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Backpacker Magazine – June 2011

National Parks: Yosemite

Enjoy this legendary park (without the legendary crowds) on a four-day trip through the Clark Range.

by: Brian Beer

Sunset Over Lower Ottoway Lake (Jeff Chow)
Sunset Over Lower Ottoway Lake (Jeff Chow)
Fall Foliage In Yosemite Valley (Carr Clifton)
Fall Foliage In Yosemite Valley (Carr Clifton)
Yosemite In Winter (Kirkendall-Spring Photographers)
Yosemite In Winter (Kirkendall-Spring Photographers)
Liberrty Cap From The Top Of Nevada Falls (Rian Long)
Liberrty Cap From The Top Of Nevada Falls (Rian Long)
Lower Ottoway Lake
Lower Ottoway Lake


QUARTERLY REPORT: Your seasonal guide to the Range of Light
 
Spring With high-elevation snowmelt ramping up in late April, the Valley’s waterfalls (Yosemite, Vernal, Nevada, Bridalveil) surge in May. Start at Happy Isles and get rainbow-laced views of Vernal Falls’ 320-foot drop on the 6.2-mile Nevada Fall Loop. Trip ID 25989 
 
Summer The land of milk and honey. That’s the Sierra Nevada from late July to early September. You get moderate temps (highs in the 80s), reliable bluebird skies, and mild bugs most years. Head to Tuolumne Meadows for a 15.6-mile loop to secluded Young Lake. Trip ID 1003471 
 
Fall Starting in mid-October, big-leaf maples glow electric yellow on the Valley floor, while black oaks add Jackson Pollock slashes of red, orange, and brown. Top hike: an above-it-all 18-mile traverse of the South Rim using the Pohono and Four Mile Trails. Trip ID 998351 
 
Winter Snowshoe Yosemite and you may never visit in any other season again. On a 7.2-mile hike on Trail 18, you’ll pass through open meadows framed by powder-blanketed firs. End at Dewey Point and a Valley-wide panorama that spans El Capitan to Half Dome. Trip ID 51745

 


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READERS COMMENTS

drew
Aug 22, 2011

I just did this exact hike; awesome, but very challenging. All of Red Peak Pass is covered in snow; no visible path and difficult to traverse. Stay up high and once through the pass, keep right!

And your smiles do stand out. Got stopped multiple times exiting the park by day hikers around Vernal and Nevada Falls; all were very jealous.

Thank you backpacker!

Anonymous
Jul 29, 2011

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