John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails
The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail stretches 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada along the mountainous crest of the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada and through the Mojave Desert.
Yosemite contains nearly 70 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. In Yosemite, the trail's highest point is 11,056 feet at Donohue Pass at the park's southern border, and the lowest spot is 7,560 feet near Benson Lake. When Pacific Crest Trail hikers reach Tuolumne Meadows, they are 942 miles from Mexico and 1,714 miles from Canada.
The 211-mile John Muir Trail is a world-famous trail stretching from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States. Because the John Muir Trail overlaps the Pacific Crest Trail for most of its length, the Pacific Crest Trail Association also provides details about the John Muir Trail.
John Muir Trail
Over the last several years, Yosemite National Park has noted a significant increase in demand for permits to hike the John Muir Trail (JMT). The increased number of JMT hikers has made it difficult for non-JMT hikers to get wilderness permits for other trails within Yosemite National Park. Also during this same time, the NPS has noted an increase in the number of resource related impacts within the Sunrise Creek and Lyell Canyon areas. Finally, some wilderness campsites along the JMT in Yosemite have seen a sharp increase in overnight users, which negatively impacts the quality of the visitor experience.
Beginning in February 2, 2015, Yosemite National Park will only issue wilderness permits valid for exiting Yosemite via Donahue Pass (the pass over which the JMT exits Yosemite) for up to 45 people per day. Of these, 25 will be available for permits using the Lyell Canyon trailhead (60% reservable, 40% first- come, first-served). The remaining 20 will be available for Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles pass-through, Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley, and Sunrise Lakes trailheads (100% reservable).
If you begin your JMT hike outside Yosemite and end in Yosemite, your wilderness permit will not be valid for hiking Half Dome.
Pacific Crest Trail
Delays and limited parking on Whitney Portal Road in 2016: Major reconstruction on Whitney Portal Road will occur in 2016, with possible closures and delays (up to three hours) and no long-term parking.
Food Storage and Bear Canisters
Post offices in Yosemite Valley (all year) and Tuolumne Meadows (approximately mid-June through mid-September) accept food packages mailed care of General Delivery. Mark packages with "hold for hiker until [date]." Packages not so marked will be held for 14 days. Packages containing food should be marked so that postal employees will store it properly. Please do not send perishables. Private delivery companies (e.g., UPS, FedEx) do not deliver to general delivery addresses.
To address a general delivery package, include the name of the recipient, c/o General Delivery, Yosemite, CA 95389 (for Yosemite Valley) or Tuolumne Meadows, CA 95389 (for Tuolumne Meadows).
You can purchase food and camping supplies in Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows.