Exploring the Lost Sierra
By Sophie Davidson
Though it is hard to leave the ranch once you’ve pulled in, there are plenty of places for our nature-loving guests to explore in the “Lost Sierra”, whether that be by foot, bike, or boat/paddle. You may be in the “Lost Sierra”, but we guarantee that you will find some magic while exploring this hidden and relatively unexplored (unpopulated?) treasure. This area is heaven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering incredible hikes for guests of all ages and abilities, scenic mountain bike trails, and crystal clear glacial lakes for swimming, boating, and paddling.
After you lather on some sunscreen and pack a backpack with a picnic, head on down to Lakes Basin (located near Blairsden/Graeagle, just over 20/25 miles from the Ranch) for a day full of adventure. Round Lake Trail Loop is a perfect day trip for the family or a fun-loving individual. This well maintained trail loop hits five lakes in just over 4 miles and offers different panoramic mountain/lake views at every turn. Between each lake, expect to cruise through forests of pines covered in green moss or see beautiful pops of color in the wild growing flowers lining the trails. Need a breather and cool down at Round Lake? Go ahead and jump in the refreshing, clear water or unpack your picnic and enjoy your tasty snacks on a rock overlooking the rugged mountain tops and serene waters.
If there is not as much time available, check out Bear Lakes Loop Trail which passes by four lakes in about two miles. Frazier Falls Trail also offers a relatively easy hike (1.4 miles round trip) to a beautiful 176 foot waterfall. On all of these trails, you will cruise through forests of pines covered in lush green moss and see beautiful wildflowers that pop with color.
If you’re more of a water-lover, make sure to hit Gold Lake. It is the perfect place to launch your boat, board, or kayak for an afternoon cruise. Salmon and Sardine Lakes are also popular destinations for kayakers and paddlers, offering incredible views of the rugged Sierras. Row boats for cruising or fishing are also available at Salmon Lake.
After an active day of exploration, a soft serve ice cream cone from the Frostee in Graeagle will definitely hit the spot. If you are in the mood for a less sweet and more bitter treat, the Brewing Lair is the place to go. A craft brewery tucked away in the trees in Blairsden (located just 15 miles from the Ranch) is an oasis for beer-connoisseur. The Brewing Lair offers several seasonal and fresh beers and invites customers to sit, play, or grill on their enchanting grounds.
The “Lost Sierra” area has endless possibilities for adventure, let’s go out and find it!