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Backpacking in California's Ventana Wilderness


Aaron Zagrodnick
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Aaron Zagrodnick

The Ventana is a designated wilderness just inland from the resort area of Big Sur on the central coast of California. The Ventana Wilderness covers a total area of 375 square miles. For comparison, it is about the size of New York City or one of the smaller Hawaiian Islands. The wild, rugged terrain is in stark contrast with the surroundings, which include nearby major highways and several medium sized cities. And the Ventana becomes wilder every year. I’m sure the Native Americans who lived here until sometime in the mid-nineteenth century never thought they were living in a wilderness. Food was abundant and several sandstone caves provided convenient housing. Life was good. The holes in which they ground acorn meal and their wall paintings can still be seen. In the past, there was an extensive network of maintained trails connecting scores of campsites. As funding for the...

@George Graybill shares this story detailing a spring backpacking trip in California's Ventana Wilderness - take a look in Issue 51:

Wild and Alone: Hiking The Ventana

Ventana Wilderness Backpacking

Issue 51 Page 1

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  • 4 weeks later...
Michael aka Mac

Hey Aaron,  have you ever had the chance to go hiking in Yosemite,  It was one of the most amazing  hiking/ camping trips of my life.

I even remember the fawn that came up to me and ate out of my hand ( for the record i had been vaccinated for Lyme disease)

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Aaron Zagrodnick

I have not - but maybe @George Graybill has (he was the author of the article). Amazing place from what I've seen and heard though!

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  • 3 months later...

Hey Michael 

We have done tons of trips in Yosemite---we consider it our backyard in the Sierra, as well as Emigrant Wilderness.  Where did you hike in Yosemite? 

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Michael aka Mac

Hi Balzaccom

It was decades ago and I really can't say but I went to various places there. Even the lodging was quite memorable. Nothing like waking up in the morning overlooking a beautiful waterfall.

Though the most memorable part was the journey to there, driving through one of the Great Redwood trees, and looking up to see the trees as tall as a skyscraper.

Yosemite truly was my favorite place I have ventured to.

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Hi Michael

If you were driving in and through redwoods, you were probably in Sequoia....or maybe Calaveras Big Trees.

The redwoods in Yosemite are off the road, in Wawona, Tuolumne, and Merced Groves..

Edited by balzaccom
Gramnar
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Michael aka Mac

the Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite National Park I think was where we drove through a Redwood, but again it was decades ago and even if it was only last year  I am not really good with names, being a numbers guy and all.

Either way, the memories of Yosemite will always be with me.

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