Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows Trail Professional Review and Guide
"The difficult first section of the John Muir Trail (JMT) climbs close to 6,000 feet over 28 miles as you make your way from the valley floor to Tuolumne Meadows. However this leg is also full of all the jaw-dropping scenery, sheer cliffs, and alpine meadows that make Yosemite a park virtually unparalleled in beauty. This is one of the least secluded stretches along the JMT, as many day- and weekend-trippers enter the park from both the start and end trailheads. However, even a crowd can’t keep you from enjoying the incredible granite splendor of Yosemite. Begin by climbing 2,000 feet to the top of the thundering Nevada Falls. From there, continue on a sandy plateau along the Merced River to Little Yosemite Valley, the first legal camping area. Continue ascending and begin following Sunrise Creek. Once you pass the spur trails for Half Dome and Cloud’s Rest, the crowds thin, allowing pleasantly lonely up-river walks. The next big ascent leads to a bench above graceful Long Meadow. The final climb takes you up to Cathedral Pass, which is followed by a long descent through meadows and past subalpine lakes, to the visitor center in Tuolumne Meadow. Outstanding features: Nevada Falls, an optional side visit to Half Dome, Little Yosemite Valley, Long Meadow, Cathedral Pass, Cathedral Lakes"