Mount Muir

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Mount Muir
Mount Muir.jpg
The East Face of Mount Muir
Highest point
Elevation14,018 ft (4,273 m)  NAVD 88[1]
Prominence298 ft (91 m) [1]
Parent peakMount Whitney[2]
Coordinates36°33′53″N 118°17′28″W / 36.5646575°N 118.2912017°W / 36.5646575; -118.2912017Coordinates: 36°33′53″N 118°17′28″W / 36.5646575°N 118.2912017°W / 36.5646575; -118.2912017[6]
Mount Muir is located in California
Mount Muir
Mount Muir
LocationInyo and Tulare counties, California, U.S.
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
Topo mapUSGS Mount Whitney
First ascent1919 by LeRoy Jeffers[7]
Easiest routeHike and scramble from the west, class 3[8]

Mount Muir is a peak in the Sierra Nevada of California, 0.95 miles (1.5 km) south of Mount Whitney. This 14,018-foot (4,273 m) peak is named in honor of Scottish-born John Muir, a famous geologist, conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club. The southernmost section of the John Muir Trail contours along the west side of Mount Muir near its summit and ends on the summit of Mount Whitney.


Among mountain climbers, a peak needs to meet certain criteria in order to be included in some lists. To be listed as an independent peak a summit must have 300 feet (91 m) of clean prominence. A reliable source gives Mount Muir's clean prominence as 298 feet,[1] and so the peak does not qualify for lists of fourteeners based on elevation and prominence.[9] It is included in other lists which do not depend on prominence. Some lists are based on more subjective criteria, and Mount Muir is included in the Sierra Peaks Section list,[3] the Western States Climbers list,[4] and the Vulgarian Ramblers 13,800-Footers of the Contiguous USA list.[5][10]

The easiest approach is from the John Muir Trail just north of its junction with the Mount Whitney Trail in Sequoia National Park. The trail passes very near the summit and the climb involves a short stretch of difficult scrambling up the steep, boulder-strewn, western slope to the summit block, (class 3). A dayhike permit or a backcountry permit with a Whitney Zone stamp is required to hike the Mount Whitney Trail.[11]

The east side of Mount Muir, which is in the John Muir Wilderness, is a near-vertical cliff about 1,400 feet (430 m) high. The route on this side (the north side of the east buttress) was first climbed on July 11, 1935 by Nelson P. Nies and John D. Mendenhall. It is a roped climb, (class 4). The south side of the east buttress, also class 4, was first climbed on September 1, 1935, by Arthur B. Johnson and William Rice.[8]

Mount Muir's East Face and the Sierra crest as seen from Trail Camp on the Mount Whitney Trail during September of a drought year.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Mount Muir, California". Retrieved 2011-05-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Key Col for Mount Muir". Retrieved 2016-03-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ a b "Sierra Peaks Section List" (PDF). Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club.
  4. ^ a b "Western States Climbers List". Retrieved 2016-03-24.
  5. ^ a b "Vulgarian Ramblers 13,800-Footers of the Contiguous USA". Retrieved 2016-03-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Mount Muir". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-05-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ Secor, R.J. (2009). The High Sierra Peaks, Passes, and Trails (3rd ed.). Seattle: The Mountaineers. p. 67. ISBN 9780898869712.
  8. ^ a b Roper, Steve (1976). The Climber's Guide to the High Sierra. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books. p. 312. ISBN 0-87156-147-6. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "What Happened to Mt. Muir?".
  10. ^ "Mt. Muir Details". Retrieved 2016-03-23. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ "Mount Muir". Retrieved 2011-05-31. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)