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North America's best treks

To truly experience the breathtaking grandeur of Yosemite National Park, it's best to take to its

unbeatable, uncrowded (and sometimes unforgiving) backcountry trails. Here’s a sample three-day summer adventure (high country hiking is inadvisable in winter).Tenaya Lake to Clouds Rest Rise with the sun and, with your bear canisters packed and your wilderness permits in order, begin your adventure in Tuolumne Meadows, at the Sunrise Lakes Trailhead at the west end of Tenaya Lake. It’s 3.3 miles to Sunrise Lakes. Don’t be fooled by the easy first bit of this leg – there’s a 30-minute, thigh-burning chunk of uphill switchbacks as you approach the Sunrise Lakes junction. Here, descend southwest toward Clouds Rest (another 3.7 miles), Yosemite’s largest granite peak and, arguably, best panoramic viewpoint. Fifteen minutes past a shallow pond is a creek – the last water source en route to the summit, so fill up (and filter or treat it).
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