Hiking in Sierra Nevada Gold Country

Hiking in Sierra Nevada Gold Country

The incredibly magnificent Sierra Nevada mountain range covers much of mid California, spanning 400 miles from Yosemite to Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. The highest peaks are located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada from the highest point in the lower 48 states, Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet, to the lower laying meadows, lakes, rivers, and valleys. With such a diverse scene, you can imagine the quality and quantity of hiking in this great region.

Here are a few mentioned throughout the “101 Things to Do in Gold Country” magazine and a few more that are worth the Google search:

North Grove Big Trees Trail in Calaveras Big Trees State Park: The “Big Trees” in the park name is a tip-off: two groves of giant sequoia redwoods are the highlights of Calaveras Big Trees State Park.

The trees became world famous in the 1850s, thanks in part to some circus-style promoters, who chopped down “Discovery Tree” and took it on tour. Another set of profiteers stripped the bark off the “Mother of the Forest” and exhibited the “reassembled” tree in New York and in England’s famed Crystal Palace.

Fortunately, for the trees, anyway, most of the truly curious came to visit the Sierra redwoods rather than expecting the trees to “visit” them. Scientists, celebrities, and thousands of just plain fascinated folks made their way to Calaveras County through the years.

Upper Natural Bridge Trail, located within a limestone tunnel that you can swim through in a creek in Calaveras County.  It’s a 2 mile out and back trail located near Vallecito, Calif., that features a cave and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking & walking and is accessible from year-round.

Dragoon Gulch Trail is a loop that follows a creek and ridge to great views in Sonora.

Wapama Falls in Yosemite National Park that tours the reservoir in Hetch Hetchy Valley to a great waterfall in the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park.

For more information on these and other great Sierra Nevada hikes, visit http://www.hikespeak.com.

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