NEW 2024 Mountaineering Expedition Damodar Exploratory trek with Simon Yates> View trip details

26 Days$6590USD

  • 25 day full pack hike
  • 25 nights camping
  • 25 Dinners
  • 25 Lunches
  • 25 Breakfasts

Traveller Rating



Trip highlights

  • Summit Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous United States at 4418m
  • Traverse the spectacular Sierra Mountain Range and finish in Yosemite Valley
  • Cross numerous 3000m+ high mountain passes
  • Challenge yourself with a full pack on a classic long-distance trail
  • Walk among alpine peaks, glacier-gouged canyons and crystal-clear lakes
  • Immerse yourself in pine forests and lush meadows

The John Muir Trail is one of the finest hikes in North America. The route starts at Cottonwood Lakes, makes its way up to the high point of the lower forty-eight states, Mount Whitney (4418m), and continues some two hundred miles to Yosemity Valley. We will need to carry everything for the trip, so carrying a full pack of around 20kg is usual. Food stocks are re-supplied at a number of stages making our packs lighter, but packing carefully is essential. We'll hike 10-24 km per day and we can expect the unexpected, so solid multi-day backpacking experience is essential. Along the way the trail climbs over 4000m passes, wanders beneath high alpine peaks and traverses beautiful meadows and forested river valleys. Over the course of the trip, we will have gained over 12,000m in ascents (averaging about 600m per day). The spectacular scenery is combined with the generally clement weather of California and warm (sometimes very hot) summer temperatures. This is truly a trip of a lifetime to be remembered for years to come. We realise that not everyone has 26 days to spare and so we also have options to complete the trail in segments over consecutive summers, please ask us for details.

*NOTE: Due to the recent popularity of the trail, permit restrictions have increased. In order to successfully secure permits and offer an exceptional experience, we are operating the trip in a northbound direction. To properly acclimatise, the trip is 1-2 days longer than it would be if operating southbound.

Trip Code: JMT

Today is a day to go over our gear and prepare for the adventure ahead. We meet at our headquarters in Bishop (approx. 11:00am), do a gear check, collect resupply bags, and pick up last minute items before heading south to Horseshoe Meadows. It will be a busy morning, clarifying resupply needs, finalising personal gear, and distributing group gear. You will have 7 days of personal snacks and powdered drinks in your pack when we meet, which you provide. You will purchase your own lunch in Bishop and after lunch we will drive approx. 2 hours to the Cottonwood Campground. We'll camp at the Cottonwood Campground which is already at approximately 3000m (10,000 feet) in elevation - Giving us a chance to further acclimate before beginning our adventure. *Complimentary transfer from hotels in Mammoth and Bishop, upon request.

Meals:  D

To further assist in acclimation, we start off slowly and ease into the hiking with a short first day of about 8km and 400m altitude gain taking us to camp at Chicken Springs Lake. From there, we lose some elevation, spending the next 2 nights between 2900m-3200m as we approach Mt. Whitney. Daily distances are approx: 8, 16, and 13 km

Meals:  B,L,D

We plan to make our base at Crabtree Meadows or Guitar Lake for 2 nights in order to reduce pack weight and focus on the big day ahead - The summit of the highest point of our journey, the stunning Mount Whitney (4418m). The hike is approximately 23km, round trip, with an elevation gain of approximately 1200m. We will be happy we only have to carry enough items for the day - And for the final summit push, we can even leave these at Trailcrest to be picked up on our way back down. Those who are not feeling up to the big day can easily stay in camp, soak up the scenery and relax.

Meals:  B,L,D

This is a spectacular segment as it traverses high glacial bowls far above the main river drainage system and includes two of the highest passes on the trail - Forester Pass at 4025m and Glen Pass at 3650m, before descending to beautiful Rae Lakes where we pick up our food re-supply. Daily distances of approx. 12 - 21km

Meals:  B,L,D

From Rae, we head down to Woods Creek and climb up over Pinchot Pass (3690m) before dropping into the expanse of Upper Basin at the head of the South Fork of the Kings River. The crossing of Mather Pass (3670m) gives us a view of our route to the north before we descend the 'Golden Staircase' that takes us far down into Palisade Creek and the deeply incised Le Conte Canyon. Our next resupply comes in via mule and we pick that up at Big Pete Meadow. Daily distances of approx. 13-19km

Meals:  B,L,D

After 13 days of hiking we will enjoy a rest day at Big Pete Meadow. This is the perfect location to kick up your feet and enjoy the views. You can choose to spend the day relaxing in the sun, taking a day hike or swimming in the river. We also schedule a resupply via mules on the rest day so that we can enjoy delicious, fresh food while we relax and recover.

Meals:  B,L,D

For many people, this is the most beautiful section of the JMT. We stay high through the Evolution Valley, pass by the stone shelter at Muir Pass (3645m), commence a large swing out to the western Sierra, and gradually lose elevation until we reach our lowest point of about 2390 meters at Muir Trail Ranch. Our resupply has been sent by post and awaits our arrival. Daily distances of approx. 13, 24, and 24km.

Meals:  B,L,D

Here, we cross the Silver Divide with its small lakes and jagged peaks. Lots of smaller ups and downs characterize this section and the really big passes are now behind us. The terrain and vegetation changes as we near Mammoth Mountain and we hit our first 'civilization' and road at Red's Meadow. We pick up our resupply here. Daily distances of approx. 14-23km

Meals:  B,L,D

The days are now a lot easier with less elevation change and the miles will pass by easily. We traverse the Thousand Island Lake area that is well known for its serenity and wonderful rock colours. We camp at lovely Catheral Lakes on day 24 where our last resupply awaits us. Daily distances of approx. 18km - 19km.

Meals:  B,L,D

The next day, we head out along the Sunrise High Sierra Camp and down to our last campsite in the trees of Sunrise Creek. There are no passes during the final days, only gorgeous canyons, alpine lakes, and world class waterfalls. Daily distance of approx. 16km.

Meals:  B,L,D

On the final day, we get up early to beat the heat and start the long descent into Yosemite Valley. We take the mist trail down past the Emerald Pool, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls and finally to the bustle of Curry Village where our shuttle is waiting for us. We expect to arrive at Yosemite Valley around midday. It is a long shuttle back to Bishop or Mammoth Lakes, approx 2-3 hours, where our great adventure comes to an end but a lifetime of stories lies ahead. If you are flying out of Reno, Nevada, it is a four hour bus ride to the airport. We strongly recommend staying at a hotel in Bishop or Mammoth on this final evening, so that we do not need to rush our final day. Daily distance of approx. 10km.

Meals:  B,L


  • 25 breakfasts, 25 lunches and 25 dinners
  • Professional certified mountain guide(s) with wilderness first aid certification. Max 5 hikers to 1 guide.
  • Transfer from Mammoth Lakes to Bishop on day 1 of the trip & transfer back to Bishop or Mammoth Lakes on the last day of the trek (upon request)
  • Group equipment such as tents, food canisters and water purification
  • Porter or mule supported supply drops during the trip
  • Contingency and emergency support, phone and radio
  • First aid kit
  • All necessary permits

  • Flights and Airport taxes
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping mat and backpack
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary, snacks during the trek, hot beverages
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls, postage, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Pre or post trip accommodation, or additional accommodation due to weather delays
  • Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Visas
  • Guide gratuities
  • Medical treatment and evacuation charges

Departure dates


This trip is based on twin or multi-share accommodation, such as camping. A single supplement is not available due to campsite restrictions. On backpacking trips, sharing tents also allow us to keep the shared weight to a minimum.

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
    *Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed John Muir Trail trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

Trip reviews

Other trip reviews

Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Suggested extensions

Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WB.jpg?v2' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Walkers’ Britain"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Walkers' Britain</div>
Walkers' Britain (formerly Sherpa Expeditions) have specialised in walking and cycling trips in the United Kingdom and Europe since 1973. Explore iconic trails and destinations on a self guided or small group active holiday with Walkers' Britain.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions Schools"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions Schools</div>
World Expeditions Schools is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ACT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Cycle Tours"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Cycle Tours</div>
Australian Cycle Tours specialises in high quality self guided and guided cycling experiences in a selection of the most beautiful regions in Australia.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WEX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Expeditions</div>
The pioneers of original, worldwide adventure travel holidays since 1975
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TJX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Trail Journeys"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Trail Journeys</div>
Self-guided cycling experts on New Zealand's Otago Rail Trail and more
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/BMAC.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Blue Mountains Adventure Company"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Blue Mountains Adventure Company</div>
The original Blue Mountains canyoning, hiking, climbing and abseiling experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GWNZ.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Walks of New Zealand"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Walks of New Zealand</div>
Explore New Zealand's most spectacular wilderness regions with the self-guided hiking experts
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/NAA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="North America Active"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>North America Active</div>
USA Canada hiking & cycling tour specialists, choose from self-guided or guided trips