The John Muir Trail skirts an unnamed lake at 10,500', looking southwest at the tallest peak in Yosemite, Mt. Lyell (13,114') and Mt. McClure (12,880').
If you want to climb Mt. Lyell, or see Lyell glacier (the only glacier in Yosemite), this is where you go off trail and start humping. Most rangers I've spoken to in Yosemite have never been here and can offer no advice. Route finding is difficult and steep, and it's slow going. The talus field below the glacier consists of boulders the size of pianos, and makes for a tough scramble both up and down. The first time we tried to summit we underestimated how long it would take, and we were turned back at the glacier, beat to shit, dehydrated, and freezing.
This trip though, I was just passing through, headed south, with a camera and a big smile. From here, it's a 600 foot climb up and out of Yosemite at Donohue Pass, entering the Ansel Adams Wilderness from the northwest. The John Muir / Pacific Crest Trail leads to some of the landmark vistas in the Sierra Nevada -- Thousand Island, Garnet, and Ediza Lakes; Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak; eventually to Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls. Good stuff.
Happy trails indeed.