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Secret Sierra

Okay, it’s secret-ish. A trip to the Lakes Basin is a little like going back in time … It’s the High Sierra, simplified. Just you and the lakes and the mountains, and no cell phone service! Get to this destination about one hour northwest of Tahoe for some chill lakeside camping, miles of uncrowded hiking trails, and a lookout like no other.

Week 08.19.2020
Regions Northern & Southern CA

Lookout for This View!

Hike to the Sierra Buttes Lookout in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada

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Sierra Buttes Lookout, at a lofty 8,591 feet, is a memory maker for its pucker-worthy stairway to the tower’s balcony. It's a 5-mile (round-trip) hike to reach it. And the reward? Epic!
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Duck, Duck, Goose!

Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada

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Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 14 sites and no motorized boats.
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Simply Amazing Road Trip

Road Trip to Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon

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Don’t overthink it, just go! Southern Oregon’s Klamath Basin is a hidden gem just north of the California border. This adventurous region makes savoring summer and fall easy with abundant outdoor recreation.
Best Southern Oregon Road Trips

All's Well That's Elwell

Hike to the Summit of Mount Elwell in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada

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Mount Elwell's peak offers one of the best views of the northern Sierra. With two different routes to hike, it's 7 to 8 miles (round-trip) to the 7,818-foot peak. And it's a challenge!
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The Long and Short of It

Short Hike to Long Lake in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada

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The Lakes Basin is, as you’d expect, packed with lakes. And Long Lake is one of its, well, longest. What’s not long is the hike to it—just 1 mile! This oasis is perfect for lounging.
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    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 14 sites and no motorized boats.

    View
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    Shealor Stunner

    Robust mountains, striking slabs of granite, and deep green pine reflections make Shealor Lake near Kirkwood resort a jewel of the El Dorado National Forest. Reach this alpine oasis on a 1.3-mile hike.

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    Sponsored

    National Parks Road Trip: Circle of Discovery!

    Love national parks? Love road trips? Combine the two on one fabulous Circle of Discovery route in Northern California and Southern Oregon! This itinerary features 7 national parks with wondrous features.

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    Peak-a-View!

    Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the entire country and the seventh deepest in the world. For one of the very best perspectives of this shining blue beauty, hike up to Garfield Peak.

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Trending Stories Northern CA

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    Hidden Stairways of SF: Urban Hike

    This guided hike sold out fast, but new dates have been added! Get outdoors and explore the hidden stairways and gardens of San Francisco anew. Small group and socially distanced.

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    Lookout for This View!

    Sierra Buttes Lookout, at a lofty 8,591 feet, is a memory maker for its pucker-worthy stairway to the tower’s balcony. It's a 5-mile (round-trip) hike to reach it. And the reward? Epic!

    View
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    Ah, Good Point

    Ready for a rewarding view? Head to to one of the Peninsula’s favorite promontories: Mori Point. Climb your way up the Bootlegger’s Steps to the Mori Point headland for awesome vantages of the San Mateo Coast.

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    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent lakeside..

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