If you are looking to tackle a super long 15-20 day trek on the West Coast, check out the whopping 223-mile John Muir trail that runs from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney, mostly in conjunction with the Pacific Crest Trail. If you just want a taste, hike a Yosemite classic, the Vernal and Nevada Falls trail. This section of trail has everything—waterfalls, canyons, slabs of granite, conifers, and incredible vistas. The eight-mile loop is no secret, but if you get an early start, you’ll be able to avoid other people as well as the heat. From the Happy Isles Shuttle stop #16, which you can catch in front of the grocery store in Yosemite Village, follow the dusty path along the Merced River for less than a mile towards Vernal Falls. Go across the footbridge, going right on the Mist Trail where all the tourists who came to see the falls in flip-flops will fall behind. There are spectacular views of the water cascading down over Vernal Falls. At the top of the overlook, there are some awesome wading pools. It is tempting to slip in for a welcomed relief from the hot summer, but resist the temptation because swimmers have been known to be caught by the swift current only to meet disaster on the way down the falls. After a head dunk, perhaps, continue ascending to another few switchbacks to see Nevada Falls. Turn right to follow the John Muir Trail southwest back toward the valley and past more waterfalls and wading areas.