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Long Lake, Eastern Sierra, Calif.

High-altitude lakes are the hallmark of the Sierra. The lake, a glassy body of water fringed with wildflowers in late summer, sits two well-marked miles from the South Lake Trailhead (9,800 feet) near Bishop. Press on a few more miles and you come to equally scenic Saddlerock Lake just below Bishop Pass. Um, did we mention the awesome peaks? Info: (873) 760-2500, Tom Politeo