Do you want to visit the high country, but want to eliminate the long hike to get to it? (Personally, if I am to hike to the top of a mountain, I prefer to be as close to the top as possible when I start!) Well, I believe I have found the most easily-accessible high country experience in California. So if you want to camp on a mountaintop, or hike into Yosemite’s high country, or just stop for lunch on a trip up the 395, you should definitely check out Virginia Lakes.
At nearly 10,000 feet up, the lake’s waters are pristine, clear and cold. There is fishing here, but no swimming, as the lake is the water source for the surrounding small number of summer cabins and the Virginia Lakes resort. Not that you’d want to swim, really; even though the temperature is close to 100 degrees on the valley floor, it is only 64 degrees up here.
There are picnic tables and benches here. If you want to stay longer, there is a campground here in addition to the Virginia Lakes Resort.
There are ten different lakes located within a mile of here, five of which are just a 20 minute hike.
And if you want to go further into the high country, there is a hiking trail leading into Yosemite’s high country, as well as a pack station offering day trips and longer trips as well.
For more information on Virginia Lakes: