Skip to main content

Lost Sierra Route Could Be Your Next Epic Long-distance Hike

There are hikes, and then there are hikes. Most outdoorsmen will never tackle a hardcore long-distance hike like the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail in their lifetime. They require intense planning, the best thru-hiking gear, superhuman training, and six months or more for the hike itself. But, what if there were a trail that split the difference between an average day hike and an epic, need-to-quit-my-day-job-first thru-hike? Enter the Lost Sierra Route.

The proposed 600-mile path follows the coastline and mountain ridges that connect more than a dozen communities. Starting from Truckee, California — a blip of a town just northwest of Lake Tahoe — the Lost Sierra Route will carve a single-track, multi-use trail dotted with some of the Northwest’s most breathtaking scenery all the way to Reno, Nevada. It’s an impossibly beautiful region full of lush valleys, jagged peaks, high alpine lakes, and historic ghost towns. Soon, it will all be open to hikers, bikers, horseback riders, trail runners, fishermen, hunters, and more.

Mountain bikers riding the trails along California's future Lost Sierra Route.
Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship

California’s non-profit Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) is spearheading the new route’s development as part of the Connected Communities Project. In its own words, the project is “a visionary effort led in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, SBTS, and community partners to connect 15 mountain towns for economic prosperity through outdoor recreation – an $887 billion industry.” It started primarily as a financial development initiative to revitalize the small towns in California hardest hit by decades of decline amid the loss of the logging and mining industries. In recent years, things have only been made worse by record-setting wildfires and COVID-related shutdowns.

But, it’s also about sharing a love for one of the country’s most amazing natural landscapes with every level of outdoorsmen. Hiking long-distance trails like the Pacific Crest Trail and even the relatively “short” John Muir Trail is daunting physically and mentally, requiring significant planning for resupplying with food, water, and gear along the way. By contrast, SBTS’s project coordinator Trinity Stirling wants “to design a trail for everyone and allow them to refuel — get a bite to eat or stay in a hotel  — right on the trail network, leaving a lot of flexibility for trip planning.” Along the planned route, visitors will pass dozens of historic inns, grocers, and local eateries, allowing them to quickly hop off and back on the trail on the fly.

A Trail for Everyone

The first portion of the Lost Sierra Route is slated to open in 2023, while the entire path should be completed around 2030. It’s a long way off, but it should be worth the wait for outdoorsmen who appreciate the stunning natural beauty of Northern California and Nevada. In the meantime, start planning your hike now with some of the best backpacking gear for hitting the trail.

Editors' Recommendations

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
This is my new favorite on-the-go cooler
Yeti's backpack cooler is built to go the distance
The Yeti Hopper M12 Backpack Soft Cooler sitting against a tree.

Every soft cooler I've ever used has had one of two problems — it doesn't keep things cool as long as it promises or it's an awkward shape and absolute pain to lug around. This goes for both entry-level coolers at retail and the one-off promo insulated coolers (I've admittedly used too many of these because my wife works in event management and is constantly accumulating them somehow).

Thankfully, I've finally found a cooler that will forever dodge both issues: . From one of the most popular cooler companies out there, it's no surprise that this backpack is ultra-comfy to carry around, keeps everything cool and extremely stylish.
Just the right size

Read more
How much does it cost to build a golf course?
How much does it cost to build a golf course? The answer isn't a hole in one
A golf course with water views.

Have you ever looked around your favorite golf course and wondered what it took for those magical 18 holes to be the calming oasis you love? Or think you could do better than your local green and build a golf course that won't make you want to throw your driver into the trees? Either way, how much does it cost to build a golf course? The answer isn't a one-swing-fits-all kind of deal. Here's how to break down if building a golf course is something you want to putt around with.
The golf course building details

What to think about first
Before starting a budget for anything, you have to know the details. If you want to update your bathroom, you don't need to do a demo first, then buy the new toilet, and then measure the space.

Read more
Scout debuts Yoho, its first pop-up truck camper, with more models to come
Pack a full kitchen, toilet, and room to sleep 4 adults—all in the bed of almost any midsized pickup.
Rendering of a Toyota Tacoma with a Scout Yoho pop-up truck camper installed.

Way back when, in the dark days of the Pandemic Era, stir-craziness was rampant, fueling an explosion in new RV development. Scout Campers became part of that craze, releasing three new hard-sided truck campers in rapid succession. Now, the Washington-based builder is getting into the "pop-top" game with the debut of its all-new Yoho pop-up truck camper.
Everything we know about Scout's new Yoho pop-up truck camper

Since 2020, Scout Campers' entire line-up of hard-sided truck campers has been about portability, durability, and comfort. The Yoho continues that trend but with an even lighter, more compact, more portable design. Fully deployed, it's similar in size and proportions to its hard-sided brethren. But, Scout used next-gen materials—namely composite panels over an aluminum exoskeleton, a one-piece monocoque composite roof, and featherweight interior materials like recycled paper and bamboo—to pare down the dry weight to just under 1,000 pounds. On the outside, it's purpose-built to fit short- and long-bed midsize trucks like the Toyota Tacoma. What's more, the shorter design lowers the overall center of gravity for improved agility and handling on challenging trails.

Read more