The John Muir Trail is a famous 210-mile hiking route that traverses California’s Sierra Mountains, which Muir referred to as “the range of light.” I visited the Sierras in 2018 and was impressed by the spectacular landscape. After some consideration, thru-hiking the JMT became a goal for 2020.
Just getting ready for the JMT was a big operation, as the trip entailed competitive and thus hard-to-get permits, extensive route-planning, careful selection of gear and provisions, and travel logistics that were complicated by the COVID pandemic. Additionally I decided to take on the JMT in an unconventional format by hiking as much as possible barefoot. Why barefoot? For the extra challenge, the special feeling of lightfootedness that comes from moving naturally, and the distinction of doing something important a little bit differently.
The 23-day journey turned out to be an incredible experience; indeed, it contained enough impressions to fill a book. In the interest of brevity, however, this blog post will consist of a short synopsis of each day on the trail and a photograph or two.