Mount Muir

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This article is about the mountain in California. For the mountain in Canada, see Mount Muir (Alberta).
Mount Muir
Mount Muir.jpg
The East Face of Mount Muir
Elevation 14,018 ft (4,273 m) NAVD 88[1]
Prominence 298 ft (91 m)[1]
Listing California fourteener
Sierra Peaks Section[2]
Mount Muir is located in California
Mount Muir
Mount Muir
Location Inyo and Tulare counties, California, U.S.
Range Sierra Nevada
Coordinates 36°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[3]
Topo map USGS Mount Whitney
Easiest route Hike and scramble from the west, class 3[4]

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 American 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 prominence. A reliable source gives Mount Muir's clean prominence as 298 feet or 91 meters,[1] and so the peak does not qualify for some lists of fourteeners based on elevation and prominence.[5] It is included in some lists, because list makers use several methods to calculate prominence. Other lists are based on more subjective criteria and Mount Muir is included in the Sierra Peaks Section list,[2] and the Western States Climbers list.[6]

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.[7] There is no record of the first ascent.

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.[4]

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. 
  2. ^ a b "Sierra Peaks Section List" (PDF). Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club. 
  3. ^ "Mount Muir". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-05-31. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "What Happened to Mt. Muir?". 
  6. ^ "Western States Climbers list". Western States Climbers. 
  7. ^ "Mount Muir". Retrieved 2011-05-31. 

External links[edit]