If you’ve already gone the Yosemite route, or the crowds are just too much to handle, look no further than the Emigrant Wilderness. Some 113,000 acres of backpackable country in Stanislaus National Forest lie between Yosemite National Park in the South and the spine of the Sierra Nevada Range to the west. It’s a wild, alpine wonderland, covered in huge granite rock formations and pocked with piercingly cold swimming holes that make for the perfect summer getaway.

For more information on the Emigrant Wilderness, visit the forest service page.
Nonstop Flights from PDX to Fresno (FAT) starting at $218

Every other Tuesday: Weekend escapes, travel deals, lodging and dining picks, and ideas for Northwest getaways. (See an example!)