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Guide to the John Muir Trail Paperback – July 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: John Muir Trail
  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Wilderness Pr; 3 edition (July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899972217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899972213
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #982,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The John Muir Trail is perhaps the most famous trail in America. The trail passes through a land of 13,000-foot and 14,000-foot peaks, of soaring granite cliffs, of lakes literally by the thousands, of canyons 5000 feet deep. It is a land where man's trails touch only a tiny percentage of the total area, so that by leaving the Muir Trail you can find utter solitude. Perhaps best of all, it is a land blessed with the mildest, sunniest climate of any major mountain range in the world. This guidebook describes the trail both north-south and south-north. It gives point-to-point mileages both ways to the nearest tenth of a mile. Its twenty-eight two-color maps are based on corrected U. S. G. S. topo maps, and contain hundreds of updating changes in this second edition. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Cant say enough, love this book.
Heather Anderson
There is no indication of mileage, and side trails are not shown except where they appear on the underlying USGS topos (and how accurate are those?).
Scott Burley
I am planning a return to the JMT in 2013 so I am using it as a guide again....see you on the trail...
M. Rogge

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 1998
Format: Paperback
I hiked the JMT from Tuloumne Meadows in Yosemite to the Whitney Portal in July/August 1997. We used the book to plan the trip as well as for our exclusive guide book/map source on the hike. The book weighs next to nothing and I found it easier to keep track of one book rather than a whole bunch of maps, so it was worth taking. The book contains all necessary maps, trail descriptions in both directions, and a mileage/altitude chart. With the book, we always knew how many miles we had to hike in a given day and what the terrain would be like (elevation changes etc.) My only suggestion for improvement with the book would be for it to discuss recommended camping spots in more detail (perhaps by placing symbols on the map for particularly scenic spots, spots with bear boxes etc.) In general though, as someone who has hiked most of the JMT using this book as a guide, I'd highly recommend it. For the money and weight, you're unlikely to find anything better.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on August 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have thru hiked the Muir Trail from north to south and found this book informative and containing some useful information. However, much of the info is of the common sense variety and could also easily be gleaned from the Internet. There is superfluous information on bear canisters, marmots and other hazards that any semi-experience hiker/backpacker would already know. The book is not marketed as being geared towards novices, but there's no doubt it would benefit a beginner and be less beneficial to a seasoned backpacker.
The first section of the book consists solely of topographical maps, so the text portion is not especially lengthy. There are route descriptions of each facet of the trail, such as explaining the drop off points, elevation gains and topography of Thousand Island Lake in Mammoth to Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite. You could do a thru hike without this guide, but if you're the least bit apprehensive, then this would ease your worries.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Calvin T Stevens on August 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
One of the other reviewers said the book has nothing for planning a trip, but someone must have ripped out those pages from his copy. The book is more than a trail description; it includes descriptions of mid-way trailheads, resupply options, and other planning guides. This book is a great resource both for hiking the trail and planning to do so.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Janssen on July 5, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 1981 I took the first edition of this book on a traditional north/south thru hike of the JMT and found it generally accurate and, most importantly, reassuring about the day(s) ahead. In preparation for a 25th anniversary reprise (this time south to north) I got the latest edition. About the only real difference is that the format is a little larger and the small inset maps are a little easier to read.

As a trip planner and inspiration it rates right up there with Pete Starr's guide and the author, Tom Winnett, has probably forgotten more about the eastern Sierra than most of the more "modern" writers ever will know...BUT, it is a somewhat historical work and one needs to acquire proper USGS topos to insure having the most up to date maps available. If you're only going to carry one "pack book" with you I'd suggest "The John Muir Trail" by Alan Castle first with Winnett's and Starr's as pre trip reading material that you leave at home.

The JMT is one of the most spectacular high country routes one can undertake and I can honestly say that trip 25 years ago changed my life. If you can manage it and you have the desire, it's well worth the sacrifices (and there will be some) you'll make.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Besselsen on August 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
Took this guide along on my recent JMT hike. Lots of detailed info on the trail, campsites, etc. Topos included, although the printing of these is a bit fuzzy so would recommend carrying the Harrison topo map set. Information provided was fairly accurate. Would be nice to include a table with cumulative distances and ascent/descent for the points of reference along the actual trail itself. As it is they only provide the elevation and the distance between points of reference. Distances provided didn't match the Harrison topo maps or the other trail guide we had on the trip, so much confusion in this respect for mile counters. Overall a very useful guide. I found it a bit hard to use to plan the trip since the descriptions of the campsites were not too detailed (poor, modest, spartan, good is about as descriptive as it gets in this regard).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Justice on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really is not much more than a turn by turn description of the trail. In that regard, it provides little in the way of interesting prose to prepare you for the trip. So, basically, you pretty much have to carry this book with you to get much use out of it. Its informative sure, just not what I'd expect. Also, the maps in the book are black and white and much much much too small to actually read/use easily--buy the Tom Harrison maps for the JMT.
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