As one of the most beautiful natural playgrounds in the world, it should be no surprise that the High Sierras are a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Whether you’ve already been bitten by the bug, or you’re just looking for a new hobby, here are some of the most popular outdoor activities enjoyed by residents and visitors in the Sierra Nevada…
- Backpacking – The Sierra Nevada are a backpacker’s paradise. Whether you’re tackling the 42 mile Rae Lakes loop in Kings Canyon National Park, the 27 mile trek from Glacier Pass to Sawtooth Pass in Great Sequoia National Park, or you’re just hiking a few miles in on any one of the thousands of trails that cross the 400 miles of terrain that make up this majestic mountain range, packing it up and hiking into the backcountry is one of the most popular past times in the High Sierras.
- Skiing – Anybody whose anybody knows that some of the best snow in the world can be found in the Sierras. Whether you ski Lake Tahoe, Bear Valley, Mammoth, or Squaw Valley, the Sierras are a winter wonderland for skiers and snowboarders alike.
- Horsepacking Trips – With its western heritage, the Sierra Nevada are still home to plenty of equine enthusiasts who like to saddle up and head into the wilderness for a little R & R. Most backcountry trails permit horse travel, though if you’re in doubt be sure to check with the locals about permits and restrictions.
- Rock Climbing – Anyone who has ever strapped on a harness, roped up, and clipped into a carabiner knows that there aren’t many places in the rock climbing world more legendary than El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite. Climbers flock to the vertical granite face annually to try to their hand at some of the most difficult and technical climbs on the planet. But that doesn’t mean the fun stops there. The solid granite and steep faces of the Sierras make the entire range a rock climber’s dream.
- Water Sports – Whether you’re canoeing on Lower Bear Reservoir, white water rafting down the Merced, or waterskiing on Lake Tahoe, the Sierras are a great place to get wet and cool off in the summer. Fishing is a popular pastime throughout the High Sierras, and the growing popularity of kayaks and stand up paddleboards have made lakes, reservoirs, and rivers increasingly popular weekend destinations for those looking to the Sierras for an escape from the daily grind.
…from the shores of Lake Tahoe at twilight. We were too busy having fun on the lake to get a picture during the day!!