Osprey Athlete Payge McMahon is an adventure athlete, ‘rockin’ yogi’ and journalist who travels the world inspiring others to get outdoors, try new things and start checking off that bucket list.
2015 U.S.A. Adventure Recommendation
…and which Osprey Pack you should take!
I’ve backpacked all over the world and the JMT is my all time favorite!
Located in Northern California, this breathtaking trek takes you 221-miles, up and over 11 mountain passes, ranging from 9,703 ft. (Cathedral) to 14,496 (Mt. Whitney), for a total of 84,000 feet of elevation gains and losses.
If you’ve ever wanted to trek the Pacific Crest Trail, but thought the 2,650 miles was just a bit much, do the John Muir Trail instead! A 170 of the 221 miles are on the PCT and you will trek through the most beautiful national parks in the United States. From Yosemite Valley, the John Muir and Ansel Adams Wildernesses, Kings Canyon, Sequoia National Parks and up and over Mt. Whitney to Lone Pine, CA. Enjoy remote the wilderness from; rivers, blue lakes, waterfalls, forests, mountains, deer, marmots to the occasional bear – you will see it all.
The best time to go is from June – August. The trek is traditionally done in 14-21 days, and if preferred, can also be section hiked. Most start in Yosemite and go south, but if you want to get the hard elevation out of the way first, start in Lone Pine/Mt. Whitney and go north. Get your permits early, pack clothes for hot to freezing weather and plan your food wisely.
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The original Colorado home for Osprey is the town of Dolores, Colorado located about 11 miles north of our headquarters in Cortez. It’s a quiet town of about 900 people with what nightlife there is, centered on the local brewpub. As a result, most Dolores residents are connected to the “day” life which primarily involves outdoor activities. I’ve lived here for 13 years and feel blessed that I can mountain bike or ski out my door depending on season, walk my dog next to the river or journey less than an hour for epic and wild desert or mountain adventures. Last summer my neighbors, Dave and Kelly Finlay informed me they were journeying a bit further for their summer adventure—a thru-hike of the Muir Trail. Dave and Kelly are serious backpackers, having hiked the Colorado Trail 4 years prior, so they spent some time with me lining out their Osprey packs to maximize fit and performance for their California adventure.
Upon their return, I enjoyed an incredible slideshow of their journey on the Muir Trail. They also told me that they had hiked most of the trail with a film crew that was making a movie about the trail. As it happened, just about everyone they ended up hiking with was wearing Osprey packs. This certainly got my attention. Here was a film dominated by our product with no intentional product placement and here was a film about an iconic Sierra trail—the mountain range where Ospreys first started hitting the trail in 1974. Now a year later and following countless hours of editing, the film is nearing its completion and in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign. I recently sat down with Dave and Kelly to chat about their thoughts on the adventure and the film.