National Forest Foundation

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Sierra

The Sierra National Forest, located on the western slope of the central Sierra Nevada, is known for its spectacular mountain scenery and abundant natural resources. The Sierra National Forest has a wide range of elevation, from 900 feet to 13,986 feet.

The terrain includes rolling, oak-covered foothills, heavily forested middle elevation slopes and the starkly beautiful alpine landscape of the High Sierra.

Abundant fish and wildlife, varied mountain flora and fauna and numerous recreational opportunities make the Sierra National Forest an outdoor lover's paradise.

Whether you are interested in hiking, biking, camping, backpacking, picnicking, driving off-highway, fishing or any of the other popular recreational activities, the Sierra National Forest is the place to be. There are a number of recreation areas, which offer a variety of experiences.

Whatever your boating choice, the Sierra National Forest provides numerous opportunities for canoeing, water skiing, sailing, fishing, windsurfing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and house boating. The Forest boasts a number of beautiful lakes and reservoirs.

Winter is a beautiful time to explore the Sierra National Forest. There are many forms ofwinter recreation. They include: snowmobiling, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, sledding, dog sledding, snow camping, all-terrain vehicles and just playing in the snow. Enjoy your visit to this winter wonderland.

The Sierra National Forest is responsible for managing five Wilderness Areas: Ansel Adams, Dinkey Lakes, John Muir, Kaiser and Monarch.

The Forest has two Scenic Byways for your driving pleasure. The Sierra Vista Scenic Byway starts near North Fork and climbs through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to more than 7,000 feet. It provides views of Ansel Adams, John Muir and Kaiser Wilderness Areas. It meanders for 100 miles through outstanding scenery of the Sierra Mountains.

The 70-mile Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway provides a memorable journey offering access to several resort towns, two popular recreation lakes, and countless creeks. Starting in the quaint town of Clovis, the scenic byways traverses up the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, through Shaver Lake at 5,530 feet elevation, Huntington Lake at 7,700 feet in elevation and finally ends near Kaiser Peak at 10,320 feet.

First-timer’s Adventure

The Sky Ranch Road provides access to a beautiful uncrowded part of the Forest that includes the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias. Along Sky Ranch Road you will find Nelder Grove. This area of Giant Sequoias is managed to preserve the uniqueness and historical significance of the area. The Bull Buck Tree is located in the grove and is considered to be one of the world’s largest Giant Sequoias. There is a self-guided trail located in the grove.

Take a hike out to Fresno Dome and on a clear day you can get a great view of the San Joaquin Valley.

To get there take Hwy 41 north from Fresno. Follow Hwy 41 through Oakhurst. Just past Oakhurst, approximately 5 miles, turn east on the Sky Ranch Road.

Statistics

State(s):

California

Nearest Large Urban Area:

San Francisco, Los Angeles

Notes & Conditions

Research campground locations and amenities at the U.S. National Forest Campground Directory. The Web site is full of pictures and detailed descriptions to help you plan your next trip.

If you want to experience a guided recreation trip in a National Forest, visit Adventure Vacation to learn about whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, camping, hiking and fishing trips.

Maps:

Visit the National Forest Store to see what maps are available for this Forest and others you may want to visit.