In 1889 John Muir described himself as a "self-styled poetico-tramp-geologist-bot. and ornith-natural, etc.!!! ". John Muir spent his life advocating for the protection of the wild parts of the Sierra Nevada. He believed that public support for the protection of these lands would come about if more of the public experienced these areas and he formed the Sierra Club for just this reason. The John Muir Wilderness encompasses many of the lands that Muir explored in the late 1800's. From east of Fresno California in the north, the John Muir Wilderness forks around Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park and extends some 100 miles to the south with its southern most boundary just west of Lone Pine, California. With an additional 70,411 acres added to the wilderness through the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, There are 650,734 acres within this wilderness. Elevations range from 4,000 feet to just below the Mt. Whitney summit at 14,497 feet. There are numerous peaks over 12,000 feet. Deep canyons, lofty peaks, meadows, lakes and expansive alpine terrain characterize this wilderness. The south and middle fork of the San Joaquin River, the North Fork of the Kings river and many creeks that flow into the Owens valley to the east originate here. The John Muir Wilderness is heavily visited and has use limits in the form of trailhead quotas on all the trailheads accessing the wilderness from both the east and west side of the Sierra Nevada. There are over 590 miles of maintained trails and the John Muir trail and Pacific Crest trail traverse portions of the wilderness. Many trails originating in this wilderness access the backcountry of Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the John Muir Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - Public law 111-11 (3/30/2009) An act to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.