Best Backpacking In California

Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in California.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Our comprehensive guide to the best backpacking you can find in California.

Yosemite National Park

Even before your boots hit dirt in Yosemite, your senses will cry uncle from the onslaught of scenery. Monstrous white cliffs in Yosemite Valley, sky-piercing summits in the backcountry, vanilla-scented pine forests at every trailhead, creeks that slide in sheets across polished granite slabs, then shoot into space—the wonders never cease. A lollipop-loop up the Merced River High Trail from Yosemite Valley past Merced Lake soaks up 50 miles of splendidly underhiked terrain.

Contact: Yosemite National Park, (209) 372-0200; www.nps.gov/yose.

John Muir Trail

If the Sierra is the "Range of Light," as John Muir said, then the John Muir Trail is its sunshine path. Tracing 210 miles across these hiker-friendly mountains and their lightly forested valleys, the trail begins at 4,000 feet in Yosemite National Park and ends at 14,494 feet at Mt. Whitney's summit.

Contact: Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, (559) 565-3341; www.nps.gov/seki/bcinfo.htm.

Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon may be Yosemite's lesser-known sister, but her backcountry is similarly endowed with white-granite peaks, golden-barked pine forests, and more crystal-blue lakes, streams, and waterfalls than you could ever cool off in. For a grand tour littered with lush meadows and granite-lined tarns, hike the 50-mile Rae Lakes Loop.

Contact: Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park, (559) 565-3341; www.nps.gov/seki/bcinfo.htm.