2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Backpacker Magazine – August 1998

Yosemite: Treasure Of The Sierra

Forget what CNN and Your Daily News say about Yosemite's crowds and crime and traffic. the "treasure of the Sierra" is still a golden place for backpackers to escape.

by: Steve Roper

John Muir, Trail Guide

Widely known as a naturalist, Sierra Club founder, and ardent defender of all places wild, John Muir receives scant attention for his stint as a Yosemite tour guide. Granted, he didn't ride a park bus with microphone in hand, but he did devote a chapter of his book The Yosemite ($10, Sierra Club Books, 800-935-1056) to great hikes in the park, several of which have been updated at right.

The Valley to Mt. Hoffman

Exit the Yosemite Valley via Snow Creek Trail to May Lake. Muir approached the peak on a cross-country route from Porcupine Flat, but thick brush makes the climb from May Lake a better option. Follow trails to Tenaya Lake, Clouds Rest, Nevada Fall, and Happy Isles. "From Mt. Hoffman nearly all the Yosemite Park is displayed like a map," wrote Muir.

Illilouette Basin

Exit the valley via Happy Isles and the John Muir Trail and make your way to the Illilouette Creek Trail, which you follow upstream to a trail junction at Lower Merced Pass Lake. A modern-day shortcut is to drive to the Mono Meadow trailhead along Glacier Point Road. Take the Ottoway Lake Trail into the basin between Red and Merced Peaks. "The most interesting glacial phenomena of them all," said Muir about the basin. Make a loop by following trails past Washburn and Merced lakes to Happy Isles.

Tuolumne Meadows to Mt. Dana.

For Muir, the climb to Mt. Dana was the capstone to an 80-mile circuit that started in the Valley. You can reach the summit from Tioga Pass entrance station in about 3 hours. "The view from the summit is one of the most extensive and sublime to be found in all the [Sierra] Range," said Muir.

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Jury acquits man who (probably) killed
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: hikerjer
Trailhead Register
Scouting woes...
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: starwalker
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions