John Muir Trail South Lake to North Lake

Bishop, California

John Muir Trail: South Lake to North Lake Professional Review and Guide

"This 25-mile stretch of the John Muir Trail (JMT) between the Bishop Pass and Piute Pass junctions passes through the remarkably scenic Evolution Basin, where a narrow rockbound canyon holds a string of jeweled alpine lakes in the shadow of towering peaks. Referred to as the Evolution Group, Mounts Huxley, Fiske, Wallace, Haeckel, Spencer, Darwin, and Mendel reign over the region in absolute mountain majesty. Six of these summits reach elevations of more than 13,000 feet, with 12,431-foot Mt. Spencer the lone exception. Although Theodore S. Solomons, explorer, charter member of the Sierra Club, and JMT visionary, named the peaks in 1895 for contemporary proponents of evolutionary theory, such appellations fall short of capturing the area’s true grandeur."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
10,580 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
5–8 days
Mid-July to early October
Kings Canyon National Park
Local Contacts
USGS’s Mt. Thompson, North Palisade, Mt. Goddard, Mt. Darwin, Mt. Henry, Mt. Hilgard, and Mt. Tom
Local Maps