The longest, highest, most diverse mountain range in the continental United States is not the Rockies. It’s the Sierra Nevada range in California.
Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite … everyone loves these mountains.
In the summer of 2007 we met a hiker there who enjoyed 41 days in a row of perfect weather. Where else in the mountains can you get that? (Starting day 42 he had pounding hail and was at risk of death by lightning.)
The range is about the same size as the Alps, 430mi long, 40-80mi wide. It’s all great.
Many come here specifically to climb Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the contiguous States. Others come to see astonishing Yosemite Valley. And to scramble Half Dome.
Lower elevation hikes are accessible year-round. The Parks are within easy driving distance of major urban areas and, unusual for the USA, have good public transportation. Kids love this region.
In fact, everyone leaves John Muir’s “Range of Light” elated.
More information on our new Sierra Nevada information page.
Our favourite hike in the Sierra Nevada is the John Muir Trail, our #2 hike in the world. (Every photo of the JMT is a postcard.)
See our JMT Information page.
A good starting point is the somewhat dated Lonely Planet Hiking in the Sierra Nevada – Mock & O’Neil, 2002. There are many other good guidebooks for this region, however.