Find the hidden trail to Sierra Point – named one of John Muir’s favorite trails, this spot has near 360 views of waterfalls.
The unmaintained trail is initially hard to find if you’re not familiar with its location. Here are the instructions:
From Happy Isle, start on the JMT trail heading towards Vernal Falls. Shortly after passing a sign indicating the start of the John Muir Trail, you’ll come to another sign on the left side that says “Rock Piles.” If you go straight up through the rocks and stay to the right side of the large talus slide you’ll easily find the well worn trail.
Once you’ve found the trail, essentially just go UP. The trail is fairly easy to follow, though very steep. This is definitely not a trail to tackle in any cold/icy seasons. You will probably fight off mosquitos the whole way up, but you’ll find the views to be absolutely worth it. If you start to have trouble keeping the trail in sight, remember that it is essentially going up and to the right. There was a rockslide, probably why the trail is no longer maintained – but you just need to scramble around/over it.
Once you reach the top, you’ll walk out to a bright opening surrounded mountains. You’ll also find several waterfalls are within view, too. If you make your way down the right side of the point, you’ll find another overlook with a railing to support yourself on. Both spots are incredible and since the trail is hidden and unmaintained, we had the spot to ourselves for an hour.
I could have stayed up here for days it was so beautiful. A great way to get away from the crowds in Yosemite without tackling an 8-mile hike. From the top you can see Liberty Cap, Vernal Falls, Nevada Falls, Yosemite Falls and Illilouette Falls very easily. Depending on the rain and snowmelt, some random ones may appear, too. We saw 6 total the day we went!