Mountain Magic: Truckee to Yosemite Valley

Heed the playful call of California’s alpine majesty.

Trip length: 4-5 days
Total distance: 981mi/1578km

TRUCKEE. Fuel up with omelets at teeny-tiny Squeeze In . Go for a family-friendly bike ride with Tahoe Mountain Guides , or explore backcountry trails at Donner Summit . INFO Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce ; 530/587-8808

SQUAW VALLEY (12mi/19km; 20min). At High Camp , splash in a free-form heated pool at 8,200 feet. Get a massage at the Resort at Squaw Creek . Treat the kids to Shirley Temples at Plumpjack Café .
INFO North Lake Tahoe Visitors' Bureaus ; 800/462-5196

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (38mi/61km; 1hr6min). Ride the Heavenly Mountain Resort  gondola for Instagram-worthy views. Snack on waffle sandwiches at Red Hut on Lake Tahoe Blvd . INFO Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority ; 800/288-2463

KIRKWOOD (33mi/53km; 46min). At Kirkwood Mountain Resort, challenge yourself on a massive 10-line zip-line course (ages 8 and up), or try lift-accessed hiking or mountain biking. INFO Kirkwood Mountain Resort ; 209/258-6000

BEAR VALLEY (105mi/168km; 2hr47min). Take a family rock climbing lesson with Mountain Adventure Seminars . Fish in pretty Lake Alpine. Enjoy Bear Valley Music Festival (late July to mid-Aug). INFO Alpine County Chamber of Commerce ; 530/594-2475

MAMMOTH LAKES (232mi/ 373km; 5hr43min). Dig into biscuits and gravy at The Breakfast Club , then go mountain biking at Mammoth Mountain. Take a dip in natural hot springs. INFO Mammoth Lakes Tourism ; 888/466-2666

LONE PINE (100mi/160km; 1hr43min). Wind through the Alabama Hills (a favorite backdrop for Westerns). Visit the Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film History . INFO Lone Pine Chamber of Commerce ; 760/876-4444

SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK (278mi/447km; 5hr7min). Visit fascinating Giant Forest Museum . Conquer 400 steps to the top of 6,725-foot Moro Rock (stargazing programs here in summer). INFO Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks ; 559/565-3341

WAWONA (157mi/253km; 3hr 24min). Saddle up for a trail ride into Yosemite National Park. Relax at rustically elegant Wawona Hotel , built in 1879. INFO Parks and Resorts at Yosemite ; 801/559-4884

YOSEMITE VALLEY (26mi/42km; 52min). Pedal the valley on paved paths (rental bikes available in the park). See works by master photographers at Ansel Adams Gallery . INFO Yosemite National Park ; 209/372-0200