1 August 2020
JMT Cloud’s Rest Trail to Happy Isles (8.9 miles, +900/-3,200 feet)
Today was our triumphant finish! Bishop to Yosemite Valley, nearly 150 miles in two weeks.
But it was a very strange ending. This is obviously some of the most dramatic scenery on Earth, but it was sometimes hard to appreciate with so many people milling around.
And COVID made it stranger too, with special rules keeping us from seeing Mist Falls on the way down and people having a wide variety of strategies for dealing with masks and physical distancing.
The morning approach to Half Dome was peaceful and beautiful.
Once we got below Half Dome we passed in an hour more people than we had seen in a week.
Little Yosemite Valley gave us a break but it was strange to see so many tents, all crowded together. We found some peace by the Merced.
Nevada Falls were stunning and we managed to get there before the crowds.
Although we weren’t allowed to head down to Mist Falls, we were happy for the one way rule since it allowed us to hike in peace most of the rest of the way down.
When we crossed the last bridge it was full-on Disneyland, including mascots willing to pose for tips.
We expected some kind of sign marking the beginning of the JMT but there was none. We had to make due with a sign for the not-running-due-to-COVID bus.
After stuffing our faces at Curry Village, we headed over to bathe in the Merced like good hikertrash.
We headed over to the Visitor Village to eat one more meal and then catch our bus to Fresno.
What a trip! My longest both in miles and days.
And the best thing: all of us are already talking about when our next trip will be….