South from Tuolumne Meadows on the John Muir Trail past Rafferty to Ireland Creek

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 17 July 2017

Southbound John Muir Trail

This page contains links to the Maps, miles, images and information for backpackers hiking South on the John Muir Trail towards Reds Meadow. But the most important function of this page as the place for backpacker's feedback, experiences, comments, and questions about this segment of trail.

How do you characterize this segment of trail, what would you do next time, what would you suggest?

The vast majority of Summertime hikers here are Southbound John Muir Trail hikers crossing paths with Northbound PCT hikers. Added to the mix are local hikers out of Tuolumne Meadows swinging loops around through Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, or even those headed down to Yosemite Valley via Vogelsang into the Merced Watershed.

This page covers Tuolumne Meadows South up Lyell Canyon on the combined John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails to the Rafferty Creek trail junction, then continuing South to the Ireland Creek trail junction. Both of these junctions branch-off a trail leading to Vogelsang High Sierra Camp along the Cathedral Crest.

Those junctions give us a lot of local backpacking options remaining within this quadrant of Yosemite. Us, we continue South to Donohue Pass and Reds Meadow, recounted on the next pages.

Again, this is the place for backpacker and hiker updates, information, or to share experiences along this segment of the John Muir Trail South into Lyell Canyon. 



The Trail Guide page covering this segment of trail is the,

Tuolumne Meadows to Ireland Creek trail junction.


Hiking Southwest towards Yosemite Valley via Vogelsang High Sierra Camp:

Lyell Canyon at Ireland Creek to Vogelsang High Sierra Camp



Tuolumne Meadows Backpacker Resupply Facilities



The miles covering this section of the John Muir Trail to Reds Meadow are found here,
on the,

Tuolumne Meadows to Reds Meadow Miles and Elevations


This page covers the miles from Yosemite Valley back to the JMT at the Ireland Creek trail junction in Lyell Canyon: 

Yosemite Valley to Lyell Canyon via Vogelsang, Miles & Elevations




This map covers the trails,

Tuolumne Meadows Region Map



No-Camping Restrictions

 Yosemite restricts camping within a certain number of miles from all starting trailheads, typically at around four miles out.
This Yosemite Rules Map PDF specifies those distances camping is prohibited, including South out of Tuolumne Meadows both up Rafferty Creek and down the canyon towards the Ireland Lake trail junction, and Donohue Pass.

Post up your experiences with trips passing South through, or starting South out of Tuolumne Meadows on the JMT. What would you suggest? What happened?


Yosemite Permits


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