Why the Eastern Sierras are a must do

California's hidden gems

The Sierra Nevada mountain range stretches from Tahoe down to Sequoia. With Yosemite NP, Kings NP, anddd Sequoia NP in close vicinity, the area in between can sometimes get forgotten. IMO, the High Sierra region is extremely underrated. And because these trails aren’t as well-known as say, Half Dome, you’re going to experience them on a different level. Here’s why you should consider putting an Eastern Sierras trip on your to-do list, liiike ASAP.

1. The beauty of this place rivals the most visited National Parks.

Pine forests, lush meadows, ice-blue lakes, simmering hot springs and glacier-gouged canyons. Whaaat!! The Eastern Sierras are home to some of the Sierra's most rugged and beautiful terrain. Most lakes in the Sierras are a deep, transparent blue. Others, like the Big Pine Lakes, become a turquoise color as a result of glacial silt. Unfortunately, many of the lakes are still mostly frozen as of Memorial Day Weekend 2017. Gear up! Cue the mirco spikes & trekking poles!

2. More Remote = Less Visited. And that’s a good thing.

Being one of the only groups out on a trail brings a different appreciation to your hike. The stillness, the lack of blaring music. This is how you really hit that reset button and gain that peace of mind. Yosemite is one of the most highly trafficked national parks in the US. And it’s amazing, don’t get me wrong. I think everyone needs to experience its badassery. However, I also recognize that everyone probably wants to experience nature without the insane crowds. 

3. Challenging Hikes.

Without challenge, how else are you going to physically and mentally test your limits? There is something to be said about a difficult day hike that’s not for the faint of heart. It means: 1) you’ve been absolutely crushing your workouts (shout outs to your personal trainers!); 2) you’ve got the mental grit it takes to keep going when your blistered, tired, sore and hangry for those carbs; and 3) you've got the gear and know-how to make the trek. Common! Just admit it, when you see some group hiking in jeans and open-toed sandals, you roll your eyes too. That group is not likely going to summit Mt. Whitney and make it back to their car in one day. Juss sayin’. You’re a badass. So own it! We opted for Kearsarge Pass and Big Pine Lakes

Pro Tips: Make sure to always do your research before heading out to the trail! The weather changes drastically from the towns to the summits. The snow will not likely melt until July this year. Definitely call the ranger station a few days before your trip. We also reached out to some fellow hikers who had just completed the treks via social media. Knowing the trail conditions will help you plan on what gear you’ll need to stay safe and comfortable! Also, know your limits! Snowy trail conditions change as the day warms up. We came across a couple who slipped and had to self-arrest. That was enough for us to turn it around.

Cheers,
Chief

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Karin Victoria Peck

As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart †