There are a few options once the summer temps begins to swelter. The first is to stay inside and let the air conditioning cool you off. Second, find a pool to jump into. Third, and our personal favorite, is to head up high into the mountains. Here’s four hikes to beat the summer heat this year.
Distance: 3.1 Miles (one-way) Elevation Gain: 1,925 feet
A little more than ten miles from the historic downtown of Truckee is Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows. In the winter, thousands of people descend upon its slopes to enjoy the world-class skiing & snowboarding it provides. In the summer though, things slow down a bit. Shirley Canyon is a great hike with everything from a waterfall to a bubbling stream filled with boulders while finishing off with breathtaking views of Squaw Valley. Typically, most people end with the aerial tram so that they don’t have to hike back down.
COVID-19 Update: Currently, the aerial tram is closed so this hike becomes 6.2 miles in length roundtrip.
Distance: 4 miles Elevation Gain: 761 feet
Although Bishop’s climate can get a bit “toasty” in town during the summer, it’s pretty easy to beat the summer heat by heading in any direction up to the mountains surrounding it such as the White Mountains. At around 11,000 feet above sea level, the air is cool, the scenery is magnificent, and you get a chance to walk amongst some of the oldest living non-clonal living things on planet Earth. Even though the oldest known as “Methuselah” isn’t marked, don’t worry. All the other ancient bristlecone pines surrounding it are thousands of years old too.
Distance: 3.1 miles Elevation Gain: 833 feet
At a base elevation of 7,881’ above sea level, pretty much any hike you go on from Mammoth Lakes will be rewarded with cool air. So, the question is then what to see or do? The options are literally endless. If you’re heading to the Eastern Sierra, the hike to Crystal Lake is a must do. Departing from the Lake George day-use area, you’ll be afforded panoramic vistas of Mammoth Lakes basin and a close-up of the Crystal Crag. This granite monolith soars more than 10,364 feet above sea level and is one of the most recognizable features on this section of the Mammoth crest. For a few less strenuous hiking options, check out Visit Mammoth’s 7 Easy Hikes In And Around Mammoth Lakes.
If you’re looking to beat the summer heat, these four hikes in the High Sierra will do that and so much more. So, as the eloquent Dr. Seuss once wrote, “You’re off to great places, today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.”