Starting at the intersection of the Mono Meadow Trail
and the Mono Meadow Cutoff
, the Illiouette Creek Trail follows the Illiouette Creek southeast deep, into the Yosemite backcountry. Climbing at a gentle grade, the trail provides visitors with an easier access to a wilderness far from roads, noise, and stress. Watch for colorful trees in the fall.
The Illiouette Creek basin has been studied for about 40 years on the effects of unsuppressed forest fires and has examples of what a forest should look like with proper fire management. The result is a mosaic of diverse vegetation with a mix of forest and wetlands. Some of the forests in the basin are very park-like with little duff (forest kindling) on the ground, others are at various stages of regrowth. The monoculture forest has been replaced by a patchwork more resilient to future fires. Wetlands have returned and the overall water content of the ground in the basin has increased.
At the southern end, the trail connects to the Red Peak Pass
trail and the Merced Pass Trail
near Lower Merced Pass Lake.