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Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

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Chicago, Illinois
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Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

I will be at Yosemite for 1 full day. What is the quietest, most peaceful trail that I can do. I do not mind if it is difficult terrain, in fact I prefer difficult since less people may be on it.

Also, I will be driving from from Sacramento. Is there a particularly scenic route that I can take to Yosemite?

Thanks for your answers!

Washington State
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1. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

From Sacramento, the most straightforward route is to enter on Hwy 120 / Big Oak Flat.

Peaceful serene trail without other people ... Most of the more difficult trails do have fewer people (with the exception of Half Dome!) but that doesn't mean the trail will be peaceful, quiet, or serene.

Any other guidelines?

There are fewer people in Tuolumne Meadows, so many of those trails have fewer people. Walking along the Lyell Fork or the Dana Fork of the Tuolumne River would be peaceful & serene, but you may see someone. Hiking up & over the ridge to middle Gaylor Lake then hiking cross country (off trail) to Glacier Lakes or another Gaylor Lake or down to Tuolumne Meadows could be peaceful.

One of the Trip Reports linked to the Top Questions in the upper right is full of challenging trail suggestions ... 12 - 14 mile days. Perhaps one of those hikes could suit you.

www.YosemiteHikes.com describes hikes and includes a 'crowd factor.' But many trails have lost their summer crowds and are much more reasonable in terms of solitude.

Avoid Mist Trail in the Valley.

Start any hike early-early in the morning.

Ostrander Lake off the Glacier Point Road has some great views about a mile from the lake, but much of the trail is just through the forest. Dewey Point and maybe on to Taft Point, Pohono Trail, Sentinel Dome, to Glacier Point won't have a lot of people till the end of the hike, but you'd have to figure out a shuttle.

California
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2. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

As far as recommending a hike, it would depend on when you're traveling.

I like taking 49 down to Yosemite. It's much prettier than taking 99. Depending on the time of year,iand if you're going to the high country, you could do a loop and take 50 to 89 to 395 down to Tioga Pass one way (you'll get lots of nice views, including one of Lake Tahoe, and you'll go right by Mono Lake) and 49 the other way. But the eastern route will take about an hour or so longer than taking 49.

Oakland, California
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3. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

I'd second the rec. for the Lyell or Dana fork of the Tuolumne, east of Tuolumne Meadows, But all of the above could fit your bill.

However, I'm a little confused by your time frame. When you say you are going to be in Yosemite for one day, does that mean you intend to drive from Sacto to Yosemite and back in one day? Are your driving from Sacto to Yosemite and then spending the night? Because it takes a while to get to any of the locations for those hikes.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

Ill be leaving Sacramento on a Friday afternoon so I will have Friday night, all day Saturday at Yosemite and a few hours on Sunday before heading back to Sacramento on Sunday. I will be going next week so hopefully crowds will be low. I am very much inclined to see Yosemite Valley since it seems amazingly beautiful. I will probably save the half dome hike for another day since I want serenity.

I found one tent at Curry Village that I booked. Will that be quiet? Any other suggestions I can book at such last minute? I am going to try Camp 4.

I am dying to see Tunnel View, Devil's Elbow, and any meadows that are possible to see in such short time. Is that realistic?

Edited: 09 September 2011, 23:04
Washington State
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5. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

Curry Village will not be quiet. Bring earplugs. You can ask for a tent cabin that is far from the bathrooms and perhaps quieter, but the canvas walls don't keep out noise from the neighbors.

Camp 4 is a shared campsite campground. It's really more like one large group campground with everyone camping together. If you're looking for peace & quiet, don't stay in the Valley at all.

Half Dome requires a permit.

A weekend itinerary for a first timer who wants quiet and meadows ... I'd suggest Tuolumne Meadows for Saturday, then focus on the Valley on Friday evening and Sunday morning. Sunrise is around 6:15 am and sunset around 7:00 pm, so you should have plenty of hours of daylight to enjoy the beauty.

The Cook's Meadow / Sentinel Meadow loop by flashlight might be nice. yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/sentinel-c… Note that Yosemite Fall is just a slim ribbon of water right now and might be dry by your visit.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

Would I be able to get to Dewey Point and back in one day? If so, what would be the best way to hike there?

California
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7. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

I stayed at Tuolumne Meadows two weekends ago. It was delightfully quiet on Friday and both Saturday and Sunday morning. It picked up a bit Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't crowded at all. Much better this time of year, especially on a weekend, than the valley.

Lots of beautiful and uncrowded hikes around the meadows. You really don't have to go too far to get away from people. And since it's about 9,600 feet up, it might be a bit difficult to go on longer hikes and/or hikes with elevation changes if you haven't had time to adjust to the elevation.

Washington State
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8. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

Dewey Point is on the McGurk Meadow trail. Well, pass thru the meadow and continue to Dewey Point. yosemitehikes.com/glacier-point-road/dewey-p…

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

I think I am sold on the McGurk Meadow trail. From what Ive read it seems to be a peaceful and beautiful trail and not too difficult either. I would like to start early Saturday morning and hike from the McGurk Meadow trailhead to dewey point or Taft point (via Pohono Trail) and perhaps even spend the night at either Dewey Point or Taft Point. I am confused about the availability of wilderness permits. I am looking at Full Trailheads Report (yosemiteconservancystore.com/DSN/wwwyosemite…)

and I dont see McGurk Meadow listed there. Does that mean wilderness permits are available there? Is it allowed to set up camp at Dewey Point or Taft Point? Also, what is the closest wilderness station that I should go to for a wilderness permit?

Thanks so much for your help. This forum has really helped me plan.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Most peaceful, serene trail at Yosemite

Sorry, one more question :)

If I hike the McGurk Meadow trail all the way to Tunnel View can I catch a shuttle back to the McGurk Meadow Trailhead?

thanks again