One word: Granite
A 211-mile journey though the Sierra Nevada Range of California, I got to tackle this one in two parts over two years. This iconic trail is known for its summit of Mt. Whitney, alpine meadows, and wind lashed krummholz. The elevation gains and losses overall set this trail apart from other shorter distance trails and the scenery is breathtaking. Unfortunately, this trail is very over loved. Permits are tough to obtain, wait lists can happen, and scheduling doesn't always work with Mother Nature. The Muir Trail is fun, challenging, and rewarding overall. The JMT gets two thumbs up from me.