John Muir Trail: Never say Never

Reg and I spent last year, stuck at home, watching every YouTube hiking video we could find, dreaming of the time we could get ourselves back on one of Europe’s long distance trails.
“If only we were willing to camp with our backpacks -tents, sleeping bags, the whole bit,” we’d say. “Then we could hike some of the gorgeous trails in our own backyard.”

I guess we’re really going to do this.

It was after a visit from friends Kathy and Doug early last spring that our plan quickly (impulsively) took shape. Their suggestion to my joking, offhand remark about needing a Sherpa if I was ever to backpack the John Muir Trail, was to look into one of the mule supported pack station trips available in the Eastern Sierra.

And that’s how we’ve found ourselves packed and ready to set off August 2 on a mule-assisted, 30-day, northbound backpacking trip along the John Muir Trail…and no, the mules are not for us to ride.

Distance: 243 miles, beginning at Horseshoe Meadow and traveling north, finishing at Happy Isle in Yosemite Valley.

46,800’ total elevation gain and 52,700’ elevation loss over the course of the trip.

Photo credit: Rock Creek Pack Station

There are seven of us in our group, plus the staff who will tend to all the details of transporting everything needed via mules, plus large bags of our stuff – including our tents, sleeping bags and pads, clothing and whatever other necessities we choose to bring. We will all carry individual packs with water and water filters, rain gear and whatever else we want to have at our fingertips.
There will be no end of day hot shower or comfy bed that we’ve enjoyed on previous treks. We’ll have to set up and take down our tents, roll up our sleeping bags etc. There will be a decent amount of roughing it. The good news is we will have three meals/day provided by the staff cook.
Should be an interesting trek. We’ll return with a full report once we’re back in civilization.

Categories: John Muir Trail | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

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22 thoughts on “John Muir Trail: Never say Never

  1. Jackie Bachman

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to go along with you…through your descriptive and elegant blog! Thanks for taking the rest of us with you! Better you than me… Have a great adventure! I know you will!

    Jackie Bachman Board Member, Community Relations OHRA (760) 889-5122


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lori

    YOu will love it. Sounds great. I have thought about doing part of the trail again this way as I have now had both my knees replaced. I think I know somebody going with you. Do all you can while you can. You will never regret it. Happy trails

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carole & Beaton

    Have a great trip – stay safe. Wish we could be there to meet you at the end with a celebratory cake! Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jeannie Harsha

    Oh my gosh, you guys! Sounds fabulous!!! Have a great time🤗 I’ll look forward to your reports!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kathy Chappell

    The trip is going to be amazing (and you two are amazing). We will be with you in spirit. 🏕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Godspeed to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Alex Miller

    Wow! Sounds like an exciting adventure! Best wishes to you both!

    – Alex

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So amazing!!! Would love to do this one day!! Good luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jasonlikestotravel

    Nearing the finish line! Hope you’ve had a great experience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Reg and Sue, I got your text and you’re looking good! A strong finish for sure …YOU GO GUYS!! Little brother Joe

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jamey

    So eager to hear about this trip!!! Must be absolutely wonderful!!!! So…after your first hot shower upon returning, I know you two will be sharing some fantastic pics!!!!👏🏻👏🏻❤️❤️‼️‼️

    Liked by 1 person

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