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John Muir Trail: Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows

HARD 18 reviews
#94 of 244 trails in

John Muir Trail: Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows is a 20.9 mile point-to-point trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October.

Distance: 20.9 miles Elevation Gain: 7,037 feet Route Type: Point to Point

backpacking

camping

hiking

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

partially paved

river

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

snow

historic site

no dogs

Welcome to the beginning of what is bound to be an epic adventure! The John Muir Trail begins in Yosemite Valley. If you are hiking this at the most popular time of year, you'll be starting off in the valley with what might feel like each and every one of the park's 3.7 million annual visitors. While the crowds may be a bit overwhelming and discouraging, once you are a few miles into the trail the crowds will drop off, and soon you'll find yourself among like-minded backpackers and backcountry enthusiasts. The trail begins at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. In the first few miles, the John Muir Trail passes by some of the most impressive waterfalls you will see on the entire trail, Vernal and Nevada Falls. The trail eventually parallels Sunrise Creek (where you'll have the option of taking the side trail to Half Dome), passes the Sunrise High Sierra Camp, and then weaves between the sharp ridges of Tresidder and Cathedral peaks. Dropping from Cathedral Lakes, the trail reaches highway 120 (Tioga Pass Road) where you will once again encounter civilization in the form of a Visitor's Center, store, post office, grill, and campground at Tuolumne Meadows. This is the first opportunity for a resupply point on the John Muir Trail.

backpacking
Saturday, September 22, 2018

Check out our YouTube video of this trail: https://youtu.be/GLPpZOIsYAg Hard going out of Yosemite Valley but amazing all the way. Our permit started us Labor Day weekend 2018 exiting over Donahue pass and ending at Rush Creek Trailhead. No regrets on this trip, but if I did it again I’d do the reverse direction ending in the Valley because the elevation is killer for the non-thru hiker

hiking
Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Takes about 10 miles to get away from the general population leaving from Happy Isles. But Cathedral Lakes is one of Americas best campsites. You could get there in a little over a half a day if you left from Tuolomne Meadows heading north to happy Isles.

backpacking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Did this a few years ago. Amazing trail. But do it starting in Tuolumne Meadows and it's way easier.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

hiking
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

hiking
Saturday, September 24, 2016

recorded Recording - Jun 13, 12:23 p.m.

hiking
Tuesday, October 26, 1999

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