Great Expeditions is a 10-year-old magazine devoted to adventure, budget and off-the-beaten-path travel. It takes on some of the characteristics of the places it describes: The July-August issue has no filigree and florid prose in articles dealing with eastern Turkey, Mexico's barrancas, Algeria and the Appalachian Mountain Club's rustic New Hampshire huts.

There is an item on the best way to approach the cold showers common everywhere but in the most civilized Western-style hotels, advice on riding the Delhi-Katmandu bus, an advisory on dealing with dengue.A sample copy is free; a year's subscription is $18 from Great Expeditions, Box 8000-411, Sumas, Wash. 98295; 604-852-6170.

Winter is a fine time to go to South America - or curl up by the fire and read about it. Travcoa can help with both. The upscale tour company produces some of the prettiest - and most detailed - travel brochures, and its 1988 Mexico-to-Antarctica booklet fits the pattern.

Perhaps a 67-day journey around the continent ($10,995) would be fun. It includes an Amazon cruise, a flight to Easter Island and a rail excursion through the Andes. Or you could spend time on the Galapagos with iguanas, sea lions, tortoises and blue-footed boobies (13 days, $2,495).

Chile and the South Shetland Islands off Antarctica are cold even in the southern summer. Two weeks there is $2,695. Two weeks touring Mexico's colonial cities is $2,095.

All trips - there are many more described - are accompanied by experienced leaders. Expert lecturers pop up along the way to provide information on all aspects of the locale. Air fare from the United States is extra, but everything else (including three meals per day) is included in the price.

The free booklet's pictures are big and colorful, so if you can't make it this year, you will know what to expect when the plane leaves in 1989. It can be obtained from Travcoa, 400 MacArthur Blvd., Suite 650E, Newport Beach, Calif. 92660.

CBS's "48 Hours" goes to Yosemite National Park to do a story called "Trouble in Paradise" that talks about the crowds and the crime in the great outdoors. Conde Nast's Traveler rhapsodizes about the Ahwahnee Lodge, one of the most luxurious hostelries in any American national park.

There are many sides to Yosemite, and crowds or not, it's one of those places everyone should try to visit sometime. One way to avoid the throngs is to go after summer. Another is to stay away from the congested Yosemite Valley floor.

The Redwoods, a group of privately owned mountain homes six miles from the park's south entrance, can provide a comfortable alternative to downtown Yosemite. The houses are grouped along several courts and cul-de-sacs and range from four-bedroom lodges to little cottages. The cost is about $60 to $200 per day.

Information: The Redwoods, Box 2085, Wawona, Calif. 95389; 209-375-6666.