Travel Guide to California

2015 Travel Guide to California

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 155 of 195

154 2 0 1 5 T R A V E L G U I D E T O C A L I F O R N I A B Y J O H N F L I N N T he name is Spanish for "snowy mountains," but John Muir's pet name for the Sierra Nevada was "The Range of Light." It's not just the ethereal luminosity of the glacially polished granite that drew Muir—and continues to draw people— to the Sierra again and again. It's the pristine lakes and rivers, the dramatic hiking and biking trails, the contrast between the green meadows and stony battlements. The Sierra Nevada may be one of the highest and most majestic mountain ranges in North America, but it's also one of the most accessible and user-friendly. Stretching 400 miles from north to south, and about 70 from east to west, it's crossed by seven high- ways—four of them open all year—and encompasses everything from Lake Tahoe—where you might find yourself crowding shoulder-to-shoulder around a boisterous craps table—to remote canyons in Yosemite or Kings Canyon national parks where you can spend a silent and solitary afternoon watching Muir's favorite bird, the water ouzel, plunge into waterfalls and cascades. In a state with no shortage of superlatives, the region has more than its share: It can boast the world's oldest tree, the world's most massive tree, the Old West's largest ghost town, the nation's highest waterfall and—until Alaska came along and rewrote the record books—the nation's highest peak. GOLD COUNTRY VISITOR'S ASSOCIATION. OPPOSITE: TOM GRUNDY/SHUTTERSTOCK HIGH SIERRA TOP CITIES South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Tahoe City, Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, Oakhurst, Madera INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO), 3 miles from Reno, Nevada city center TOURISM WEBSITES POPULATION 600,000 HIGH SIERRA Come explore this epic land of mountains, meadows, forests and streams

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Travel Guide to California - 2015 Travel Guide to California