Sierra National Forest

Quick Facts

Sierra National Forest

California

(559) 297-0706

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

The Sierra National Forest lies east of Fresno in central California, and west of the Sierra Nevada Crest between Yosemite and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park. The Forest varies from brushy front country to dense forests and barren alpine peaks and valleys. Elevations range from 900 to 13,000 feet. 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.

Abundant fish and wildlife, varied mountain flora and fauna and numerous recreational opportunities make the Sierra National Forest an outdoor lover's paradise. Today, the Forest's many rugged wilderness areas makes it one of the most popular National Forests in the United States.

Map of Sierra Nat'l Forest

Latitude, Longitude: 39.565456, -121.000588

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Activities

  • Boating

    Whatever your boating choice, the Sierra National Forest provides numerous opportunities for canoeing, water skiing, sailing, fishing, windsurfing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and house boating.

  • Bicycling

    Bicycling is a very popular activity.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    The Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway starts in the San Joaquin Valley and follows Hwy 168 from Clovis up the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range to Kaiser Pass Meadow at 9,000 feet. Along the way there are quaint little communities that provide restaurants and shopping; lakes and streams from fishing, picnicking or hiking and of course fabulous scenery. The Byway is approximately 70 miles long and takes about four hours to drive.

    The second Scenic Byway in the Forest is the Sierra Vista Scenic Byway. The Byway begins in North Fork and meanders through the Forest showcasing some of the most beautiful scenery and views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The Byway is generally open from June through October. Then entire route takes about 5 hours to drive.

  • Camping

    Camping is one of the most popular recreation activities in the Sierra National Forest. Situated in the Central Sierra Nevada, the Forest has several campgrounds located in a variety of settings. PiVisitors can pick their own spot, (dispersed area camping) is an option available throughout most of the Forest. All fees quoted are per site, per night and are subject to change.

  • Climbing

    Climbing is a popular activity.

  • Fishing

    Whatever your fishing choice, the Sierra National Forest provides numerous opportunities for stream and lake fishing. Fresh water stream fishing on the Sierra National Forest is open from the last weekend in April through November 15. All lakes are open year-round, though access may be limited due to seasonal closure of roads due to snow.

  • Hiking

    The Forest offers numerous opportunities for hikers of all abilities to enjoy the wilderness of The Sierra National Forest. From day-hikes to longer overnight backpacking trips, hikers will enjoy this great wilderness.

  • Historic Sites

    Opportunities are available.

  • Horseback Riding

    The Sierra National Forest provides excellent opportunities for the equestrian trail rider. There are numerous opportunities for people who own their own stock or for those who want to rent horses for a day ride (or longer) backcountry trips.

  • Hunting

    Hunting is available.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Off-Highway Vehicle users will find many opportunities for off-highway enjoyment in the Sierra National Forest wheter it be on trails, open riding areas, or camping areas.

  • Picnicking

    The Forest has many opportunities for picknicking available for both large and small groups.

  • Water Sports

    Popular water sports include white-water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Outfitters are available for an amazing trip down the river.

  • Winter Sports

    Winter is a beautiful time to explore the Sierra National Forest. There are many forms of winter recreation. They include: snowmobiling, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, sledding, dog sledding, snow camping, all terrain vehicles and just playing in the snow. Enjoy your visit to this winter wonderland.

Seasonality/Weather

The Forest is open year-round but some facilities and routes are closed seasonally due to winter weather.

Directions

Driving

From Clovis, the forest can be reached via state highways 180 and 168.

Flying

Less than a two-hour drive from Fresno, California.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(559) 297-0706

Links