The Sierra Nevada rise gently above the foothills that mark the end of the central valley. It would make for an interesting trek to start from the lower hills at <500 meters of elevation and work your way up to the high sierra at ~4000m.
However, most the routes I found involve walking on highways until about ~1000m before the trails start. Are there any trekking routes that start at low elevations that avoid heavily trafficked highways (or have wide shoulders) and don't trespass into private property illegally?
Off-trail hiking is OK so long as it isn't difficult scrambling as are lightly trafficked roads. The best example I found is S. Fork road starting from three rivers at 300m en route to the South Fork Campground, after which the hiking trails start. What else is out there? How hard is it to get an overnight permit once COVID-19 passes?