Your best shot


Sep 30, 2014
OK--I've been a little challenged by all the name this spot posts. Too many people here are experts in their own location, and it's one I haven't visited. But that got me thinking. What if we asked everyone here to post their ideal "welcome to my neighborhood" hike. I think it would be a lot of fun, and we would all add to that list of places we want to see before we die.

So that's the thread: If you knew someone was going to visit your neck of the woods for the first time, and they called and asked you for your best hiking suggestion, what would it be? Do we need guidelines? Generally, no more than 3-4 days of hiking. We're not asking for epic--we're on vacation. It shouldn't require ice axe, crampons, or climbing ropes. And the trailhead shouldn't require an airdrop to get to it. Anything else?

I'll get things started with two posts, one for Yosemite, and one for Emigrant Wilderness in the Sierra Nevada. If I came to visit you, what would YOU recommend?
Yosemite: Taking a use trail over Echo Peaks to Echo Lake, and then exploring the southern side of the Cathedral Range. Great hiking, not very many people. You'll need basic map skills, but nothing too fancy. And you'll see scenery that's as good as there is in Yosemite:

Photos below: Cathedral Peak from the trail to Budd Lake...climbing up over the Cathedral Range from Tuolumne Meadows.

Matthes Crest from the shore of Mattes Lake, part of the dayhike from Echo Lake


Echo Peaks at Sunset, reflected in the inlet creek to Echo Lake


Total: Three days of hiking. One day to Echo Lake, one of day-hiking to Matthes Lake and around Echo Lake, and one to get back out to Tuolumne Meadows.
OK--and now Emigrant Wilderness. This is the wilderness just north of Yosemite, with much of the same kind of granite formations, but it gets less hiking pressure than the most popular parts of Yosemite...and in many areas has better fishing!

This trip leaves Crabtree Cabin Trailhead and hikes on a series of use-trails (unmaintained by the USFS, but still relatively easy to follow) to a series of lakes amid the granite of Cherry Creek Canyon.

Pingree Lake, on the second morning, after spending the first night at Resasco Lake above Louse Canyon


The granite slabs leading to Big Lake above Cherry Canyon


The many small islands of Karl's Lake---the campsite on our third night


Wood Lake...long, narrow, deep, and with quite a few fish. This shot in the early morning light


Four days, during which we saw exactly four people once we got more than three miles from the trailhead.
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