Hiking and Backpacking

Backpackers Hiking hoover Wilderness

Backpacking The Sierra Nevada

Backpacking West of the Sierra Crest

Kings Canyon CC BY-SA 3.0[/caption]
Kings Canyon CC BY-SA 3.0[/caption]

Top 10 Western Sierra Backpacking Destinations

  1. Rae Lakes Loop –  Kings Canyon
  2. Willow Meadow Trail -Dinky Lake Wilderness 
  3. Kennedy Lake Trail – Emigrant Wilderness
  4. Chewing Gum Lake – Emigrant Wilderness
  5. Lakes Trail – Southern Sierra / Sequoia
  6. Loon Lake to Rubicon res. – Desolation Wilderness
  7. Island and Twin Lakes – Desolation Wilderness
  8. Sword Lake Trail –  Pinecrest (Emigrant and Carson Iceberg Wilderness (Alternative is the Spicer Meadow Loop trail)
  9. Loch Leven trail – Donner Summit
  10. Hetch Hetchy Loop trail – Yosemite Wilderness

Backpacking East of the Sierra Crest

Top 10 Eastern Sierra Backpacking Destinations

  1. Echo Lake to Meeks Bay Loop- Lake Tahoe Desolation Wilderness
  2. Vogelsang Pass – Yosemite National Park
  3. Youngs Lake – Yosemite National Park
  4. Nelson Lake/ Echo Lake Loop – Yosemite National Park
  5. Thousand Island Lakes – Ansel Adams Wilderness
  6. Sabrina Basin Trail -Bishop
  7. Little Lakes Valley – Bishop
  8. JMT – Yosemite Valley to Devils Postpile
  9. Virginia Lakes to Green Creek Loop – Hoover Wilderness
  10. Cecile Lake – Ansel Adams Wilderness

Wilderness Backpacking in the Sierra Nevada – Permits are required for backpackers in a Sierra Nevada wilderness area.  Reservations are generally made at Recreation.gov. However, some locations like Hoover wilderness still provide easy access to the local ranger stations.  Planning Your backpacking season typically start at least six months out, and each ack and district has varied availability to trail quota. I have found that calling the local ranger station is a great way to find out which trails typically are less busy and easier to access a permit.

National Parks also require permits to backpack. Trail quotas are patrolled much heavier in national parks, and permits are mostly reserved six months out of most trails.  They hold approximately 40% of all permits for a first-come First service daily offering. In the Sierra Nevada, we have the Choice of Backpacking Sequoia/ Kings Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley National Park, and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

National Forests and BLM

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