Hiking the JMT this Season
We have had questions about the prospects of hiking the full, or large segments of, the John Muir Trail this season. 
Most of you have not planned to start out until the snowpack has cleared, sometime in late June.  Those plans may yet be reasonable, but please be patient.  

We will know more in a month or two and can advise you further.


As you all know, the Covid-19 virus has changed the way we live, travel and recreate.
While we cannot know what restrictions may be in place later this summer, as of this date (April), 
the people of California are subject to Shelter-in-Place orders that restrict all travel and require everyone to stay home as much as possible.   
We must all maintain a safe social distance from one another—at least six feet apart—and possibly soon, wear re-useable face masks in public.
(Please do not purchase or wear the N-95 mask which is designed for single-use in strict medical settings and is in very short supply.)  
 Along the JMT’s route, all hotels, motels, inns and hiker hostels are CLOSED.
Grocery stores, markets and convenience stores are asking that purchases be prioritized for local residents only.    
Further, the national parks and forests along the JMT are CLOSED until further notice.
These measures are necessary to control the spread of a virulent and potentially lethal virus. 
We encourage everyone to fully comply with the letter and spirit of all state and local orders.  
Please be flexible and patient in your JMT planning.  
Matters are rapidly changing as the summer approaches.  
We are in touch with the JMT backcountry leadership in Yosemite and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, 
and the Inyo and Sierra National Forests, and will keep you posted of any changes. 
Thank you!  

JMT Hiker Resources

Well-prepared hikers are the happiest and safest! Below are links to useful information for planning your JMT hike. Whether you want to know about snowpack conditions or get some helpful tips on preventing blisters, you will find it all below. If you would like to add any information, please contact us.

Planning your hike

Useful advice and resources from other JMT hikers.

Help provide valuable information to share about hiking the JMT.
Register for the JMT Hiker Survey BEFORE you take your hike.
Promptly when you finish, log back on and fill in all the details of your hike.

Learn from other JMT hikers. Here are past JMT Hiker Survey reports​ from prior years.

Share your ​trip plans​ and find others who will be hiking at the same time

Share rides and shuttles to your start or finish points. Borrow or lend bear canisters.

A wealth of information from Elizabeth Wenk (JMT guidebook author and valued JMTF board member). Contains information on waypoints, maps, stream crossings, alternates, and bailouts.

A collection of public information about hiking the JMT.
Includes maps and details on planning, packing, terrain, and safety.

JMT Conditions

What it is like on the JMT right now?
These current trail conditions will help you plan and be prepared.

2019 Crowdsourced snow line elevation reports

The 2019 report for stream crossings will be similar to Elizabeth Wenk’s 2017 report

​2019 Snowmelt Conditions​ will be similar to this report from 2017

Sierra Passes and ​Fords report (PDF Download)

JMT Permit Info

Make sure you have all the correct permits for your hike. You will need a wilderness permit to hike the JMT. These permits are in high demand. Make sure to plan well in advance.

Southbound from Yosemite:
You’ll need a permit from Yosemite National Park. These permits are processed via a lottery-system 24 weeks (168 days) before your start date. It is best to apply exactly 168 days in advance: JMT spots usually fill up on the first day reservations are available. Or you can try for last-minute availability in person at a permit station in the park the day before your trip.

Northbound from Mount Whitney:
You’ll need a permit from Inyo National Forest. You can apply for the lottery between February 1 and March 15. On April 1st, online reservations open for the few remaining spots. They do not have walk-in permits.

Official Yosemite permit information

Official Inyo/Mt. Whitney permit information

The Facebook and Yahoo JMT ​Permit FAQ​ on How to Get a JMT Permit

Advice on navigating the ​Inyo National Forest permit system

Campfire / stove permit​ (These are required with Inyo permits)

Yosemite trailhead availability report

Donohue Pass availability chart. An exit quota is in effect for JMT hikers exiting Yosemite over Donohue Pass.


Take care of yourself so you are able to enjoy the hike.
Here are some tips.

Foot Care​ on the JMT – Items to consider getting and why

Blister​ prevention and treatment

JMT ​Altitude ​Acclimatization Guide

JMT Guidebooks

Plan on hiking the JMT? We highly recommend picking up a copy of Elizabeth Wenk’s “John Muir Trail” Guidebook, hard copy or digital. The completely updated edition of this Sierra classic includes significant information found nowhere else. The new John Muir Trail meticulously describes the entire trail, its history, geology and Alpine biology, and is written for today’s hikers. The book includes GPS coordinates for every established campsite and junction, locations of bear boxes, and detailed maps of all key segments of the JMT.

“Wildflowers of the High Sierra and John Muir Trail” by Sierra expert Elizabeth Wenk includes photos and descriptions of approximately 300 species of wildflowers and flowering shrubs in the High Sierra. This concise guide differentiates between species using features easily identifiable to a non-botanist. Descriptions include the species’ common and scientific names, family name, growth form, flowering time, elevation range, region, specific locations on popular trails, and how to identify the plant using color, petal number, leaf shape, height, and more. It is a perfect companion for JMT hikers interested in identifying flowers that they are likely to see on the trail.