Our backpacking group is looking for a hike for our annual trip to the Sierra Nevada. We’re not really sure where to look. Without water, a trip could be a disaster, even dangerous. One just can’t carry enough water to cook and stay hydrated for more than one day. For many enthusiasts, that dependence on the land (and water courses) is the draw — adventure.
This year, we are not even sure the perennial alpine lakes at high elevation will be sufficient. The glaciers have been melting over the last decade and this year’s snowfall was meager at best. We may need to give up on our goal of camping near water every night. So much for traveling light as we mount up extra water bottles.
You can see on the drought monitor map below that the effects of drought have moved up into the mountains this year, and it isn’t even summer yet.
The drought is causing greater sacrifice for many others, but it’s definitely affecting Sierra backpacking this year.