The popular John Muir Trail/Pacific Crest Trail runs along the wild and scenic Tuolumne River corridor in Lyell Canyon and is one of Yosemite’s summer wilderness highlights. A variety of users access this trail, including backpackers, day hikers and stock animals.
Over time, numerous parallel trails became deeply rutted, as hikers and stock animals attempted to avoid the mud in the damp meadow and wetland habitat. These ruts altered natural hydrology, which affected Yosemite toad habitat and changed plant distribution.
In 2013, trail work continued near Ireland Creek. The trail was moved out of sensitive wetland habitat to drier, more resilient areas that are easier for visitors to access. By restoring vital habitat, we gave visitors the opportunity to enjoy views of healthy, functioning wetland ecosystems on an improved trail system.
Yosemite Valley trails are some of the most popular in the park and let visitors get up close to iconic landmarks such as Yosemite Falls. These trails are easily accessible from locations such as the Nature Center at Happy Isles or the many shuttle stops throughout the Valley.
If you have hiked the Valley Loop Trail between Church Bowl and Lower Yosemite Fall, you have probably marveled at the beautiful dry-stone masonry that is evident in the steps and retaining walls.