by Joe Laing
Your sense of adventure will get new life when you take an RV trip into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Outdoor recreation, scenic views and historic highlights are the mark of this particular getaway. You become refreshed and refueled after such a relaxing and inspiring time. The first choice in a vacation experience (even if it is a mini-vacation for a day) is traveling the Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway in an RV. You get to take along your favorite gear and have a comfortable place to unwind at the end of the day’s activities!
Begin your adventure in the San Joaquin Valley at Clovis, move into the Sierra National Forest and stop at beautiful lakes and small friendly communities. Along the way, see wildlife and this planet’s natural wonders while enjoying some of the best recreational opportunities you will find anywhere. You will be driving up towards Kaiser Pass (or beyond) and have incredibly spectacular scenery all around.
Stopping in Old Town Clovis, find a country-like setting and perhaps some events to attend. They have many things happening all summer. Stock up on food at the Farmer’s Market, check out the Dry Creek Museum and take a historic walking tour of town. BC’s Pizza is a great place to go for food before continuing on your trip.
When you get to Prather, you may want to browse the sidewalk sales or fairs that happen all during the summer. Get a snack and pick up some maps and other information at the Forest Service Office. They can also provide you with information about RV camping options should you want to spend the night on this journey and extend your trip a bit.
There is some logging history in Pineridge and you’ll learn some of it while visiting. Vista Point is the place to go so you can get an overview of the San Joaquin Valley from 4500 feet high. A friendly town, it is a nice respite from city life. You may even decide to move here!
If you have brought along your fishing gear, Shaver Lake will provide some great fishing opportunities. Hook some rainbow trout or kokanee. If you have brought along your mountain bike, you will find trails to accommodate a wonderful ride through the forests. But ensure you are in shape, for at 5600 feet the altitude can really get you otherwise.
Of course, the recreation really starts at Huntington Lake with plenty of canoeing, fishing and water skiing. Park your RV at Rancheria Campground and relax in the shade of beautiful pines. Perhaps you would like to enter a sailboat race while here. The views are wonderful and nature beckons you out into the wilderness for hiking or a simple nature walk.
You will not be able to take a large RV up the Kaiser Pass Road but if you have a smaller RV or a motorcycle with you, it is an opportunity you won’t want to pass up. This road brings you to alpine meadows and vistas of amazing beauty. It is a 22-mile trip that will go down on record as one of the most beautiful you’ve ever taken.
If you are ready to explore even further than the Sierra Heritage Scenic Byway, and you don’t have a large RV, you can head all the way up Kaiser Pass Road to Mono Hot Springs to soak in some mineral water that will truly melt away any cares you may have. The wilderness experience is something to have on this vacation trip and you will certainly have it here!
Of course, you can head back to civilization and if you are on a longer vacation, you can then head to Yosemite National Park or visit Ansel Adams Wilderness Area and the John Muir Wilderness Area. The sights are something, the recreational opportunities abundant, and you won’t want to miss these regions if you are not from California and cannot get back this way soon.
No matter your preferences, whether you enjoy horseback riding, biking, fishing or hiking, you will find it in or around the San Joaquin Valley. Folks come from all over the world to see this scenic area and experience nature as it was intended to be experienced. The fun is endless, the vistas are breathtaking and the memories you make will be everlasting.