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John Muir Trail: The essential guide to hiking America's most famous trail Paperback – July 16, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: John Muir Trail
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wilderness Press; Fourth Edition edition (July 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780899974361
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899974361
  • ASIN: 0899974368
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wonderful, well organized...everything you need is in this volume, and Lizzy's asides give the book a good soul." -- John Hankins, Los Padres Chapter Sierra Club, February 2008

"...an exceptional hiking guide to one of the most famous trails around..." -- Midwest Book Review, December 2007

About the Author

From childhood, Lizzy Wenk has hiked and climbed in the Sierra Nevada with her family. After she started college, she found excuses to spend every summer in the Sierra, with its beguiling landscape, abundant flowers, and near-perfect weather. During those summers, she worked as a research assistant for others and completed her own Ph.D. thesis research on the effects of rock type on alpine plant distribution and physiology. But much of the time, she hikes simply for leisure. Wanting to explore every bit of the Sierra, she has hiked thousands of on- and off-trail miles and climbed nearly 500 peaks in the mountain range.

Kathy Morey has authored or coauthored eight other Wilderness Press titles, including Hot Showers, Soft Beds, & Dayhikes in the Sierra, Sierra North, Sierra South, and Hawaii Trails.


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Customer Reviews

All the information is easy to understand and well organized.
Twitch222
Lists good camping spots, mileage charts and lots of other useful information.
Ben Last
If you plan to hike this trail, I would highly recommend getting this book.
Janet

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Fritz R. Ward TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wilderness Press continues to update some of their classic guides regularly and this new version of their John Muir Trail Guide is well written with a new author, Elizabeth Wenk. At its heart, the guide is similar to previous editions in giving a mile for mile description of the trail. I found it very accurate for all portions of the JMT that I have hiked. It also includes new features: numerous GPS coordinates for landmarks, updated regulations, appendices listing campsites, mileages, and resupply points, and new topographical maps from Tom Harrison.

All these new features come at a small cost, however, in that the book is more than twice as large as the previous edition, by Kathy Morey and Thomas Winnett. And while you will need these new features in planning your hike, they are less important on the actual trail. Backpackers trying to save space and weight have a couple of options. One is to simply tear out the sections of the book you will be using. You hardly need the classic South to North directions if you are hiking the other way. Another is to use this edition for planning, but to get one of the older editions for the actual trip. These can be found here (1998) or here (1986). But this book is still worth purchasing. Having it will improve your odds of completing the trail and dramatically increase your enjoyment of it as well.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By C. Lotte on August 3, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the new edition of the Morey/Winnett (sp?) book but it's much, much more than that. I've hiked the JMT a couple of times and done a fair amount of hiking in the Sierras. Basically tho I'm a city boy and can't tell one tree from another and know nothing about geology. This book will - I haven't had the chance to hike with it yet - fill in the ignorance and satisfy the curiosity about what I'm hiking past. The author knows her stuff. But, wait, there's a whole lot more. Aside from a large number of GPS coords, more than I've found anywhere on the Web, there's all kinds of info you need to orchestrate your hike - names, addresses, prices, policies, regulations, campsites, side-trip peak-bagging, Harrison maps, informed suggestions - it's all here. One more item - it's only occasionally you read a book that makes you feel the author really worked hard to make it "complete", didn't cut corners, "pushed" when the going got hard - this is one such book. If you're thinking of hiking the JMT or any part of it, buy the book. If you're not thinking of doing the hike, buy the book and discover what you're missing.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Adrian Martin on September 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
The previous version of this book was, I believe, considered to be the definitive JMT book, and this new version must be also. In it are all the details anyone attempting or thinking of attempting the John Muir Trail will need to know; what clothes to take, which food is appropriate, permits needed, bear information, a guide to the flowers of the area, history of the trail, geology, directions and even maps and a list of possible campsites. In fact, details are the thing about this book - it's ram-jam with them, and I couldn't think of any detail that I'd like to know that wasn't covered (I've hiked the trail once)!

This is a guidebook for those intending to hike the trail, not an account of someone's experiences, but even so it must get even the most couchy potato interested in getting out and walking! I did find the referencing of the sections and maps a little confusing, but it's a small point. And it might be a little large too, so I'd probably elect to photocopy parts of it, or rip out sections to take on the trail.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Noah Kepner on April 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Haven't hiked it yet, but this book gives the most comprehensive look at the JMC, both North bound and South bound. The reason I bought this book was because it gave details on both directions. It doesn't give you a daily guide because it knows that each person will have his or her own pace. The only thing I didn't like is that it spends too much time describing fauna and not the trail.
It is also meant to be a trail companion and to be read on the trail. Why? If I'm on the trail why do I need to read about it? Some of the detail is useless unless you are right there looking at it. However, the description of the trail and the maps are valuable (I especially like the elevation maps given for each section)
It also gives very important information on how to get to the trail, permits and where and when to get them along with some great mileage charts.

Great book for on the trail, a good book for preparation.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elwood on May 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book, along with the JMT map-pack, is all you need to plan & complete the JMT! To me the most useful part of the book was the camps, along with the mileage. This allowed me to plan where I wanted to camp & how many days I'd be on the trail. Very Informative!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gregory A. Lyzenga on September 2, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just returned from an 18-day trip hiking the JMT from north to south, and this book was my primary guide and reference. In addition to the print edition, I bought the Kindle version so that I could carry it on my phone during the trip. The book was accurate and the perfect guide for planning and general information. An absolutely fantastic resource and I couldn't imagine the trip without it. I downloaded the online waypoints for further reference, and they were highly valuable as well. The only drawback was that the Kindle edition does not contain the graphs at sufficiently high resolution to be able to clearly read all the details present in the print edition. Overall, I was extremely satisfied.
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