If you would like to visit some of our nearby wild places and experience the undeveloped beauty they have to offer, see the list below of recreational opportunities in our region and directions to some of the most popular destinations. Remember that public lands belong to all citizens of the United States and were established for you to enjoy, experience, and most importantly, to protect for both the present and future generations.
(For additional ideas for places to visit and hikes you can take, be sure to check out our Scenic Destinations page!)
1. Bald Peak Roadless Area
Bald Peak is a round-topped volcanic peak near the Clark Fork Canyon on the Stanislaus Forest. The roadless area surrounding Bald Peak borders the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and contains beautiful mature lodgepole forests. The main access to the area is the Seven Pines Trailhead a few miles west of Kennedy Meadows and a mile east of Eureka Valley campground. The trail leads past Bald Peak and Red Peak, continuing out to the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness above the Clark Fork of the Stanislaus River.
Directions to Bald Peak
To reach the Seven Pines Trailhead, head east on Highway 108 to approximately 56 miles from Sonora. A poorly marked dirt road, 06N941Y, will be on your left approximately 2.5 miles past the Dardanelle resort and 2 miles before (west) of Kennedy Meadows. Follow the dirt road and stay left at the fork. The trailhead has private cabins visible from where you park. The trail is unmarked, rarely used, and sometimes indistinct, so bring a map or GPS and be conscious of your location.
2. Eagle Roadless Area
The Eagle Roadless Area borders the Emigrant Wilderness and provides access to the iconic Three Chimneys, Castle rock and Eagle Peak, as well as many other interesting volcanic features. This area reveals evidence of volcanic activity amongst outcrops of granite, and the lodgepole pine and mountain hemlock forests provide prime habitat for American Marten. To access the Eagle Roadless Area requires a long, bumpy but beautiful drive out the Eagle Meadows road above Strawberry.
Directions to the Eagle Roadless area
The main access is off Eagle Meadow Road (5N01). From Sonora, head East on Highway 108 for approximately 43 miles. Eagle Meadow road will be on your right approximately 13 miles past the town of Strawberry. Bring a forest map to navigate Eagle Meadow road as there are many forks. Stop at the Summit Ranger Station in Pinecrest for information on road conditions, to get a map, and more.
3. Tuolumne River Roadless Area
A large portion of the Tuolumne River is designated as Wild and Scenic, which means that certain uses that may degrade the wild and scenic character of the river are prohibited. This leads to greater preservation of low-elevation, steep canyon land covered in spring wildflowers and oak trees rather than road. There are many points of access to the Wild and Scenic Tuolumne River corridor, primarily from Highway 120 near Groveland.
Directions to Tuolumne River
From the Central Valley, head East on Highway 120 towards Groveland. A few trailheads off Ferreti Road require steep hikes into and out of the river canyon. For those wanting to drive all the way to the river, both the Lumsden Road and Cherry Lake road lead to the river’s edge and access trails that mostly parallel the river.
Check out this map to plan your visit.