Segment One: Happy Isle to Little Yosemite Valley – Mileage: 4.7 mi. Approximate elevation profile of the Day 4 hike on the Yosemite Highlights Loop from Echo Valley through Little Yosemite Valley to the Happy Isles Trailhead Parking Lot. End: Little Yosemite Valley (LYV) @ 18:00. Yosemit…, CA. We were all excited to start the adventure with a hike up to Nevada Falls from the Happy Isles Trailhead. Lot's of action on Day 1 of the John Muir Trail. We had a short day from Little Yosemite Valley into the valley, so we had a leisurely morning. 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. There were lots of people already out hiking although it was only a little after 7 in the morning. A bathroom is located next to the Happy Isles Shuttle Stop. Hey there I will be in Yosemite National Park May 23-28, 2015 and got a trailhead permit reservation for entry at Glacier Point--> Little Yosemite Valley on May 25, 2015 and exit from Little Yosemite --> Happy Isles on May 27, 2015. The crowds start off thick, though you’ll find that as you hike farther, and climb higher, less and less people will be seen on the trail. (^This is how Augie's writings will appear throughout the JMT Diary). Augie has a tendency to wax-poetic in writing and in person which made him a great companion for the poetic JMT. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. This scenic spot is the starting point for the Mist Trail, and is also the northern trailhead for the John Muir Trail. We started our trip in typical lazy fashion, leaving the Yosemite Valley backpacker’s camp around 9:00 am. Both lead the final mile to the campground at Little Yosemite Valley. Also took a side trip up to Sub Dome at the base of Half Dome. A muffled noise from behind our tent caused me to sit up and shouts of "BEAR" suddenly rang throughout camp. Hey there I will be in Yosemite National Park May 23-28, 2015 and got a trailhead permit reservation for entry at Glacier Point--> Little Yosemite Valley on May 25, 2015 and exit from Little Yosemite --> Happy Isles on May 27, 2015. We drove down into the Yosemite Valley midday and finally started the short hike up to Little Yosemite Valley campground in the late afternoon. The scenic hike to Glacier point from Yosemite Valley is over 9.6 miles/15.5 Km round trip. Shortly, you'll come to a fork and have to pick between the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail. Instead of standing upright, my body is perpendicular to the slope. While the avalanche danger had decreased significantly, more weather was approaching quickly. We had about a liter each, and wished we could’ve had just a bit more. Little Yosemite Valley - Key Facts. My first choice on my wilderness permit application, Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, was denied, so I had to go with an alternate route, Happy Isles to Sunrise. Reviews. Try parking at one of the two large lots in the valley - the day-use lot next to Yosemite Village or the Curry Village parking lot. About a mile and a half in you will find yourself at the top of Vernal Falls. To the right, it runs close to the river through coarsely ground granite — difficult to hike in. Take it to Little Yosemite Valley, where hordes of Half Dome hopefuls gather for a shot at peak views similar to the ones you just earned (join them if your backcountry permit allows it). Distance: 9.6 miles (15.5 km) round trip. Once you get to the top, you will be rewarded with stunning panoramas of the entire Yosemite Valley and all its magnificent landmarks. On the last day of our trek we hiked out of wilderness from Echo Valley to the Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley. This option requires you to camp at Little Yosemite Valley on your first night, which is 4.7 miles from the trailhead and 3.5 miles from the Half Dome Junction. While acclimating, not-so-much. The crowds thinned out after we passed the popular waterfall and made our way to the Little Yosemite Valley campground. Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley. Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley (Friday, March 23) We arrived at the ranger station shortly after 9AM to get our wilderness permit and get some info on trail conditions and weather from the rangers. Take it to Little Yosemite Valley, where hordes of Half Dome hopefuls gather for a shot at peak views similar to the ones you just earned (join them if your backcountry permit allows it). View fullsize. After spending a night in the backpackers camp, Augie and I were eager to hit the trail. My first day featured 7 miles and 3,200ft of elevation gain from the car to my campsite, which was right at the junction to the Clouds Rest trail. She came back three  times that night to inspect bear boxes containing backpackers' precious food. The trail to Little Yosemite Valley starts at Happy Isles. At GP, the Panorama Trail eventually joins up with the JMT near Nevada Falls and then heads via a relatively flat trail about 1 mile further to the Little Yosemite Valley campsite. Start at Happy Isles trailhead (1232m high) To Vernal Falls: 30 minutes (2.4 kms, 300m elevation gain) To the steps: 15 minutes To Nevada Falls: 30 minutes (5.6 kms, 570m elevation gain, end of the Mist trail) To Little Yosemite Valley: 15 minutes To the Half Dome fork: 1 hour (10kms) Clouds Rest 5h Video from the top of Clouds Rest The views throughout the Merced River Valley are phenomenal and the Lost Valley and Little Yosemite Valley are also quite interesting. Day 1. Panorama Trail to Little Yosemite Valley is a 21 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. 7/21 – Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley 3.8 miles. After crossing the bridge on top of the Nevada Falls you will reach a junction with the Panorama Trail (2.7 miles) that leads to Illilouette Fall and Glacier Point. The first trail day began with hiking out of the valley from Happy Isles. My girlfriend and I have a backcountry permit for Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley in a few weeks. Like the Mist Trail, Half Dome, and the entirety of the John Muir Trail, the hike to Clouds Rest has humble beginnings at Happy Isles. Little Yosemite Valley, situated between Half Dome, Liberty Cap and the Cascade Cliffs, and straddling the Merced River, is within close proximity of the national park's main valley. (I must've gotten someone else's cancellation.) Day 1: Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, ← Day 2: Little Yosemite Valley to Sunrise Creek, Introduction & Pre-Hike: Richmond to Yosemite National Park →, Day 15: Sapphire Lake to Mather Pass Trailhead, Day 13: King's Canyon N.P. At the top of our little climb from the Merced River Bridge to Happy Isles we got one last long view before formally walking through the John Muir Trailhead at Happy Isles into Yosemite Valley. From Yosemite Valley: Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley From Glacier Point: Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley If you have a permit for one of these two trailheads, you must spend your first night at Little Yosemite Valley Campground (no additional reservation or permit required). Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley. Happy Isles Nature Center is visited by more than 10,000 families every year, inspiring countless young Yosemite visitors through its engaging and interactive exhibits. After 21 miles and three days we should end up at Happy Isles at the Yosemite Valley floor. Backpacking John Muir Trail from Little Yosemite Valley backpackers camp to Happy Isles Trailhead. At 6:52 pm on July 10, 1996, two rockfalls detached in quick succession from the rim of Yosemite Valley east of Glacier Point. Junction. The Trail-Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley The Lip of Nevada Falls. Hikers with other permits are not permitted to camp here. Don (left) and the rest of the gang enjoying a few games of bridge in Little Yosemite Valley Below is a Panorama at Clark Point of Broderick Peak, Diving Board, Half Dome, Liberty Cap and Nevada Falls from left to right. We ascended Half Dome in the late afternoon and enjoyed an hour or so on the summit before returning down the cables. Length 21 mi Elevation gain 3917 ft Route type Out & back. The campground has a bathroom and food storage boxes. RECOMMENDED ROUTE Happy Isles to Clouds Rest 18.3 mi 29.5 km • 5,782' Up 1762.48 m Up • 5,782' Down 1762.38 m Down. There’s no reliable water source between Little Yosemite Valley and Half Dome, so plan accordingly. Trailhead: Happy Isles. We set out in unseasonably warm weather, giving us the thought we might not hit much snow. Permits dictate where to sleep on the first night; for instance, Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley means you must camp in Little Yosemite Valley at established campsites. Happy Isles. Happy Isles is a group of small isles in the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California, USA. The description below is for the longer hike starting at the Yosemite Valley. On the last day of our trek we hiked out of wilderness from Echo Valley to the Happy Isles Trailhead in Yosemite Valley. Yosemite National Park charges an entrance fee, but no permit is needed to visit Happy Isles, so get out and enjoy! Variations for Hikes: While the best and easiest way to hike the Panorama Trail is from Glacier Point down to Happy Isles, you could also do a shorter hike from Glacier Point to Illilouette Fall or Panorama Point and back up again. https://www.alltrails.com/.../panorama-trail-to-little-yosemite-valley To Little Yosemite Valley: Begin your hike at the official starting point of the JMT. After finishing the soon-to-be familiar routine of filtering water, cooking, cleaning then packing the bear canister, I attempted to sleep. In reviewing the permit rules, etc. I went for a quick stroll alone, snapped some pictures and felt humbled by the granite valley walls. We had spent the preceding two nights prepping for the trip at Wawona (now known as Big Trees Lodge) on the edge of Yosemite. Start the route at Happy Isles, past the river from the bus stop. Hike Elevation Total: 2,085 feet Hike Mileage Total: 4.72 miles TRIP REPORT: This map details our journey from Happy Isles to the Little Yosemite Valley campground. The hike ends at the Happy Isles Trailhead where you can pick up the Yosemite Valley shuttle bus or walk the road to your next destination. In 2015, the Yosemite Conservancy provided funding to restore the existing exhibits and create new interactive panels and displays. We had spent the preceding two nights prepping for the trip at Wawona (now known as Big Trees Lodge) on the edge of Yosemite. Segment One: Happy Isle to Little Yosemite Valley – Mileage: 4.7 mi. I stored my DSLR in my pack, and at that time I wasn't keen on taking it off to reach for the camera, then putting it back on. It travels near steep granite cliffs and past both Vernal and Nevada Falls. Happy Isles is a group of small isles in the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California, USA.They are located at the easternmost end of the Yosemite Valley floor. The description below is for the longer hike starting at the Yosemite Valley. Junction to Sapphire Lake, Day 12: Marie Lake to King's Canyon N.P. I had heard her walk right past our tent! The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until October. Recent fire in Little Yosemite Valley so very little shade all day. The crowds thinned out after we passed the popular waterfall and made our way to the Little Yosemite Valley campground. This trail goes by North Pines Campground, Valley Horse Stables, Nature Center at Happy Isles, Sierra Point, Vernal Fall Footbridge, Vernal Fall, Emerald Pool, Silver Apron, Clark Point, and Nevada Fall. Going down the cables, a lot of people get really uptight and nervous. Little Yosemite Valley to Happy Isles The previous day of backpacking from Sunrise High Sierra Camp to Little Yosemite Valley was fairly easy, with only the steep downhill portions killing my knees, even while using trekking poles. You can continue on to any campsite along the JMT the following night. Hike to the first bridge and then continue on JMT: Segment 1 - Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows. The Trail-Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley The Lip of Nevada Falls. Your email address will not be published. The crowds start off thick, though you’ll find that as you hike farther, and climb higher, less and less people will be seen on the trail. You’ll have company on the Mist Trail as you descend beside 594-foot Nevada Fall and 317-foot Vernal Fall to Happy Isles, but you won’t blame anyone for wanting a look at some of America’s finest miles. Visiting Glacier Point in Yosemite Valley. It seemed like the planning would never end. Rangers sprang to action and scared away a large female black bear. Little Yosemite Valley is a smaller glacial valley upstream in the Merced River drainage from the Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park.The Merced River meanders through the 3.5 mi (5.6 km) long flat valley, draining out over Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall before emptying into the main Yosemite Valley. We gained about 2000 feet in 4.5 miles. You’ll have company on the Mist Trail as you descend beside 594-foot Nevada Fall and 317-foot Vernal Fall to Happy Isles, but you won’t blame anyone for wanting a look at some of America’s finest miles. Happy Isles, Vernall Falls, Half Dome, Tenaya Lake, and Mirror Lakes Loop is a 30.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Yosemite Valley, California that features a lake and is rated as difficult. If you would like to camp here, you must get a permit for Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley or Glacier Point to Little Yosemite Valley. You can catch free shuttle buses from either of these to the Yosemite Lodge. Start the route at Happy Isles, past the river from the bus stop. It was going to be a big day. Distance: 0.5 miles (0.8 km) round trip from trailhead; 2.5 miles (4 km) round trip starting from Curry Village Trailhead Elevation: 4,000 feet (1,220 meters) Elevation Gain: Practically none What's Happy Isles? I cursed like a sailor the whole way, only biting my tongue when a woman quickly passed me. Photo: Glenn Scofield Williams, CC BY 2.0. After a mile, the JMT split off from the more popular Mist Trail that went down to Vernal Fall. This is a moderate one way trail to Little Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. The trail leading out from Yosemite Valley was paved and somewhat steep. (A permit is now required for day hikers and backpackers hiking to Half Dome.) I lucked out on the full trailhead report and was able to grab a "Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley" permit in the 9-14 day window before my trip. It will take about six to eight hours and goes up to an elevation of over 3200 feet. Once off the cables (and after kissing the granite), the prospect of a hot dinner and rest put some pep in our step and we ran back to the Little Yosemite Valley campground. This scenic spot is the starting point for the Mist Trail, and is also the northern trailhead for the John Muir Trail. Yeah - I was pretty terrified, but I did the damn thing. Sunday marked the 20-year anniversary of the Happy Isles rockfall, one of the most devastating rockfalls in Yosemite’s history. Jul 28, 2013 - A recap and guide to the first day on the John Muir Trail, hiking from Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley with a side-trip up Half Dome. 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