Last year I set out to complete the John Muir Trail (JMT) with a twist. I’d hike it barefoot. Why? Barefoot is simple. Natural. Intense. Every step is an adventure. But the terrain was more difficult than I expected. Out of the JMT’s total distance of 211 miles, I completed 150 miles barefoot, or about 70%.
This year I came back determined to do the whole thing.
The following is an account of what happened, written with three audiences in mind. First, of course, hardcore barefoot hikers looking for a challenge. Second, conventional hikers. Presumably these people do not wear boots to the beach, so therefore I thought they might enjoy going barefoot where the trails are soft and sandy, putting on shoes when rocks appear. Call it a hybrid approach. Third, I had in mind the woman I encountered last year, descending from Donahue Pass (11,066 feet). She said her feet were so sensitive she couldn’t tolerate going barefoot in the bathroom. She won’t try it, but I thought she might be curious what it’s like. Continue reading “170 Miles Barefoot on the John Muir Trail”