Here are some great destinations for West Coast Troops – or any Troop that like to travel.
Just south of Yosemite, this wilderness area was named after the famed photographer who spent a lot of time there. Easy access to Yosemite without some of the permit problems you deal with when camping in the Valley. Take Beasore Road from Bass Lake to get to the trailheads.
On the eastern side of the Sierras and a great starting point for a 50 miler that ends in Yosemite. Drive to Bridgeport on HWY 395 and get your permits (no reservations required). Then make your way to the Buckeye Campsite and Trailhead. Head out towards Yosemite and Smedberg Lake and after three days of backpacking you can choose to go to Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite or back to Twin Lakes Resort via Matterhorn Valley and Crown Lake. Its very isolated and you won’t see many hikers until you hit the Pacific Crest Trail near Rogers Lake, but be prepared for crowds at Crown Lake because there are a number of outfitters that escort groups to the Lake with mules carrying all the gear and food.
Carson-Iceberg Wilderness is a great place for backpacking. Just head up HWY 4, past Alpine Lake and stop at any of the trailheads. A Troop favorite is Mosquito Lake, which is a good place to begin a hike to Heiser Lake and then on to Bull Run Lake. Its a ten mile loop and can be done over one, two, or three days depending upon the experience of the hikers. Remember that the trails are still covered by snow into July, so prepare for some bushwhacking if you go then. You also have some great river crossings towards the end. On the way home, stop at Mike’s Pizza in Angels Camp (across the street from Burger King, next to the last shopping center as you leave town). If you ask, they might give you a Scout discount and the pizza is great.
Your turn. What is your favorite Wilderness Area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains?