Your Guide to CA Lakeside Camping in 2018

Pack the gear and enjoy the view.

With recent rains and a generous snowpack this season, we should be in for a gorgeous late spring and early summer in and around California’s lake regions. 7×7 just released a guide to some of the best places across the Golden State to camp or backpack lakeside. Here are a few highlights courtesy of Outdoor Project:

First Lake, Eastern Sierras

“The Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail rises into California’s High Sierra toward the southernmost glaciers in the United States. Palisade glacier sits above a series of lakes, named First Lake through Seventh Lake, where you’ll find some of the best trout fishing in the Sierra Nevada. Also, here in the John Muir Wilderness there are several peaks exceeding 14,000-feet along the Palisade Crest, part of the Great Western Divide. Here you’ll find the 14,153-foot Mount Sill and Temple Crag, which is home to some of the tallest rock climbs in the entire Sierra Nevada Range.

The beautiful rustic cabin along Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail that is now a Forest Service cabin was once a summer home of one of Hollywood’s most famous character actors, Lon Chaney, Sr. The cabin is also significant because it was designed by Paul Revere Williams, the first African American that was granted a fellowship in the American Institute of Architects. The porch makes for a nice, quiet spot for lunch, and the access to Big Pine Creek North Fork makes it a good place to fill up on water before continuing your hike.”

Sky High Lakes, Trinity Wilderness

“In an area well known for standout destinations such as Mount Shasta, Lassen Peak and the Castle Crags Wilderness, the Marble Mountains are truly a hidden gem. It is an area that you can easily enjoy for days at a time without seeing another person, and an area that rewards deeper exploration with better and better views in more secluded terrain. Whether you are looking for caves, lakes, or mountains, the Marble Mountains have it all.

Sky High Lakes are located nearly 7 miles from the Lovers Camp Trailhead along the Canyon Creek Trail (note that this is a different trail from the Canyon Creek Trail in the Trinities). Three separate lakes make up the Sky High Lake Basin: Upper Sky High Lake, Lower Sky High Lake, and little Frying Pan Lake (which really looks like a frying pan from above). With a variety of campsites scattered around these lakes, there are plenty of options for enjoying a weekend in the woods.”

John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park and Central Sierras

“Regarded by many as the premier hiking trail in the country, the John Muir Trail (JMT) runs along the backbone of California’s High Sierra between Yosemite National Park and the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous United States. The 211-mile-long trail commemorates the influential naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir. Muir’s understanding of the ecology and natural forces acting on the Sierra Nevada and his adamant voice for conservation laid the groundwork for protecting much of the mountain range through the establishment of Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks.

Anyone hiking a section or the entirety of the JMT will experience firsthand the impact Muir left on these iconic lands, as the trail runs entirely through national park lands and/or designated wilderness. The vast majority of the JMT shares footsteps with one of the most scenic sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, where mile after mile of High Sierra peaks, passes and lakes will leave the hiker awe-struck by the display nature has on offer.”

Get the full list here.