Vogelsang Peak in Yosemite National Park offers some of the most spectacular views from any point in the park. Named after Charles A. Vogelsang, the executive officer of the California State Board of Fish and Game around 1900, the peak reaches 11,516 feet in elevation.
Getting to the peak calls for scrambling over large, uneven rocks, but the trip does not require any gear. You can make it to the top and back in a day hike, but getting to the camp at the base will take a day as well. It is best to attempt this hike as part of a longer trip along the John Muir Trail, such as the hike from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley.
Starting from the Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, follow the Vogelsang Pass trail for about a mile. You will see a loose, rock-filled gully up the side of the mountain. There is no set trail, so carefully make your way up the gully and you will eventually reach a ridge. Follow the ridge to the right. You will know when you reach the top once you are presented with the breathtaking views of the park, including Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley. If you made it up early enough, you should be able to spend some time on the peak before returning to camp.
Note: There are sheer cliffs at the top, so be aware of high winds. Also, you will need a wilderness permit to stay overnight in the park. Permits open six months in advance and fill up quickly, so make sure to reserve yours early.