Top Spots for Soaking Up Mountain Majesty

Top Spots for Soaking Up Mountain Majesty

Camping! Photo BIlly Goodman
Camping! Photo BIlly Goodman

Rise above the summer heat at these high-elevation campgrounds.

Convict Lake Campground, Inyo National Forest: Talk about the “wow” factor. Convict Lake, known for its robust trout fishery and the dramatic, color-streaked mountain massif that frames it, is one of the most scenic spots in the Eastern Sierra, and its campground is one of the most popular.

Wawona Campground, Yosemite National Park: Ten developed campgrounds within the park allow dogs, but Wawona has the advantage of being close to the Wawona Meadow Loop Trail, a wide, 3.5-mile path that rates as the only dog-friendly dirt track in the preserve. Elsewhere, you and your four-legged friend can enjoy the scenery from roads, sidewalks and bike paths.

Crystal Basin Recreation Area campgrounds, Eldorado National Forest: Five reservoirs and adjacent campgrounds maintained by the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) make this area off Highway 50 midway between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe a primo destination for those in the know.

For families with pre-teens and paddle craft (kayaks, rafts or canoes), we recommend idyllic Gerle Creek Reservoir and Campground, where motorboats are prohibited and kids and dogs alike can play pirate on a small island close enough to shore for visual supervision. Loon Lake and Wrights Lake offer similar no-motor policies, plus direct hiking access into the dog-friendly Desolation Wilderness Area. If you’re bringing a motorized boat, choose one of numerous campgrounds at  Union Valley or Ice House lakes and settle in for a scenic good time.

Woods Lake, Eldorado National Forest: Arrive midweek to snag a spot at this 25-site, first-come, first-served gem of a campground two miles south of Highway 88 near Carson Pass and an endless network of hiking trails. Fleece up even in August: nights are always chilly at 8,200 feet.

Lake Alpine Recreation Area campgrounds, Arnold, Stanislaus National Forest: A necklace of six campgrounds rings this pretty little lake situated at 7,300 feet elevation about 50 miles east of Angels Camp on Highway 4 in Alpine County. Lake Alpine, Pine Marten, Silvertip, Silver Valley, Backpackers and Lodgepole Overflow campgrounds are all first-come, first-served and dog-friendly.

Posted on: April 29, 2015

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