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Guide to the John Muir Trail Paperback – April, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
The trail description seem adequate, as far as I can tell.
The maps seem small, though how much area they cover is unclear since there is no scale. 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?).
The brief introductory section has nothing I don't already know, or couldn't find out from a quick google search. The section on bears basically repeats the NPS line (ie, 'canisters and bear boxes are the only way!!'), and is followed by a note to "leave your pets at home" (huh?).
The most useful section to me (sitting on my butt at home) was the appendix on resupply options. This is the most comprehensive list of stopping points that I've seen. Contrary to what I've heard elsewhere, there are resupply options in the South, just not easy ones. My only problem is with the occasional use of the word 'access', as in "Access to Big Pine" (a mile down the road? 25 miles?), though most of the entries are ok.
Overall, I think this book is usable, but I would bring a supplementary map or maps, and I would look at other books before I attempt the JMT.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is hands down the best book about this trail! All the fancy new books make you do a lot of flipping back and forth between sections and it makes me crazy. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Heather Anderson
I used this book for my 2007 hike along the JMT. It has excellent overviews of the trail and good planning for the trip. Read morePublished on October 3, 2012 by M. Rogge
DO NOT EVEN LOOK AT THIS VILE,PESTILENT BOOK! IT WILL GET YOU LOST IN THE WILDERNESS! The author may be a very fine fellow, and is probably a better backpacker than I am, but he... Read morePublished on August 7, 2004 by Amazon User
First it is important for me to respond to David Sloan from Menlo Park, CA. This is not the venue to display your ignorance of distance backpacking and/or backpacking guides in... Read morePublished on August 27, 2003 by RestlessAdventurer