I have uploaded photos and videos from the JMT to my photo gallery at https://photos.anands.net/John-Muir-Trail/. There is not much commentary to the photos there and Smugmug does a really lousy job of rendering videos.
I plan to do a comprehensive video with narration of the hike, just like I did for my High Sierra Trail, but it will take a few weeks.
In the meantime, I am posting these photos with better commentary (as I write the “script” for the video) in my Instagram account. If you like to consume these photos slowly with a bit more context, I recommend you use that instead.
One of the things that worked wonderfully well for the JMT was the Nikon Z50 and the 16-50 lens. I carried the Nikon Z6 and either the 14-30 f/4 Z or the 24-70 f/4 Z on my earlier long hikes, this time I needed something lighter to carry. I was about to buy the Nikon 24-50 Z, but Raja suggested I get the Z50 instead and I am thankful to him for that suggestion. The Z50 reminds of my all time favorite camera, the Nikon D70, updated to the latest and greatest tech, it is small, has fantastic dynamic range, excellent auto focus and produces stunning photos.
In the meantime, these are my favorites from the trip. These are chosen not just for their photographic value, but how I connected with them.
Thousand Island Lake
You can’t go wrong with Thousand Island Lake at sunset. It was a very long day 1, where we climbed over 3,000 feet and 10 miles. We barely reached the lake at sunset to quickly capture this photo.
The hike from Thousand Island towards Red’s meadow is fascinating. This is the second time I am hiking this trail, but in the opposite direction, this particular vista point before Garnet Lake is absolutely stunning.
Lake Virginia Inlet
Lake Virginia has replaced Lake Ediza as my favorite lake in the Eastern Sierra. This is an inlet to Lake Virginia, just about everything came together for this photo.
It rained on us at this lake, so we were rushing through, but this captured the essence of this magnificent lake. I will head back here.
Sallie Keyes Lake
Sallie Keyes lake after Selden Pass was gorgeous.
Entering Kings Canyon National Park
When we crossed into Kings Canyon National Park, everything changed, the mountains got taller, the gorge was fantastic and those two miles along the gorge along Godard Canyon moved me to tears. This is the Kings Canyon I have read about. Here is my friend, Durgi admiring the gorge.
Evolution Lake Panorama
There are a few dozen photos I shot of Evolution Valley, this is not the best, but it shows the magnitude of the valley. Mt. Darwin and Mt. Mendell are to the right which border the Evolution lake. No wonder this is the favorite part of the JMT for a lot of people.
As you leave Evolution Valley and hike towards Muir Pass, the Evolution Basin comes into view. It reminds us of Ladakh region in Kashmir.
Lake McDermand and Helen Lake are absolutely stunning.
Upper Ducy Basin Sunset
I spent overnight at Upper Ducy Basin. Two of my friends hiked from South Lake to join me here. North Palisade and the mountains are lit by the sunset.
I exited the trail at LeConte Canyon. This was on the day I left as I climbed Ducy basin trail. Langille Peak, The Citadel and Mt. McDuffee are being lit by sunlight.
My last pass before exiting. Bishop lake, Saddlebag lake and Long lake are seen in this photo.
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