California & the West
National park tips: This New Mexico monument has the best guest register in the West


At sunrise, Purple Lake is a reflection of its lovely surroundings in California's Eastern Sierra. Thinking of driving up there for a day or two of solitude? Think again. The only way to get to the remote lake high up in the John Muir Wilderness is on two feet or four. And for those who don't feel like hoofing it, plus hauling up supplies and camping gear themselves, there is the pack outfit, a decades-old tradition.
Spencer Weiner / LAT
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