Top 23 wonders of the Sierra Nevada

Many of the mountains’ best sights—unlikely as it seems—are waiting for you to discover them

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Huntington Lake
Photo by Thomas J. Story

Huntington Lake

A day at Huntington Lake, northeast of Fresno on State 168, goes like this: In the morning, before the wind kicks up, paddlers set out for “The Big Island“ at the lake’s west end. Anglers—in boats and dotted along the jagged shores—troll for rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. As the sun warms the air, swimmers and lawn-chair loungers take their places in sheltered coves.

At 7 miles long by 1 mile wide, Huntington is ideal for sailboat racing. And every afternoon, colorful spinnakers fan out among the whitecaps. The Fresno Yacht Club holds its High Sierra Regatta here, but Huntington sailors aren’t snobby. At Lakeshore Resort’s marina, Olympic gold medalists rub elbows with Girl Scouts in Sunfishes.

Proper lake attire is flip-flops and a bathing suit, but come evening, when the scent of campfires and roasting s’mores wafts along the shore, it’s jacket weather until bedtime.

So it goes, day after day, whether you’re camping or staying at one of the rustic resorts like Huntington Lake Resort or Lakeview Cottages, where cabins lie steps from the water. Welcome to Sierra summer. Huntington Resort: cabins from $115 (open mid-Jun); huntingtonresort.com. Lakeview Cottages: cabins from $170 (open Jun 1); lakeviewcottages.net.

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