Photo Op – Camping at White Bark Vista

White Bark Vista is a spectacular viewpoint of the central Sierra Nevada mountains that is accessible via a short 4×4 road. It lies in Sierra National Forest. Alexa, Heidi the dog, and I car camped there July 18th-19th, 2020.

This post is a photo op. That means it is more a collection of pictures from a location than a description of a trip or adventure. Enjoy!

Hike/4×4 Road Length: 1 mile
Location: Near Kaiser Pass, California
Elevation: 9,619 Feet

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Heidi all packed up and ready to go camping


We drove the scenic route from Fresno up Highway 168 towards the vista. Along the way we passed by Shaver Lake and Huntington Lake. Both of these lakes were packed with people enjoying the summer weather. We stopped once on the way to let Heidi splash around in a creek.

At the end of Highway 168 we turned right onto Kaiser Pass Road. After several miles the road got very narrow and winding. I wouldn’t recommend it for large RVs or anyone towing a trailer. 7.3 miles after turning onto Kaiser Pass Road we arrived at the pass. There were a couple pit toilets and a nice but small dirt parking lot.

From the pass we took the 4×4 road towards White Bark Vista. When I say 4×4 road, I mean that we needed reasonably high clearance for it. 4WD was helpful but not 100% required. We were able to get through it just fine in our 2015 Subaru Outback.

After a mile we reached the edge of a ridge with incredible views of the Sierra Nevada stretching in front of us. We paralleled the ridge a bit to find a nice spot to camp and got setup. We relaxed, enjoyed the view, and did a bit of exploring. Here’s some pictures!




Alexa and I read about Comet NEOWISE but hadn’t been able to see it from Fresno. We were hopeful that from the high vantage point of the vista that we would be able to see it. Amazingly, we did! I could barely make it out with my eyes but got a better view with binoculars. Taking pictures made it stand out even more than what we could see with our eyes.


After sunrise we had breakfast and went on a hike to Mount Givens, which was visible from the vista. Overall it was a great trip with more beautiful views than I could really deal with.


  1. You are wonderfully talented and I lov e your photos. I miss you both but just wanted you to be happy. And I know Heidi is! Lots of love.

  2. Great pictures thank you for sharing. Just got a roof top tent and after seeing this spot it looks like this will be my first adventure. How is the weekend trafic in the area? Are any of the small lakes hiking distance?

    1. Thanks! There’s some traffic near Shaver and Huntington Lakes, but away from the lakes traffic isn’t not too bad unless you get behind a slow person that won’t use turnouts. The stretch from Huntington Lake to Kaiser Pass is one lane in sections. Mid-day that stretch can get slow with everyone having to pull over and wait for each other. In the morning I don’t think there’s as many cars so it’s easier.

      Deer Lake is SW of the view point and I think it would be an easy cross country hike to get to it from the road that leads to the vista. Lakecamp Lake is south of Mt Givens and looks accessible by hiking the Dusy-Ershim OHV Route a ways. The lakes to the north of Mt Givens might be accessible, but it would be a steep descent from the ridge. Have fun!

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