John Muir Trail Day 1 – Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley. 4.8 mile kickoff hike.

Hiking the John Muir Trail

In June 2014, four friends and I embarked on a 3 day backpacking trip through Yosemite along a section of the John Muir Trail that started in Tuolomne Meadows and ended in Yosemite Valley. In mid July 2016, I started a similar trip with the same group of friends, but this trip was different in two significant ways.

First, although we hiked the same route through Yosemite, we hiked it in reverse this time from the valley to Tuolomne Meadows. Second, and more importantly, for my friend Don and I this stretch of the trip was just the tip of the iceberg.

Hiking the John Muir Trail
Overlooking Nevada Falls from  the John Muir Trail

From Tuolomne Meadows, Don and I will continue on for another 10 days and some 200 miles. We will be hiking the entire length of the John Muir Trail from Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney.

Hiking the John Muir Trail
Soaking up some cool water to help beat the heat

We started our trip in typical lazy fashion, leaving the Yosemite Valley backpacker’s camp around 9:00 am. We were all excited to start the adventure with a hike up to Nevada Falls from the Happy Isles Trailhead.

Hiking the John Muir Trail
Don (left) and the rest of the gang enjoying  a few games of bridge in Little Yosemite Valley

The skies were clear and the weather hot. The trail was crowded with slow moving hikers struggling to make their way up to the falls in the heat. We stopped at the falls for an hour or so to enjoy lunch under some shade trees by the creek.

Hiking the John Muir Trail
Airing our dirty laundry in Little Yosemite Valley

From the falls we continued on our hike, finishing up mid-afternoon at Little Yosemite Valley Campgrounds. Over the next few hours, we swam in the Merced River, washed our clothes, and played several games of bridge before calling it a day.

Hiking the John Muir Trail
Thai peanut noodles and Acai berry green tea for dinner

My meal plan for the day included Oatmeal with milk and blueberries for breakfast, and Thai Peanut Noodles and tea for dinner.


Robb Keele

Robb Keele

Robb is a native San Diegan and avid hiker, backpacker, picture taker and 52 Hike Challenger. He created Getgo Outdoors with the goal of giving back to the outdoor community and inspiring others to get outdoors.
Robb Keele

One thought on “John Muir Trail Day 1 – Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley. 4.8 mile kickoff hike.

  • December 29, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Yay! You’re back!


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