California: John Muir Trail- Bishop to LeConte to Whitney Portal

In early September 2015 our group of six, some experienced backpackers and some not, backpacked half of the John Muir Trail in California.  We entered in the town of Bishop, California on the Bishop Pass Trail and connected to the John Muir Trail at LeConte.  We then traveled south over the next seven days to summit Mt. Whitney and exit at the Whitney Portal.

Over the next eight posts I will be detailing each day and providing pictures of the 100 miles we traveled.

If you have any questions about the route, logistical planning, or anything else… feel free to comment below.

Here is the day by day breakdown:

DAY 1: South Lake (Bishop Pass Trailhead) to LeConte – 11.5 miles

DAY 2: LeConte to Palisade Lakes

DAY 3: Palisade Lake to Bench Lake Area (Lake Marjorie)

DAY 4: Bench Lake to Woods Creek Trail

DAY 5: Woods Creek Trail to Bubbs Creek Trail

DAY 6: Bubbs Creek Trail to Tyndall Creek

DAY 7: Tyndall Creek to Guitar Lake

Day 8: Guitar Lake to Whitney Summit to Whitney Portal

6 thoughts on “California: John Muir Trail- Bishop to LeConte to Whitney Portal

  1. Thanks for all of the info, it was very helpful. A friend and I are planning the same trip from Bishop to Mt. Whitney on the JMT. Did you reserve your permit from the White Mountain Ranger Station beforehand or did you do walk-up permits?

  2. My friend and I plan to do this hike soon. I have been looking for gpx for map. What do you use for map? Is the trail well mark?

  3. Great article! Last year my brother and I hiked from Duck Lake to Bishop pass. Awesome trip. This year Bishop pass to Whitney. My question is how did you fit 8 days of food in a bear can? We also may be doing the hike in 9-10 days. Thanks. Skip

    1. Hey Skip! Thanks for the note. That is one of the most amazing stretches I have ever backpacked. Just stunningly beautiful. We typically follow a food spreadsheet that we put together. We shoot for 3500 calories per day. With that being said, we pack only foods that have the highest calorie density (calories/gram). We also have a couple of other tricks like taking food out of their bulky packaging and repackaging in smaller zip lock bags. We put the first day’s food in the brain of the backpack. That keeps a day of food out of your can. I have a lot of other ideas if you are interested. Those are just some of the big things we do.

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