John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail is a 338km trail through the Sierra Nevada mountains in California from Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mt Whitney (4421m). In August 2015 I set out to hike the trail solo - but as luck would have it, made friends on the very first day and ended up finishing the trail in a group of 4.

It was three weeks packed full of firsts - my first time hiking in bear country, doing river crossings, filtering water, wild camping…but most of all, my first time experiencing the incredible generosity of American hikers. During the 10-day stretch without food resupply after VVR we were both hungrier and slower than expected, and got worryingly low on food. At the darkest hour, trail magic appeared in the form of a family from Kentucky, who invited us to share their campfire and - after hearing our tale of woe - donated all their spare food to us. I’ve never been so happy to see dry lentils!

Apart from the challenges of food resupply, I couldn’t recommend the trail more: it’s well-marked and maintained, with truly spectacular views. The main challenge is getting a permit, as it’s become incredibly popular.