Happy Isles

Yosemite National Park, California

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4 Reviews
4 out of 5
Happy Isles is a hiking trail in Mariposa County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 270 feet long and begins at 4,003 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 15 feet.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Happy Isles is a hiking trail in Mariposa County, California. It is within Yosemite National Park. It is 270 feet long and begins at 4,003 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.1 miles with a total elevation gain of 15 feet. This trail connects with the following: Bike Path and Valley Loop Trail.
Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Yosemite National Park
Distance: 0.1
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trailhead Elevation: 4,003 feet
Top Elevation: 4,014 feet
Driving Directions: Directions to Happy Isles
Parks: Yosemite National Park
Elevation Min/Max: 4003/4014 ft
Elevation Start/End: 4003/4003 ft

Happy Isles Professional Reviews and Guides

"If you have time for only one hike in Yosemite, whether you want to spend the day on the trail or take only a short stroll, this loop (or part of it) is the one. It's what Yosemite is all about; massive granite cliffs, classic glacial features, and views of at least four of the valley's biggest and best waterfalls. It climbs along the course of the Merced River as it plunges over the steps of the Giant Staircase in Nevada Fall, then Vernal Fall before resuming its flat, meandering course over the floor of Yosemite Valley."

"This popular hike follows the first mile of the famous John Muir Trail along the roaring Merced River to where Vernal Fall plunges down the final step of the Giant Staircase. The way is steadily uphill, but the trail is short, mostly paved, and well worth the effort.

The Merced River first plunges over the steps of the Giant
Staircase as Nevada Fall, then as Vernal Fall, before it slows
to sweeping meanders over the flat floor of Y osemite Valley.
If time permits, hike or drive up to Glacier Point for a spectacular overhead view of the Giant Staircase."

"Half Dome may be the Sierra’s most popular backcountry summit. It’s no wonder that it attracts hikers worldwide. Where else do hikers use cables to hike/climb up to a summit? Additionally, this semiloop trip treats you to a close-up of two spectacular waterfalls, Vernal and Nevada. By camping in Little Yosemite Valley, you have a head start on the hordes of dayhikers, who typically impact the cables and crowd the summit in early and midafternoon."

"Mile for mile, this very popular ascent may be the most scenic one in the park. The first part goes up the famous (or infamous) Mist Trail—a steep, strenuous trail that sprays you with Vernal Fall’s mist, which cools you on hot afternoons. Above Nevada Fall, climbing is quite minimal, and beyond Little Yosemite Valley and its crowds, the multi-stepped stretch to Merced Lake is lined with dramatic, towering, glacier-smoothed canyon walls. Over much of this distance you are accompanied by the musical sounds, if not the sight, of the Merced River, which alternates between quiet pools and dashing cascades."

Recent Trail Reviews

4/22/2007
0

This was a wonderful and fullfilling experience. The trail up the falls was done very well. It was a good challenge for us we are in our 60's and work out weekly. The trail is not for those out of shape. The view was a payoff for us. We loved it. I would recommend it to those who have Yosemite in mind. There is a great spirit in the valley.


4/17/2006
0

We picked a bad time of year (April 2006), the Mist Trail was closed and the high-trail just to Vernal was snowed-in. We will have to try it again later in the year.


10/13/2003
0

I agree that if you have one day in Yosemite valley, this will be the trail to hike. Park at the day parking area and take the shuttle bus (every 10minutes) to stop 17 (happy isles). It is moderate intensity, but going up to Vernal Falls can be tough because of the steps. Watch out if it's raining, this part of the trail can be very slippery. From Vernal you can continue up to Nevada falls and again you are going to hit some steps. The views are nice, but I was unimpressed by the waterfalls, since it was October and the water level was low. Coming back is via the Muir Trail, nothing impressive about this one, other than a view of the Nevada falls and North Dome.


7/10/2002
1

this was the first time that i had packed over a few days in a long time. we started at sanora pass and went to carson pass, about 60mi in 5 days. we went in july, the perfect time, not too hot. the wild flowers were in bloom, and the water was very plentiful. it was a difficult trip as a beginner, but well worth the extra effort. i highly recommend to any one that enjoys getting off the beaten trail.



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May 2018