Backpacking and Hiking
The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, the Range of Light, High Sierras...no matter what name you use it is all the same. This is one of the most spectacular areas in the world. The serenity of these mountains combined with the fairly easy access can be hardly matched. 95% is designated wilderness covering 400 miles from north to south and over 70 miles from west to east. It offers the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, Death Valley, and everything in between. There is something very special about this area. The mountains are massive yet somehow encourage you to come closer and explore. If you show respect and curiosity, they will reward you with scenery that you have never seen before. These mountains are real serious, many of them much taller than 13,000 feet. However, the combination of the climate and location makes them accessible.
So, welcome to hiking and backpacking Paradise. Are you ready to hike the John Muir Trail rated the Best Trail Ever by Backpacking Magazine or just to take couple hours to hike some of the beginner friendly hikes? The possibilities are endless here. Better yet, many of the best Sierras hiking trails are located only a short drive from Paradise Shores. Some others can be accessed directly from our property. We have actively explored this area for many years, and we'll happily share our knowledge with you. Our camping sites are simple but comfortable with views that will inspire you to explore this unique area. After a long day or two of hiking, our park awaits you with a hot clean shower, sundeck overlooking the lake, and friendly people that share your passion for the outdoors.
Barney Lake Trail
If you're looking for a moderate hike in the Bridgeport area, Barney Lake Trail is a great choice. It is a nice loop with some beautiful scenery. The trail starts at the center of Twin Lakes - Mono Village and continues for about four miles (eight miles round trip). In this four miles you'll gain 1173 feet of elevation.
To access this trail, take the Twin Lakes Rd from Bridgeport all the way to Mono Village (the end of the road). Once you drive through the gate, park directly on your left by the marina to avoid daily usage charges. Finding the actual trail head might be a bit tricky; however, just make sure the creek stays on your left and head through the resort toward the mountains. Do not cross the creek while you are at the Village! Stay on the main “road” and walk through the many RV and tent sites eventually reaching a dense pine tree forest. Look for a trail head sign that says “ Barney Lake Trail”. It can be easily spotted once you’re at the right area. Follow this trail all the way to the lake and come back the same way or continue further to Peeler Lake.
Along the way, you’ll see some beautiful forest, open wild meadows (many wildflowers in the spring!), some beautiful rock walls and canyons, creeks, and an incredible alpine lake. One of the highlights is the many aspen trees along the way. Hiking this trail in the fall, you will experience some of the most spectacular fall colors. This is also a popular snow shoeing trail during the winter months.
Virginia Lakes Trail
This is a spectacular hike that is located within Hoover Wilderness. It starts at 9,800 feet and takes you through several beautiful lakes (Virginia Lakes, Blue Lake, Cooney Lake, and Frog Lake) within 4 miles. After about a mile or so, you will reach a historic miners cabin. This cabin is located pretty much on the main trail and there are still some reminders from the times when miner Cooney lived there and searched for gold. The trail continues all the way to Summit Pass which is at 11,000 feet. It’s quite a view from there, but make sure you bring extra clothing, ideally a windstopper, as the weather at the Summit is always much colder than at the start of the hike. The trail is about 5.5 miles round trip from Virginia Lakes to Summit Pass. This hike is particularly rewarding during late spring/summer months as the wildflowers here are usually just gorgeous and plentiful.
Green Lake to Summit Lake
This is a great trail within a short distance from Paradise Shores. It will take you through seven trout filled lakes in 15.2 miles. The elevation gain is 2,100 feet and most people will do the round trip of 30.4 miles over 3 - 4 days. There is an abundance of camping along this route. From massive walls of white granite to mountain solitude, this trail will let you experience the Sierras at its finest.
Check out our photos to get a feel for this area.
For additional info view the sites below.
Check out this beautiful Panoramic views of Sawtooth Peak and the Sierra Nevada.
Here is a great Overview of The Area.
Read more about the John Muir Trail.