Sunday, September 24, 2006
SIERRA BLISS WITHOUT ROUGHING IT
The forest setting is rugged, but the digs are not. Plump beds, clean linen, cozy tents and an on-site gourmet chef beckon hike-in guests to this luxury camp. NO pain, no gain. That's what people always say to get you to do something hard, like carry 30 pounds of gear on your back, sleep on the ground, eat freeze-dried food and go without a bath. But if you had the chance to get into the wilderness without such hassle — be honest now — wouldn't you take it?
Some die-hard lovers of the great outdoors claim to appreciate the hardships of backpacking. But I felt plenty appreciative when I heard I could sleep on clean sheets and eat gourmet meals at a new luxury tent camp in Giant Sequoia National Monument.
California's Sequoia High Sierra Camp sits on 40 of the 49,000 acres of private land that was grandfathered into the monument. The High Sierra Camp, at 8,200 feet elevation, contains 36 tents on private land within the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The grounds include an open-air dining pavilion and a bathhouse with flush toilets and hot showers.
Roomy tents with concrete floors come with comfortable beds, a table and chairs. Mesh panels let in light and provide mountain views, although not a lot of privacy.
TO LEARN MORE: Giant Sequoia National Monument is administered by Sequoia National Forest, 1839 S. Newcomb St., Porterville, CA 93257; (559) 784-1500, http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sequoia .
(Excerpts from an article by Susan Spano / L A Times)