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

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You’re sitting on a couch sweltering even with the air conditioning blasting. You step outside and the sun feels even worse like it could cook an egg on asphalt. A thought pops into your head. Why not head into the mountains to cool off? A sense of dread comes over you… but millions of other people have the same idea. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! Here’s where can you still enjoy the High Sierra but escape the crowds during the peak season.

Webber Falls

Webber Falls Truckee California High Sierra
Image Appears Courtesy: US Dept Of Agriculture – Forest Service

For those wanting to enjoy the cool waters but escape the busier areas around Lake Tahoe, look no further than the Webber Falls just thirty minutes northwest of the historic town of Truckee. Named after one of the region’s beloved pioneers, Dr. David Gould Webber, this little-known waterfall on the Little Truckee River plummets roughly 60 feet into the granite chasm below. During its peak snowmelt, the roar of water can be heard from the Jackson Meadows Road. And don’t forget to check out Webber Lake as well!

Glen Alpine Trail

Glen Alpine Spring Lake Tahoe South High Sierra
Photo credit®

As most visitors head towards Emerald Bay, they zoom past a tiny road that shoots off of Highway 89. Little do they know that on this less traveled path of pavement, you can lose the crowds and experience a bit of history AND beauty at the same time. If you do make the turn onto Fallen Leaf Road, you’ll follow the winding road past the shores of Fallen Leaf Lake until it ends. From here, the Glen Alpine trail winds its way through a deep valley featuring a large alpine lake, one of the top 5 waterfalls in the area, and the first tourist destination in the entire Lake Tahoe Basin. If you want to feel how John Muir felt as well as where the idea of the Sierra Club started, THIS is the spot to explore.

Muir Grove


Sequoia National Park Sign
Image appears courtesy: Visit Visalia

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks already provide a great opportunity to get away from it all and be one with nature. But for those that want to go a bit further from the normal mainstays of the General Sherman Tree, head to the Muir Grove. Requiring a short hike that’s around four miles round trip, this distance keeps most people away affording you the opportunity to see the giant sequoias on your own terms. In addition, about halfway to them, a granite dome at the trail’s edge offers views of Big Baldy and Chimney Rocks.

Even though there are more people in the High Sierra during peak season, it doesn’t mean you can’t escape the crowds. With a little bit of perseverance, you can have the solitude you’re looking for to give you that moment of quiet contemplation.

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

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