Signs for the Times2018-07-16T10:23:34+00:00

Project Description

SIGNS FOR THE TIMES
Marking the Historic Identity of the JMT

OBJECTIVE: We will propose consistent markers along the length of the John Muir Trail, and perhaps signs to mark its termini at Yosemite Valley and Mt. Whitney, so people will plainly see they are hiking on the historic JMT.

SIGNS FOR THE TIMES
Marking the Historic Identity of the JMT

OBJECTIVE: We will propose consistent markers along the length of the John Muir Trail, and perhaps signs to mark its termini at Yosemite Valley and Mt. Whitney, so people will plainly see they are hiking on the historic JMT.

Anyone who has hiked the JMT knows there are many different signs along its full 220-mile length. The designs themselves vary widely. Some are traditional, while others are more modern. Materials range from wood to steel or aluminum. Travelers have no consistent reminders that they are actually on the John Muir Trail.

We have studied the historic signs used on the John Muir Trail. Among other types, vitreous enamel signs were in wide use from 1880 to 1950. The sign atop Whitney placed in September 1930 to commemorate the High Sierra Trail is green on white enamel as are many other historic signs found throughout the Sierra. The first signs with the words “Muir Trail” (as the USFS liked to call it during its creation) appear to have been vitreous enamel on metal in the green- on-white design. An old sign still on the JMT today is shown in a photograph below.

The Foundation would like to restore this heritage of JMT signage and have identified a font from a 1920’s Yosemite poster as a potential model for lettering.

Here is an example for a simple marker that could be affixed to the existing signage or a nearby tree along the length of the trail.

The Foundation would also propose unique markers or signs at the termini of the JMT in Yosemite National Park and at Mt. Whitney which include the trail’s accurate mileage.

This sign could also be used at several points along the JMT’s length to show mileage distances to Yosemite Valley to the north and Mt. Whitney to the south.

With the use of regular markers, a distinctive sign at each terminus, and several along the way to show the distances to Yosemite and Mt. Whitney, the identity of the John Muir Trail would be distinguished. For hikers, these markers would signal the starting and ending points of the full hike, something worth knowing whether they are traversing the full distance or are hiking just a section of the trail. We believe this signage would greatly enhance the experience of walking this trail and would assure the John Muir Trail’s unique place among America’s historic trails.

The John Muir Trail Foundation will be reviewing all signage options with the U.S. Forest Service and the NPS with both design and installation in mind, and will provide updates as we go forward. Once a design is approved, the Foundation will work with the agencies to identify appropriate locations and content, including mileages based on current GPS data. Each marker will be fabricated and installed in accordance with NPS and US Forest Service specifications.

Anyone who has hiked the JMT knows there are many different signs along its full 220-mile length that vary widely in shape, material and design. Travelers have no way of knowing they are actually on the John Muir Trail.

The Foundation would like to restore this heritage of JMT signage and have identified a font from a 1920’s Yosemite poster as a potential model for lettering.

Here is an example for a simple marker that could be affixed to the existing signage or a nearby tree along the length of the trail.

The Foundation would also propose unique markers or signs at the termini of the JMT in Yosemite National Park and at Mt. Whitney which include the trail’s accurate mileage.

This sign could also be used at several points along the JMT’s length to show mileage distances to Yosemite Valley to the north and Mt. Whitney to the south.

For hikers, these markers would signal the starting and ending points of the full JMT hike and would greatly enhance the experience of walking this trail. The restoration of historic signage would assure the John Muir Trail’s unique place among America’s historic trails.