A couple of years ago a hike was profiled in Backpacker Magazine (or maybe it was Outside, I don’t know), and it was said to be one of Yosemite’s unknown and hidden gems where one could get away from the crowds. Of course, by publicizing such a hike, one can no longer expect solitude. Still, I decided it would be a fun and scenic hike to do over five days, and hoped that it would still be less busy than many other trails over the week of July 4th.
The hike is referred to as the ‘Yosemite High Passes Loop’, but it isn’t well known. The core of the hike is a ~35 mile loop that goes over four passes: Merced Pass, Red Peak Pass, Post Peak Pass, and Fernandez Pass. Depending on what trailhead is used for access, one can also throw in another pass or two. We headed in on Saturday, June 30, from the Quartz Mountain Trailhead, making a ~50 mile ‘lollipop’ loop out of the hike, and adding Chiquito Pass to the list.