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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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    Santa Year Round

    Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area in Irwindale is an 836-acre county park with a namesake dam. Explore highlights on a 4-mile loop featuring a lake, a beach, and beautiful mountain vistas.

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    Good as Golden

    Golden Canyon in Death Valley has a variety of hiking trails. We like this classic 5.5-mile loop exploring a labyrinth of marbled gold colored hills, badlands, narrow canyons, and tremendous vistas.

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    Canyons Calling

    Canyon hikes come in all shapes and sizes in Death Valley, and we’ve got two gems. One requires more rigorous scrambling and navigation, and leads to a dryfall; the other takes you up to a brilliant vista.

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    Dune Swoon

    Of all the places to catch a sunset in Death Valley, we still think there’s none better than the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, inspiring many things, including log rolls, cartwheels, and sundown selfies.

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Trending Stories Northern CA

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    Shell of a Good Hike!

    Head to the East Bay’s Shell Ridge Open Space near Walnut Creek to find 1,400 acres of rolling hills. This 7-mile ridge rambling loop showcases all that the foothills of Mount Diablo have to offer.

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    Santa Cruz Epic Views

    Redwoods, wildflowers, and ocean vistas offer the best of the Bay Area at Upper La Honda Creek Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Take a 3.75-mile loop through the preserve's highlights.

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    Find Your Flow

    Far back in the Santa Cruz Mountains, Uvas Canyon County Park is a compact, tree-filled delight with hiking trails and several waterfalls bunched into a loop along Swanson Creek and amid lush forest.

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    Ready When You Are: Reno Tahoe

    With outdoors being essential for health and wellness, and new protocols in place, Reno Tahoe welcomes visitors! It's wide open with snowshoe trails, fire pits by the river, skating, and hot springs.

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