Estimate of Trail Days

The following table shows typical numbers of days taken for the John Muir Trail, depending on the age and level of fitness of the hikers:

ETD Chart

Estimating how many days you will spend on the trail will help determine various aspects of preparation and planning.

  • Take the row with your age on the left and move right to the column corresponding to your level of fitness. This will give you an initial estimate of trail days (ETD).
  • Refine your ETD by answering the questions in the book and adding the half/full days to your initial ETD, for example:
    • Would you like to do any side trips?
    • Would you like to go fishing?
    • Would you like to take extra time along the trail to stop at lakes, meadows, etc. for animal watching, relaxing, or other?
    • Do you plan on eating out along the trail?
  • Add-up these additional time-demands to receive your total ETD. You can now calculate your average miles per day: divide 222 miles by your ETD.

ETD Formula

Please bear in mind that these are only reference points  for an initial estimation. Further factors to include in your personal estimate of trail days and the exact calculation can be found in Plan & Go | The John Muir Trail.

With that information you then a) know for how many days to plan food, when to pick-up your resupply, how to handle travel arrangements, etc. and b) can start your detailed (micro) planning of day sections and potential campsites along the elevation profiles.