Guitar Lake, looking east toward Mt. Whitney, Sequoia National Park, CA

John Muir Trail Map 8
Vidette Meadow to Guitar Lake

Guitar Lake

Forester Pass to Guitar Lake

The trail on the south side of Forester Pass has been cut into the mountainside, making it a dangerous descent if still buried in snow. Check with rangers before setting out. Once the snow is gone, the well-graded trail is easy to follow.

Beyond the Shepherd Pass turnoff, the JMT climbs to Bighorn Plateau with great views of the area. Good camping is found at Wallace Creek. Signs pointing to Mt. Whitney signal that you are nearing the end of the trail. At Crabtree Meadow the JMT leaves the PCT and swings east. While Guitar Lake is the traditional campsite before the final push to Whitney, some hikers prefer to continue a little farther up the trail before stopping, thus shortening the next day's hike.

Vidette Meadow to Forester Pass

Excluding Mt. Whitney, 13,200-foot Forester Pass is the highest point along the John Muir Trail. Many hikers break the 3,650-foot, 7 mile ascent from Vidette Meadow into two sections by camping part way up the pass. A good campsite is found at the treeline. After so many days on the trail and packs as light as they have ever been, Forester Pass will likely be no harder than any of the previous summits.

The top of the pass marks the boundary between Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park.

John Muir Trail elevation profile from Vidette Meadow to Guitar Lake