A good snowpack is far from a guarantee in California and not to be taken for granted. The high elevations have already accumulated a nice base this fall and the forecast for the second half of December has the potential to provide a series of cool and wet systems through the new year. This forecast would give any snow-sports fan a wide grin, and if it materializes, it would provide a phenomenally great start to the season.
With all the excitement, I’ve been thinking about some snowshoe adventure ideas that would be awesome to check out this winter, some of which are located below from north to south:
- Mount Lassen, Lassen Volcanic National Park: A 20 mile roundtrip to climb this peak that seems much more aesthetic in the winter when snow covered (as opposed to a pile of volcanic pumice).
- Castle Peak & Peter Grubb Hut: Easy access off Interstate 80 with nice views of the peaks of north Lake Tahoe.
- Mount Rose, Mt. Rose Wilderness: Gorgeous views of the second highest point in Tahoe.
- Pyramid Peak, Desolation Wilderness: The highest point in the Desolation Wilderness and the views looking over a snowy Lake Aloha would be amazing to see.
- Mount Tallac, Desolation Wilderness: One of the best views of Lake Tahoe, with a great climb.
- Freel Peak & Trimmer Peak: The highest point in Tahoe with a fantastic view of the lake.
- Round Top, Mokelumne Wilderness: A classic snowshoe route from Carson Pass with great views of the surroudning wilderness.
- Horse Ridge & Ostrander Hut, Yosemite National Park: I have never been to this corner of Yosemite National Park and it looks beautiful, especially in winter conditions.
- Winter Alta, Pear Lake Hut & the Tablelands, Sequoia National Park: A visit in 2011 to the summit of Winter Alta was amazing. This time I hope to explore further along the Tablelands with a summit of Big Bird Peak and close views of the Great Western Divide.
- Mount Williamson, John Muir Wilderness: Lots of vertical to reach the summit of the second highest mountain in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and the state of California. Williamson also has one of the best views of the Kaweah Range and the Great Western Divide.
- Mount Whitney, John Muir Wilderness: It would be great to ascend the highest point in the contiguous United States in winter conditions.
Hopefully I will get to a few of these this winter!