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Yosemite National Park, in spite of its size, can be a little claustrophobic. Apparently, it is on everybody's (and I do mean everybody's) life list. There are, it goes without saying, can't-miss sights here: the Mist Trail, Yosemite Falls, and Bridalveil Falls among them. But, these well-beaten paths are often as crowded as Disneyland. For some guaranteed peace and quiet, take a detour to the Old Big Oak Flat Road Trail, which leads to outstanding and unusual views of the valley. The hike begins off a short dirt road on the west side of El Capitan. It follows the route of the old stagecoach route that was bypassed by the new highway in 1940 and completely closed by rock slides in 1945. Remember, as you are boulder hopping up to Rainbow View, that all those obstacles have fallen from the cliffs above. So, keep a heads-up.September 15, 2010 Like Add a Comment