Some folks must have a special place to themselves, even if it means a lot of climbing and forging their own path. If this sounds like you, sign up here for a challenging but doable snowshoe route up a north-facing flank of Yosemite Valley that leads to jaw-dropping views of major place names normally seen by throngs of tourists below. For those who are a bit less than totally fit, make your goal Inspiration Point, the original view of the valley for travelers along the old Wawona wagon road. For energetic and toned souls who want even more seclusion and better views, press on to Stanford Point. The hope is that someone before you accomplished the routefinding task and laid out snowshoe tracks to follow. Otherwise, you must negotiate the signed Pohono Trail as best as possible in a light to medium forest via switchbacks at first, then more or less straight up the mountainside farther on. The key is to go on a mostly sunny day so you can see far enough ahead to always choose the easiest and safest route, especially if you’ve temporarily lost Pohono Trail—a summer path. The way basically heads up the least steep part of the slope, first westerly for about 1.5 miles, then southeast for a couple miles. If there’s not enough snow at the start, you may have to lug your snowshoes for a distance. Call ahead for snow conditions.
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