Easy access from Merced or Mariposa, this is a short but steep walk on a dirt road up to a foothill peak with awesome views of California's Central Valley, and where one can even see El Capitan in Yosemite!
This grove, perhaps even more so than Yosemite Valley, played a significant part as to why, for the first time in our nation's history, the federal government set aside scenic natural areas to be protected for the benefit of future generations.
This peak that soars almost 4,000 feet directly above Yosemite Valley. The views getting there are awesome too, if you don't mind a little water spray while passing the foot of Upper Yosemite Falls. It's a challenging hike, steep up and down, but one full of beauty and history.
For the experienced hiker, this one has a bit of everything- a scramble over a 10,000 foot pass; a swim in an alpine lake; mostly off-trail way-finding; hidden waterfalls; and old-growth forests.
Plan to get your feet wet, as we explore the "wild and scenic," rarely visited, and trail-less South Fork drainage of the Merced River. Experience solitude, fishing for wild trout, side-canyons filled with old-growth trees, and tracing the route of the historic 1851 route of the Mariposa Battalion.