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Re: Confused with happy Isles trail head

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Confused with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 02:21PM
I have very little Yosemite experience and im not filmure with the trail heads.Im planning on makeing a trip from Yosemite valley to Twaleme Meadows, as soon as the weather permits me to. I have been looking at some maps of the trial and i cant figure out where i would enter the John Muir trail from the Happly Isles trail head. From the info i have gathered Happy Isles is the Trail head for the Mist Trail and i know i don't want to take the MT out of Yosemite Valley with full backpacking gear.So where would i enter the John Muir Trail and how much of a difference in miles and difficulty would there be between the MT and the JMT out of Yosemite Valley? Thank You



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2009 09:03PM by Bee.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 02:23PM
Think of the Mist Trail as just a little shortcut on the John Muir Trail. It saves you a little bit of distance but is steep and wet.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 02:52PM
Mist Trail is very nice and, like eeek says, a shortcut. But one thought occurs to me that you should know, it has steps and plenty of people traveling through there. If you are loaded heavy or bulky like an astronaut you may want to reconsider as you will be weaving through people and worried if you take a bad step (when going down). Do others on the thread agree?
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 02:54PM
Quote
Catalonian Burro
Mist Trail is very nice and, like eeek says, a shortcut. But one thought occurs to me that you should know, it has steps and plenty of people traveling through there. If you are loaded heavy or bulky like an astronaut you may want to reconsider as you will be weaving through people and worried if you take a bad step (when going down). Do others on the thread agree?

I've done it may times with a full backpack. It's not the bad IMNSHO. But the number of people on the trail can be a problem.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 03:48PM
Quote
Catalonian Burro
Mist Trail is very nice and, like eeek says, a shortcut. But one thought occurs to me that you should know, it has steps and plenty of people traveling through there. If you are loaded heavy or bulky like an astronaut you may want to reconsider as you will be weaving through people and worried if you take a bad step (when going down). Do others on the thread agree?

I think MikeNHike did not intend to take the mist trail. The John Muir trail takes off toward the south and east from the Happy Isles Trail just after the Vernal Falls View Bridge and is about 1 mile longer to the top of Nevada Falls, if I remember correctly. It has a lot of switchbacks. You will know you are on the right trail when you see the horse and mule scat. There is a pdf map of Yosemite Valley conveniently available at the bottom of each thread webpage on this forum. You can pick up the human trail at the top of Vernal Falls if you like by a trail from Clark Point. It is a steep but drier hike to the top of Nevada Falls from top of Vernal Falls along the non-John Muir Trail. Going DOWN the Mist Trail is definitely more treacherous than going up.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/02/2009 03:57PM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 03:56PM
I take the Mist up always now. It's much shorter and thus much faster.
Ok... not always... as long as it is open.

If you take the John Muir up to Clark then it would be a bad idea to drop down
to the Mist to go back up to Nevada.
When I drug the wife up the diving board we took the Mist down past Nevada
to the bridge by Silver Apron and then proceeded to hike up to Clark Pt. and
then down the John Manure Trail. Won't ever do that again.

Quickest way up and down is the Mist Trail.
"Best" way up is Mist Trail IMO.
"Best" way down is JMT to Clark and then down to Mist Trail.

That being said don't normally go that way in summer... and if I do I get a going early...

Enjoy
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 04:14PM
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 04:44PM
Mike,

As others have tried to explain, the JMT begins at the Happy Isles in the southeast corner of Yosemite Valley. However, shortly after you cross the bridge below Vernal Fall it vears off the Mist Trail and takes a longer route to Nevada Fall, the one taken by horses and mules. If you have never been there before, stay on the Mist Trail; it's worth it. Yes, it's busy, especially on summer weekends, but you don't want to miss Vernal Fall, the mist it creates, and possible rainbow. The trip to Tuolumne Meadows is about 20 miles plus another 1-2 miles if you add a little side trip to or around lower Cathedral Lake (highly recommended). For most people this is at least a one-nighter so a Wilderness Trail Permit is required. If you wait until just after weather allows it may be difficult to get the date of entry you want, especially if it's a weekend. Yosemite National Park has a website that includes the procedure for getting permits. The only guaranteed way to get the date you want is via a 24-week advance reservation but that would require scheduling your trip in late June to be fairly certain Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows is open. Snowmelt and subsequent road debris clean-up at that altitude is unpredictable.

There are several trail maps available for your purposes but I highly recommend the National Geographic Trails Illustrated maps for Yosemite. There is one that covers the entire park but the details are rather small. They also have the option of four separate maps which together cover the same area. For your trip you would need #306 Yosemite SW (Yosemite Valley & Wawona) and #309 Yosemite SE (Ansel Adams Wilderness). The other two are #308 Yosemite NE (Tuolumne Meadows & Hoover Wilderness) and #307 Yosemite NW (Hetch Hetchy Reservoir). These are excellant quality semi-waterproof maps that should last a lifetime. Map #309 covers most of your trip right up to Tioga Road next to Tuolumne Meadows. Map #306 covers the first steep legs past the falls and just past the beginning of Little Yosemite Valley above Nevada Fall.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 01:46PM
Mr eeek, I can't find the reverse side. It's not behind this flat screen in front of me??.... winking smiley
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 01:51PM
Quote
Catalonian Burro
Mr eeek, I can't find the reverse side. It's not behind this flat screen in front of me??.... winking smiley

I couldn't find it either. Feel free to search the http://www.nps.gov/yose quagmire.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 07:23PM
I did it the same way as billy: up the Mist Trail and return by JMT. I chose to come back via the JMT because A) it was getting dark B) I was very tired (returning from a dayhike to a certain dome) and I did not trust my footing on the Mist Trail.

B
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 02, 2009 07:26PM
Quote
Bee
I did it the same way as billy: up the Mist Trail and return by JMT. I chose to come back via the JMT because A) it was getting dark B) I was very tired (returning from a dayhike to a certain dome) and I did not trust my footing on the Mist Trail.

B

On the other hand coming back on the JMT is where I hurt my leg years ago. Stepped down and a pain shot of the side.
Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 07:56AM
Even if the weather permits, the snow level may not.... remember to check before you go. Even if Tioga Pass is open you may still encounter snowdrifts across the trail. Having encountered snow along steep portions of trails before, I would encourage borrowing a GPS and taking a map/compass/GPS class, so that you can either navigate around or through any you might encounter.

Snow may linger into June/July at high elevations - at very high elevations, it doesn't go away. Fortunately your route is mid to high elevation, depending on route.

You'll want to fax for that permit just as soon as you can... or be flexible with the schedule so you can do a walk in....

I hate the Mist Trail. I don't like the manure but I also don't like being pushed down/off the steps by the flood of Half Dome wannabes that trudge up and down the Mist every day.
Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 01:31PM
So if i understand correctly the happy Isles trail head is for both the MT and the JMT and they eventuality will vear of from one enother below vernal falls. I understand that the Mist Trail is shorter but would you recomand me take the longer route though Clark Point to Nevada falls for a novice backpacker. I have herd that the MT is very hard to hike and isn't recommended for backpackers. Thank you all for your help



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2009 01:32PM by MikeNhike.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 01:50PM
MikenHike,

Try to do the Mist Trail one day. Whether you do it for this trip depends on how comfortable you feel with the steps, your load/bulkiness, and number of people on the trail (assuming you do at a different time of the year, or not at the crack of dawn with less people there, etc.).

The MT is beautiful and I would hope you don't miss out on it. Note that the longer way also has very pretty views as well.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 01:57PM
The Mist Trail:


avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 02:00PM
I think it must have fell behind the fridge:
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 03, 2009 04:33PM
Mike,

Do the Mist Trail. I don't know how far away you are from Yosemite or how often you can get there. If it's only once in a great while you should experience this trail at least once. If you are backpacking all the way to the Cathedral trailhead at Tuolumne Meadows the Mist Trail is a rather small part of your total effort. At the steepest parts just do the step/rest/step/rest method. Plodding along slowly without too many rest stops works better than sprinting with long rest stops. I've always been amazed at how well this tortise-vs-rabbit method works on steep uphills. You get to pass the rabbit several times without stopping because you never really get too winded. Besides, you are not yet really at high altitude relative to the rest of your hike. On the Mist Trail I've actually had the most difficulty with the first short leg up to the bridge because it's mostly asphalt at an angle which is my least favorite surface for hiking. After the bridge it becomes normal trail and eventually the stepping stones shown on photos already posted.

Jim



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/03/2009 04:34PM by tomdisco.
Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 09:54AM
The other thing you could do - get the permit for the Sunrise or Cathedral trailhead, park the car at Curry, take the hiker bus to the trailhead and hike down to Happy Isles.

I do think you should do the Mist Trail at least once with the falls roaring - my prejudice isn't against the beauty of the place, but against the tourists. Don't forget your poncho. smiling smiley
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 10:37AM
Quote
AlmostThere
Don't forget your poncho. smiling smiley

I don't think I have ever used a poncho on the Mist Trail. Getting soaked is part of the fun.
Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 11:49AM
On a nice hot day, with wind & a lot of water over the falls, the top becomes the world's premier outdoor wet tee shirt contest.
Ask me how I know.



Illegitimus nil Carborundum
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 11:51AM
Quote
wagga
On a nice hot day, with wind & a lot of water over the falls, the top becomes the world's premier outdoor wet tee shirt contest.
Ask me how I know.

I know how I know. winking smiley
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 12:44PM
I agree. Walking through the mist is part of the fun and it's refreshing. It's not like you are walking under the fall itself. The only problems it presents is for people who are slow at taking photos and wonder why their camera lens is fogged up.

As for doing the trip in reverse, that's a personal choice. Even though it's a lot more work, I would prefer slogging uphill with a pack than coming down the Mist Trail that way. It is hard on the knees.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2009 12:46PM by tomdisco.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 09:53PM
Quote
tomdisco
I agree. Walking through the mist is part of the fun and it's refreshing. It's not like you are walking under the fall itself. The only problems it presents is for people who are slow at taking photos and wonder why their camera lens is fogged up.

As for doing the trip in reverse, that's a personal choice. Even though it's a lot more work, I would prefer slogging uphill with a pack than coming down the Mist Trail that way. It is hard on the knees.

I was about to go around the Mist Trail a couple of years ago with my 35 lb pack, but a fellow backpacker going the same way talked me into it. He said that I'd be walking an extra mile of switchbacks and by that time (late June 2007) the Mist Trail wasn't all that wet. I also had hiking poles, which were a big help with steadying myself and taking pressure off my knees when going down long steps. I think a key would be to take hiking poles and extend them longer to deal with the descent.
Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 05:05PM
On one of those special days, a boots-up was SARd down the trail in the one-wheel Stokes. We were told that he had hiked up to Vernal against doctors orders, due to his heart condition. We'll never know, but I expect he died happy. One way or the other.



Illegitimus nil Carborundum
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 04, 2009 06:45PM
Quote
wagga
On one of those special days, a boots-up was SARd down the trail in the one-wheel Stokes.

Stokes? Must be that gurney balanced on what looks like an airplane nosewheel handled by a rescuer in front and back.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2009 06:47PM by Frank Furter.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 05, 2009 12:21AM
Quote
Frank Furter

Stokes? Must be that gurney balanced on what looks like an airplane nosewheel handled by a rescuer in front and back.

Yes. Stokes was always used for OUTdoor/emergency transport and a gurney was an INdoor hospital transport (I had never heard of a gurney used outdoors!)

B
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 05, 2009 01:16AM
Sounds like a $5,000. wheelbarrow with extra handles. Just kidding.
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 05, 2009 06:02AM
Quote
Bee
Quote
Frank Furter

Stokes? Must be that gurney balanced on what looks like an airplane nosewheel handled by a rescuer in front and back.

Yes. Stokes was always used for OUTdoor/emergency transport and a gurney was an INdoor hospital transport (I had never heard of a gurney used outdoors!)

B

I should have said "litter" rather than "gurney". I never knew the name for that basket!
Thanks to wikipedia:








The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2009 06:06AM by Frank Furter.
Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 07, 2009 10:38AM
As long as you have a good pack liner or stored your gear in waterproof sacks, a shower is good on a hot summer day. But not everyone likes being soaked.
avatar Re: Confused with happy Isles trail head
December 07, 2009 10:41AM
Quote
AlmostThere
As long as you have a good pack liner or stored your gear in waterproof sacks, a shower is good on a hot summer day. But not everyone likes being soaked.

I never found the need for a pack liner on the Mist Trail. It's wet, but it's not a torrent.
Re: Confused with happy Isles trail head
December 07, 2009 05:25PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
AlmostThere
As long as you have a good pack liner or stored your gear in waterproof sacks, a shower is good on a hot summer day. But not everyone likes being soaked.

I never found the need for a pack liner on the Mist Trail. It's wet, but it's not a torrent.

Maybe I'm thinking of Wapama then?

Or maybe I spent too much time waiting in line on the steps.... Somehow we managed to spend too much time on it.
avatar Re: Confused with happy Isles trail head
December 07, 2009 06:45PM
Quote
AlmostThere
Quote
eeek
Quote
AlmostThere
As long as you have a good pack liner or stored your gear in waterproof sacks, a shower is good on a hot summer day. But not everyone likes being soaked.

I never found the need for a pack liner on the Mist Trail. It's wet, but it's not a torrent.

Maybe I'm thinking of Wapama then?

Or maybe I spent too much time waiting in line on the steps.... Somehow we managed to spend too much time on it.

You can get plenty wet on the Mist Trail. But you usually won't be on it long enough to get much into a backpack. But do protect things like electronics and film!
avatar Re: Confused with happy Isles trail head
December 07, 2009 08:24PM
Wapama can really drench you with actual water and not just some mist stuff. Wapama requires protection or your gear will get wet even though you can blast through the falls spray in a minute.



Old Dude
avatar Re: Confised with happy Isles trail head
December 05, 2009 01:41AM
OK this isn't too descriptive. If you're on the mist trail and you weren't really ready for the mist (aka SHOWER) be prepared for dripping off the hanger-downers (if you're a guy), weird sensation while you hike up to Emerald Pool...don't worry you'll dry out while you watch the people who don't go past there hang out and feed squrlz. Once you get past Little Yosemite you find more serious folks. Between Vernal and Nevada falls you get jokers of all kinds, one reason I'm not going there in early summer to winter anymore. Forget it.
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