Underrated Backpacking Trips in the Sierra

You’ve heard of the John Muir Trail and the PCT, but have you heard of these lesser-known trails?

It’s time to pay homage to the mountains and experience these intimate places.

1. Lake Thomas Edison in the Ansel Adams Wilderness

    • Trailhead begins: South Fork Campground in the Sierra National Forest

    • Length: 5-10 miles out & back

    • Elevation gain: 1,200 ft

    • Highlights: Stopping at the nearby natural hot springs on the way back from the trip

Since I was sleeping in a hammock by the lake alone, it was comforting to see other folks in the wilderness

The gear for my first backpacking trip. I wince in pain just looking at all the weight.

  • 2.Young Lakes

      • Trailhead begins: Tuolumne Meadows Wilderness Office in Yosemite

      • Length: 14 mile loop

      • Elevation gain: 2,500 ft 

      • Overnight permit needed

      • Highlight: Watching the sunset behind Ragged Peak from camp at Young Lakes

Ragged Peak

3. Dinkey Lakes Trail in the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness

    • Trailhead begins: Rock Creek Road in the Sierra National Forest

    • Length: 20 mile loop

    • Elevation gain: 1,500 ft

    • Overnight permit needed

    • Highlight: Dogtooth Peak is nearby and easy to climb up

Dogtooth Peak

4. Weaver and Jennie Lakes in Jennie Lakes Wilderness

    • Trailhead begins: Big Meadows Trailhead Parking in Sequoia National Monument

    • Length: 7 miles out & back

    • Elevation gain: 1,300 ft

Image Courtesy of Christa Boynton Photography

Over the river and through the woods

Image Courtesy of Christa Boynton Photography

What you can not see in this image is the zillions of mosquitos also calling this lake home

Image Courtesy of Christa Boynton Photography

Image Courtesy of Christa Boynton Photography

And then we were eaten alive by mosquitos

Don’t forget to Leave No Trace, read all regulations for the park you will be in, and check the weather forecast before setting off on your journey. Happy Trails! – Dendrophile Danielle

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