How to Escape the Crowds at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park: it's a beautiful place that's just begging to be seen. I'm not the only one that thinks that. This year the park's visitation is already up 40% and the busy season's just begun! How in the world are you supposed to enjoy Yosemite National Park with all the other tourists milling about and getting in your photos?

Here are a few ways to escape the crowds and score some peaceful alone time within the park.

Adjust Your Sleep Schedule


We're accustomed to being awake when the sun's up and sleeping when the moon's glowing and the stars are twinkling. Get up before the sun rises for an early morning hike and stay up late after the sun sets. Your sleep is going to be much more sporadic, but you're going to see a new side of Yosemite that most sleep through. And you know you'd rather sleep through the heat of the day and enjoy the cool morning and evening temperatures.

Get Out of the Valley


With Yosemite National Park being in the news so much recently, people are flocking to the valley. Tuolumne Meadows, on the other hand, often gets overlooked. The pristine meadows, lakes, and miles of trails are just begging to be explored. Being at a higher elevation, this area of the park is only open during the summer. Don't let the opportunity slip by you; make sure you visit Tuolumne Meadows.

Yosemite National Park The valley (pictured) is gorgeous. But you can avoid the crowds if you stick to the meadows. Photo courtesy Justin Fricke.

Hike Harder Trails


Go to the Wilderness Center or Visitor Center, grab a free map, and plan to hike the harder trails. These trails are generally less traveled and show off spectacular views. Make sure you're in good enough physical shape to tackle these long, strenuous hikes. The last thing you want is to be the person that has to get rescued by YOSAR.

Yosemite National Park Tackle tough hikes if you feel up to the challenge. Photo courtesy Justin Fricke.

Go Backpacking


An easy way to get away from other tourists is to go deep into the backcountry. That calls for an overnight backpacking trip where you'll get to sleep beneath the stars with the friends who are with you. And the bears in the woods, of course!

Tent on John Muir Trail Fewer people deep dive into the backcountry. Photo courtesy Chris Martin.

Go Climbing


Most tourists want to see the sights. You'll find them walking to the waterfalls, through the meadows, and along the trails. One of the few places you're going to find a lot of tourists is climbing on the rocks. Go find some boulders in the forest or tie into the sharp end of the rope. And if you really want to get away from the crowds, get on one of the big walls for a few days, but only if you have the experience.

Yosemite National Park If you're a rock climber or boulderer, flock to the rock instead of the trails. Photo courtesy Justin Fricke.


Have you been to Yosemite National Park during the busy summer months? What other tips would you add to escape the crowds during the summer?

Team Sierra blogger
posted by
Justin Fricke
Blogger at The Weekend Warrior
As a member of #TeamSierra, Justin Fricke receives promotional consideration from Sierra Trading Post. Justin traded in his comfy desk job for a life of adventure on the road. Nowadays he's a freelance content creator while living in a van full time, exploring America. Follow his adventures on his website, The Weekend Warrior, and on Instagram and Facebook.
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