High Sierras, California

Mountain Magic: Truckee to Yosemite Valley

Heed the playful call of California’s alpine majesty.

Trip length: 4-5 days
Total distance: 981mi


high camp swimming lagoon sqaw valley caDAY 1

TRUCKEE. Fuel up with omelets at teeny-tiny Squeeze In. Go for a family-friendly bike ride with Tahoe Mountain Guides, or explore backcountry trails at Donner Summit. INFO Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce

SQUAW VALLEY (12mi; 20min). At High Camp, splash in a free-form heated pool at 8,200 feet. Get a massage at the Resort at Squaw Creek. Treat the kids to Shirley Temples at Plumpjack Café.
INFO North Lake Tahoe Visitors' Bureaus
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (38mi; 1hr6min). Ride the Heavenly Mountain Resort gondola for Instagram-worthy views. Snack on waffle sandwiches at Red Hut on Lake Tahoe Blvd. INFO Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
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bear valley signDAY 2

KIRKWOOD (33mi; 46min). At Kirkwood Mountain Resort, challenge yourself on a massive 10-line zip-line course (ages 8 and up), or try lift-accessed hiking or mountain biking. INFO Kirkwood Mountain Resort

BEAR VALLEY (105mi; 2hr47min). Take a family rock climbing lesson with Mountain Adventure Seminars. Fish in pretty Lake Alpine. Enjoy Bear Valley Music Festival (late July to mid-Aug). INFO Alpine County Chamber of Commerce
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DAY 3

MAMMOTH LAKES (232mi; 5hr43min). Dig into biscuits and gravy at The Breakfast Club, then go mountain biking at Mammoth Mountain. Take a dip in natural hot springs. INFO Mammoth Lakes Tourism

LONE PINE (100mi; 1hr43min). Wind through the Alabama Hills (a favorite backdrop for Westerns). Visit the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History. INFO Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce
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DAY 4

giant forest museumSEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK (278mi; 5hr7min). Visit fascinating Giant Forest Museum. Conquer 400 steps to the top of 6,725-foot Moro Rock (stargazing programs here in summer). INFO Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
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WAWONA (157mi; 3hr 24min). Saddle up for a trail ride into Yosemite National Park. Relax at rustically elegant Wawona Hotel, built in 1879. INFO Parks and Resorts at Yosemite
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DAY 5

YOSEMITE VALLEY (26mi; 52min). Pedal the valley on paved paths (rental bikes available in the park). See works by master photographers at Ansel Adams Gallery. INFO Yosemite National Park
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