Road trips from SoCal: Sierra Nevada
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( Mary Forgione/Los Angeles Times )
Sierra Vista Scenic Byway
Distance: 263 miles one-way
So where is this drive? The seasonal loop swings within 20 miles of the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park -- which, admittedly, has more spectacular natural formations -- but you feel eons away from the hordes at Half Dome.
Read more: Sierra Vista byway a blissfully lonely loop