knowledge of Elizabeth Wenk aiding you through your own adventure. She exudes her passion for this trail by the fine detail that she uses in her writing.
“With each step, enjoy and absorb where are you, rather than comparing it with where you have been or where you are headed.
If you are embarking on the extraordinary task of hiking the JMT for the first time this book will be a valuable source of information to help you accomplish your goals.