Under-the-radar Hike to Uncrowded but Spectacular Viewpoint
An under-the-radar hike in Yosemite that avoids the crowds, yet still affords a killer view. Nine miles roundtrip with a 1,700 foot gain.
Location: Yosemite National Park
The Mist Trail right next to Vernal Falls is hard to beat but it is quite crowded and with crowds come noise and drama. For a family classic, Crocker Point is a hike that is under-the-radar and ends up with a beautiful expansive view of the valley that many never witness. It also doesn’t have the guardrails that the more popular hikes do, but with some common-sense guidance kids are actually very good at not falling off things (a true statistic with an exception for late-teen males).
From Crocker Point you get great views of Bridalveil Falls and El Capitan and if you bring binoculars you can spot climbers moving up the face of El Cap. You can continue to Stanford point and even keep going to end up at Tunnel View on highway 140. Or for a shorter trip you can also stop a few miles short of Crocker Point at Dewey Point, also an extraordinary view.
To get to the Pohono trailhead, head up Glacier Point Road 7.6 miles to the McGurk Meadow trailhead and park on the side of the road. Best time for hiking is spring to early summer for the wildflowers and heavy waterfall flow or fall for more solitude.