Sierra National Forest

The Sierra National Forest encompasses 1.3 million acres in Central California on the western slope of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountain range, south of the Merced River and north of the Kings River. Elevations in the forest soar from 1,000 feet to more than 13,000 feet. The Sierra’s five wilderness areas include Ansel Adams, Dinkey Lakes, John Muir, Kaiser and Monarch. Terrain ranges from gently rolling, oak-covered foothills along the edge of the great San Joaquin Valley, to the majestic snow-capped peaks of the Sierra Nevada crest. The Sierra National Forest was created in 1905 from the original Sierra Forest Reserve established in 1893. The Sierra National Forest, framed by Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park and Inyo National Forest, has over 1100 miles of trails for hiking, backpacking and horseback riding. The popular highlights of the Sierra include towering redwood stands that make up the Nelder and McKinley groves and the Dinkey Lakes, Kaiser, Monarch, Ansel Adams and John Muir wilderness areas. Resting on the Sierra crest, look for Mt. Humphrey, the tallest summit in the forest.

Trails offer a range of experiences as they pass through gentle meadows, along hundreds of pristine lakes and streams and for the more adventurous, over rugged passes in the wilderness areas. Many fishing and winter sports opportunities are also available. The forest offers plenty of opportunities for fishing, swimming, sailing, boating, camping, water-skiing, whitewater rafting, kayaking and horseback riding. Alpine and cross-country skiing, as well as hunting, are also available, depending on the season. Backpackers looking to retreat to the wilderness will find solace here, as some 1,100 miles of forest hiking trails traverse the park.


The most popular and developed areas in the Forest are at Bass Lake, Mammoth Pool, Shaver Lake, Huntington Lake, Mono Hot Springs, Lake Edison and Dinkey Creek. Waterskiiing, sailing, stream and lake fishing are popular. The John Muir and Minarets Wildernesses are very heavily used in July and August. The Monarch Wilderness is lightly used.

Traveler Facts

Contact Information
Sierra National Forest
1600 Tollhouse Road
Clovis, CA 93611
Phone: 559-297-0706

In the lower elevations, summer temperatures can frequently reach 100 degrees F, but in the higher elevations, more comfortable temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s are the norm.

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