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What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

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What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby Asolthane » Sun May 15, 2016 10:14 pm

I live in SF, and have been spending more and more time each Summer in the Sierra Nevada.

There is so much to see and explore. I am in love. These mountains give me so much.

BUT...there are others. What's worth leaving the state. SO much more time and money to get there..

Wyoming? Colorado? Idaho? Montana? Oregon? Canada? Baja? New Zeland?

If I want true wilderness, where should I plan a non-Sierra Nevada trip?



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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby DAVELA » Mon May 16, 2016 12:16 am

The backcountry of Aspen,Co. is dramatic.Maroon bells wilderness i think its called.
Also,the French Alps like the Chamonix area is extremely dramatic with jagged peaks.You can take a tram to the top and see the Matterhorn and the Swiss and Italian alps-well once up there you are basically on the border of all 3 countries anyway.I guess the entire French and Swiss alps are great.
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby The Other Tom » Mon May 16, 2016 5:43 am

Oh boy....
How about the Grand Canyon
Or Yellowstone
Or Brice Canyon
Or Glacier Natl Park
Or Denali
Or.....

Also, Fiordland National Park in NZ is great :)
Edit: Never been to the Swiss Alps (it's on the list) but the reviews I've seen are beautiful but it seems to be somewhat commercial, as opposed to the Sierra. I guess that's what happens when the area doesn't have Natl park protection.
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby Fly Guy Dave » Mon May 16, 2016 6:17 am

The Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana. HUGE, wild, beautiful and unspoiled.
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man." --Jeff Lebowski

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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby oldranger » Mon May 16, 2016 6:42 am

Oregon--Eagle Cap Wilderness,NE oregon--Cascades are scenically pretty boring except for Crater Lake and the Volcanoes.

Washington, North Cascades are pretty awesome

Idaho, Sawtooths and White Clouds are spectacular! I'm sure there are other areas worth visiting.

Montana--Absaroka- Beartooth Wilderness, the Bob, Glacier

Wyoming--Winds

The one thing the Sierra clearly has over the others is more benign summer weather (usually)

Oh one other thing montana and Winds also have GRIZ!
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby dave54 » Mon May 16, 2016 9:27 am

Others a bit more off the beaten path...
Steens Mountains in Oregon. BLM land. 9,000 foot peaks rise from desert floor. Spectacular escarpment. Entire range no conifers. Forest is pure Aspen.
Great Basin NP in NV. Lehman cave, 5,000 year old Bristlecone pines.
Lassen Volcanic in CA. I am partial to the NE portion of the Park. Cinder Cone, Fantastic Lava Beds, Painted Dunes. No crowds. Easy cross country hiking and easy to get solitude.
Oregon Coast. Ca has sections of nice coastline. The entire Oregon Coast is spectacular. Will have throngs of tourists on 101 during three summer months, so just head inland into the coast range a few miles and no tourists.

Closer to home: Pinnacles NP. Go in the Fall when the caves are open.
Redwoods: C'mon, you live in CA, you have to see the redwoods at least once. It is a required pilgrimage.

You cannot go wrong with the southern Utah Parks. While there, bring your mountain bike and ride the bike trails around Moab. Epic mountain biking. Swing through Dinosaur. Worth a look while in the area. Mesa Verde NP is cool. Cities for a several hundred to a couple thousand people, multi-story buildings built by a people with no written language, no metal tools, and no wheel.

If you are a paddler there is only one mecca-- Boundary Waters in MN. When combined with the adjacent Voyageurs NP and Canada's Quetico Provincial Park you have 2.5 million acres of interconnected wilderness waterways and lakes. Like 2.5 million acre maze of water.

Want some real solitude and remoteness? Canada's Wood Buffalo NP is five times the size of Yellowstone with no backcountry trails. You are free to hike and camp where you please, restricted only by your skills and courage.
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby Tom_H » Mon May 16, 2016 11:18 am

It depends on several factors:
How much time do you have?
How much money are you willing to spend?
Do you want to backpack, float, paddle/camp, run whitewater, climb, ski, car-camp, sightsee from a motorhome, European trains, etc.?
Are you taking family members?
What skill level does each person have in relation to above?

With this information, we can tailor better answers.
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby seanr » Mon May 16, 2016 12:03 pm

I have been to most of the places mentioned, and have been feeling a strong pull to get back to some of them. They are all great, but what is important to me at this point is to explore whichever places I choose more deeply. That recognition generally brings me back to looking at all the places in the Sierra and the rest of California that I have only scratched the surface of, or not even seen yet.

I agree that which activities you are likely to plan could help narrow choices.

I see some truly worthwhile California suggestions. Also be sure to research the Trinity Alps for summer-early fall. Many compare it to the Sierra. Look into Death Valley NP for late fall-early spring. It has countless sparsely visited, colorful canyons, peaks, and dunes mixed with fun tourist hike options and huge ranges of elevation from which to choose. Closer to SF, look into Ventana Wilderness fall-spring.
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby maverick » Mon May 16, 2016 1:11 pm

In your immediate area: Henry Coe, Point Reyes, Olhone Trail, Skyline to the Sea Trail, and several other parks around the BA, a little further out: Pinnacles NM, Ventana Wilderness in Los Padres NF

Places around the state: Lost Coast, Trinity Alps, Redwood NP, Humboldt Redwoods SP, Lava Bed NM, DV NP, Mojave NP, Joshua NP, and a lot more NF, SP state wide, to keep you busy for a long, long time. :nod:
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby Asolthane » Tue May 17, 2016 8:47 am

Tom_H wrote:It depends on several factors:
How much time do you have?
How much money are you willing to spend?
Do you want to backpack, float, paddle/camp, run whitewater, climb, ski, car-camp, sightsee from a motorhome, European trains, etc.?
Are you taking family members?
What skill level does each person have in relation to above?

With this information, we can tailor better answers.

I am specifically interested in alpine wilderness backpacking.

I'm from AZ, lots of amazing stuff there, and I have been to bottom of G.Canyon. I've been to S. Utah, Pinnacles, Oregon Coast, Lassen, Cascades. All beautiful. Those are different trips though.

I would go with someone else with lots of backcountry experience comfortable with class 2 off trail travel.

Montana is sounding pretty appealing.

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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby Tom_H » Tue May 17, 2016 7:33 pm

The Wind River Range of Wyoming. Wandering Daisy on this site was for many years a NOLS instructor there and is the author of the authoritative guide to off-trail backpacking and mountaineering there. I highly recommend the book:

http://www.mcreynoldscpa.com/BeyondTrails

Uncompaghre Wilderness Area, Colorado

Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico is not alpine, but it has some beautiful wildflowers.

Alaska
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Re: What is as amazing as the Sierra and worth the trip?

Postby wildhiker » Wed May 18, 2016 11:59 pm

The alpine mountains of New Zealand are definitely a worthwhile destination. Weather is not as good as the Sierra - more like the North Cascades, but there can be multi-day stretches of good weather and there is a strong rain shadow effect (east sides drier). The backcountry is dotted with little huts maintained by the Department of Conservation and mostly available 1st-come, 1st-served (with payment of a modest fee in advance for a pass), except on the very popular routes such as the Milford Sound track, which is their version of the John Muir Trail. Near the popular tracks, it's less wild than most of the Sierra, away from them, more wild, often with large areas that have no trails, just routes marked by cairns. Also: glaciers and big rivers. And New Zealand is such an easy country to travel in for us English speakers. Their DOC website is outstanding, with all the information you could need to plan your hikes. "Tramping" (their word for hiking) and camping are a very important part of the everyday culture. The country reminds me of California in the 1950s. About the same land mass, but only 4 million people, and most of them concentrated in the Auckland metropolitan area. Oh, and the roads are like 1950, too - narrow and slow.

-Phil
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