Half Dome and Liberty Cap from John Muir Trail in Yosemite National Park, CA

John Muir Trail Map 1 - Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows

Little Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows

From Little Yosemite Valley the trail climbs sharply along Sunrise Creek for the first 3 miles, passing the turnoffs to Half Dome and Clouds Rest. The rest of the way to Cathedral Pass the trail ascends in spurts, drops into the valley at Sunrise High Sierra Camp and climbs again to Cathedral Pass. Beyond the pass, the trail dips to the Cathedral Lake junction and then climbs briefly. After that, hikers enjoy a downhill respite into Tuolumne Meadows. While the official JMT crosses the highway into the meadow, most hikers stay on the trail south of the road.

Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley

Starting at Happy Isles, most hikers prefer the Mist Trail which leads up the river to the top of Vernal Fall and then to Nevada Fall. The Mist Trail can be wet in the early season.

Others choose the official JMT, which diverges to the south just beyond the Vernal Fall bridge and offers wonderful panoramic views from its switchbacks. Both trails converge near the top of Nevada Fall.

In Little Yosemite Valley, backpackers must camp at the designated campground. Find plenty of campsites, restrooms, bear boxes, and communal campfire areas.

John Muir Trail elevation profile from Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows