Backpacking – Hoover Wilderness

Summary

For my first time visiting the Sierra Nevada, this was an excellent introduction. Everything you see in a good nature documentary seems to be in the area: pristine lakes, tall green trees, snow-capped mountains – you get the picture.

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Lower Long Lake - Hoover Wilderness - 7-6-2019
Looking South – Lower Long Lake (the picture doesn’t do it justice)

From Leavitt Meadows, we hiked 10 miles to the Long Lake area and stayed 2 nights. It was very peaceful as we encountered almost no people after getting a few miles from the trail head. Along the way we passed by other large lakes including: Roosevelt Lake, Lane Lake, Fremont Lake, and Chain of Lakes.

From our 2-night campsite, we were perched atop a granite hill with a clear view of snowy mountain peaks to the south (every direction really). I thought the angle of Hawksbeak Peak was the most interesting.

Looking South From Long Lakes area along the PCT
Looking South From Long Lakes area in Hoover Wilderness – Hawksbeak Peak is the slanted mountain on the left

Originally we were going to backpack in the nearby Emigrant Wilderness, but we switched at the last minute to minimize the snow on the trail. I don’t think you can go wrong with a location in the Sierra Nevada. Also nearby was the iconic Yosemite National Park. The Hoover Wilderness (and all of the nearby National Forests and wilderness areas) are essentially extensions of Yosemite; the only differences are accessibility and possibly how dramatic some of the natural features (e.g. waterfalls, cliff faces) are in appearance.

I learned a lot from the guys I was hiking with and it made me want to go back very soon with some experience under my belt. Not to be too cliche, but there are limitless opportunities in the Sierra Nevada. The Hoover Wilderness is just a small slice of the mountains, and we only got a small taste of that slice.