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John Muir


John Muir Wilderness

“A self-styled poetico-tramp-geologist-bot. and ornith-natural,” is how John Muir, one of the leaders in keeping the sierras protected and wild, referred to himself. The JM wilderness was named after one of the Sierra’s most dedicated advocates, John Muir, consisting of more than half a million acres, bringing together some of the most spectacular landscape in the Sierra Nevada. At over 14,000 feet, Mt Whitney is the highest peak in the lower 48 and is located in the heart of the JM wilderness. The JM wilderness is the largest primitive space in the state of California. The JM wilderness is a perfect match to one of our forefathers in sierra mountaineering and protection.


  • Highest point: Mount Whitney, 14,495 feet
  • Managed by the Inyo and Sierra National Forest
  • Within the Fresno, Madera, Mono  and Inyo Counties
  • 580,323 acres

How to Get Here:

The John Muir Wilderness is accessible from both sides of the Sierra Nevada. Most visitors, however, enter from the east at various points along highway 395, from the town of Mammoth at the north end down to Whitney Portal above Lone Pine at the south end.

Transportation options in the area:

What to Do:

Backpacking, hiking and camping


 Permits are required for overnight backpacking. Check out the website below to plan your stay.

If you are planning on hiking Mt. Whitney, check this out:

As the tallest peak in the lower 48 states, Mt Whitney is a popular destination. In order to preserve this area as a wilderness, permits are required for all day use and overnight trips in the “Whitney Zone.” All the info you’ll need is available from the Inyo National Forest.


Depending on your activity, the JM Wilderness is easily accessed in the summer months. If you are looking for a snowy excursion on snowshoes or backcountry skies the winter is a prime time. Just be aware of weather conditions as trails can be easily covered by large storms.

Local Tip:

Keep your eyes peeled for big horn sheep!

Resources: – great trails within the wilderness areas ranging from day trips to overnight..