Know Before You Go: Review COVID-19 Travel News and Resources for the Sierra Nevada. Learn More


Share This

In an earlier article, we named four natural attractions that should be on anyone’s bucket list. But… what about taking the road less traveled? Well, here’s 3 lesser known attractions in the High Sierra that may not get the spotlight but are just as amazing to see in person.

Globe Rock

Learn more about Globe Rock

Globe Rock Natural Attractions
Image appears courtesy: Visit Yosemite | Madera County

Legend has it that Teddy Roosevelt, often considered the “conservationist president”, found this place on one of his many hunting trips through the West. Located on the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway, it is aptly nicknamed the “Secret Yosemite”. The geologic formation looks as if a giant placed this tremendous boulder on a tee for a game of golf and then forgot about it eons ago. Be sure to check the road conditions prior to visiting since parts of the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway close due to snow.

Hot Creek Geological Area

Learn more about Hot Creek

hot creek mammoth
Photo by: The Daily Nathan – Image appears courtesy: Visit Mammoth

Between Mono Lake and the head of Owens Valley, the icy waters of Mammoth Creek descend into the Long Valley caldera. Similar to the Yellowstone National Park phenomenon, you’ll see sky-blue bubbling pools that seem unreal. And if you’re lucky, you may even see a geyser erupt from one of the many cauldrons within the Hot Creek Geological area. Be forewarned… these pools are not for swimming.

Mercer Caverns

Learn more about this cave tour

mercer caverns high sierra attractions
Photo By: Dave Bunnell – Image appears courtesy: Calaveras Visitors Bureau

There’s something otherworldly about caves. Maybe because they’re hundreds of feet below the surface or rather the unique types of things you’ll see. Things like stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones that you would never see above ground. Mercer Caverns, just down the road a bit from Murphys, is a MUST for anyone in the High Sierra. It’s home to a rare cavern formation called “flor ferri” and other indescribable types that you must see in person. Being the longest continually running commercial cave in the state of California, they have guest books signed by a hundred and twenty years of visitors!

Of course, you should visit the main attractions, but be sure to include a few of the lesser known attractions in the High Sierra too. So, on your next trip, discover a different High Sierra that most would miss out on.

Author: Alex Silgalis

Alex Silgalis is an outdoors travel writer who enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, or having a cold one from a local mountain brewery. See more of Alex’s work at

Share This

Follow Us

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content

Stay Up to Date

for updates on hidden gems, events, and more from California's High Sierra.

More Trip Ideas

More Trip Ideas

Keep Discovering

Need more reasons to visit the Sierra Nevada High Country?

Get a glimpse of the stunning scenery to see and activities to do in the Sierra Nevada.

View Gallery Brochure

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content