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.
Hike to the Sierra Buttes Lookout in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada
Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada
Road Trip to Klamath Basin in Southern Oregon
Hike to the Summit of Mount Elwell in the Lakes Basin, Sierra Nevada
Your Inbox to the Outdoors
Stay up to date with our weekly recommendations on where to explore locally in California.
Trending Stories SoCalView all Stories
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
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.View
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.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.View
Trending Stories Northern CAView all Stories
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.View
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
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.View
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..View