In 1875, John Muir left Yosemite Valley and walked south. His intention was to document and study the range of the world’s biggest tree, the giant sequoia. Two months after setting out with a pack mule named Brownie, Muir reached his goal—the southern-most sequoia. One hundred and forty years later, I stumbled across his route repeatedly while researching Big Tree Hikes of Sequoia Country. After that book was published, I set off to re-trace Muir’s journey. As you’ll read below, following in John Muir’s footsteps isn’t always so easy, even a century and a half later.

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