Yosemite hikes off the well-beaten path

Dappled sunlight kisses the valley floor of Yosemite National Park. Granite monoliths, gushing waterfalls and giant sequoias abound. The wilderness is calling.

But instead of hitting the trails in a place John Muir called “by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature,” you’re sitting in a traffic jam, vying for limited parking.

More than 4 million visitors poured into Yosemite in 2018, and because its main attractions are concentrated along a 7-mile loop, it gets congested. Parking can take hours.

But there’s no reason anyone’s trip to the majestic park should be so fraught. Going any other time than summer, planning valley activities on any day but Saturday, getting an early morning start and choosing lesser-known trails can all help ensure a peaceful and restorative vacation.

These hikes aren’t as famous as Half Dome or the Mist Trail, but that’s the point. They offer just as much beauty and a lot more serenity.

 

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