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Coronavirus Escape | Sierra National Forest

Amidst a global pandemic, justice protests across America, toilet paper shortages and trying to remember what I had for dinner last night has caused myself and I’m sure many others boredom, confusion and mental distress during quarantine. We needed a break from the city stress, curfews and social distancing rules. We figured we’d social distance the¬†right way, in the mountains completely secluded from the real world. We hit the 99 for 4 days of dispersed camping in Sierra National Forest (3 times)!

With nothing but curiosity and ambition, we veered off on hidden roads, falling in love more and more every inch we drove. On the hunt for the “perfect” spot, we checked out quite a few areas before making a decision. Off of Dinkey Creek Road, we took a random right turn and drove on a looooong road with tiny side roads leading to gorgeous camp spots! Spacious and secluded, we pitched the tent and snuggled up next to a giant fire [made by Sam of course!].

The next day we figured we’d find another area to explore and call home for 2 nights so we packed our tent and were on our way! We hit the east side of the mountain, passing through a random grove of giant Sequoias and views of the *gorgeous* Sierra valley. With a little bit of snow still lingering in the shadows, we slid through a bushy road to find the most perfect camp spot. Open, flat grounds surrounded by both Sequoias and Pine trees were enough to win us over. We pitched the tent and started a fire for some juicy chicken skewers. Of course, I made Chai one without any seasoning!

We hiked around the campground and into the silent forest. From giant boulders to forest foliage, we knew adventure awaited us deeper into the forest until I spotted a fresh bear print on the soil. Although it was in the direction away from camp, I couldn’t stop thinking about being watched by another fur baby (or should I say fur beast). We had bear mace, but figured it might be safer to hike back to the tent for some lunch and hang out for the rest of the day.

Each camping trip is different from the other, and it’s exciting to frequent a forest so often, you can explore every little bit of it! On our third visit, we decided to keep left at Shaver Lake and explore along Kaiser Pass after being closed for so long. Bumpy roads to and fro water holes and views of the High Sierras were seriously breathtaking (or it could have been the lack of oxygen at 9,000 ft elevation!) Each turn revealing a new side of the mountain was just as beautiful as the last.

After making our own camp spots, you can believe we got *extremely* dirty, to the point where you can physically see dirt on our skin. In the midst of summer heat, we kept driving each time to find Lake Thomas Edison, Wishon Reservoir, Portal Forebay and many other water holes and lakes where the pup could cool off with a swim and we could freshen up in the icy cold water rushing down the mountain, only to get more dirty making our next camp spot!

We fell so in love with Sierra National Forest, that we decided to go a second and third time just a few weeks later. Sandwiched between Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park, Sierra National Forest is THE place to unwind and explore, away from the crowds and tourists. Through the hidden roads and unexpected water holes, stillness and tranquility await you in this gem of a forest.

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