Sierra Nevada Mountains

Sierra Nevada Mountains Overview

California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range serves as a beautiful backdrop to a spectacular region known for its natural beauty and year-round activities. With fierce granite mountains standing watch over high-altitude lakes, the Sierra Nevada is a formidable but exquisite barrier enclosing magnificent natural landscapes and an adventurer’s wonderland.

The Sierra Nevada may be one of the highest and most majestic mountain ranges in North America, but it’s also one of the most accessible and user-friendly. Stretching 400 miles from north to south, and about 70 from east to west, it’s crossed by seven highways—four of them open all year. The range is home to three national parks, 15 state parks, two national monuments and 20 officially designated wilderness areas.

The High Sierra is split into 4 distinct regions: –

Lake Tahoe

The “Jewel of the Sierra”, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America; deep and wide, bluer than blue and surrounded by the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Western Sierra

Lush Forests teeming with wildlife, glaciated granite domes, spectacular waterfalls, towering groves of Giant Sequoias, aquamarine pools, lakes, and two of California’s three renowned National Parks – Yosemite and Sequoia & Kings Canyon.

Eastern Sierra

California’s High Sierra region’s eastern kingdom is filled with some of the area’s most rugged and magnificent terrain and is home to Mammoth Lakes.

Southern Sierra

Nestled between Yosemite and Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, California’s Southern Sierra contains some of the most pristine wilderness suitable for camping, hiking, fishing and a myriad of other recreational opportunities.


Summer days in the High Sierra are clear, sunny, dry and often surprisingly hot, with temperatures in July and August averaging 95°F / 35°C. Winter can be cold: the temperature hovers around freezing in December, January and February, with the heaviest snowfalls in February. Up in the mountains, there’s snow on the ground throughout the winter months, sometimes lasting until early June on Mammoth Mountain.

Suggested Itineraries, Escorted Tours and Accommodation in the Sierra Nevada Mountains

View our suggestions for what is possible when you travel in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and see itinerary routes and escorted tours we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

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