Boat to the back end of Edison Lake and fish for the elusive brown trout.
Camp near the South Fork of the Kings River (you'll definitely hear it) and take a morning stroll through Zumwalt Meadow.
Hike to Lower Cathedral Lake above Tuolumne Meadows, contemplate the universe while stretched out on a sun-warmed slab of smooth, glacier-polished granite, then grab a burger and fries at the grill.
All of these outdoors options, and countless more, are available now or will be before Memorial Day weekend. For this, we can thank a mild winter, early road openings and a general eagerness to get the summer season moving.
Here's a look at how things are shaping up around the southern Sierra Nevada. As always this time of year, rivers and creeks are a major danger. Be extremely cautious around water.
Yosemite National Park
The big news is that Tioga Road had its earliest opening date in more than two decades. It's astonishing compared with last year, when the road didn't open until June 18.
Only primitive facilities are currently open along the famous roadway. No opening date has been set for the Yosemite Creek, Tamarack Flat and Tuolumne Meadows campgrounds, but the Tuolumne Meadows lodge, store and grill open for the season May 25. Other services, including the White Wolf Lodge and Yosemite Mountaineering School, are scheduled to open in early June.
Yosemite's waterfalls are a huge draw this time of year, and flows are hitting their peak. The Four Mile Trail, with its incredible views of Yosemite Falls about a mile up, opened last week, as did the "ice cut" section of the John Muir Trail just below Nevada Fall.
Even though there's not as much snow as normal, hikers will encounter slippery conditions in shaded areas and on north-facing slopes above 8,000 feet. If ice or hard-packed snow is a concern, carry a lightweight traction device like those made by Yaktrax. Better footing is never a bad idea.
Details: nps.gov/yose or (209) 372-0200
Sierra National Forest
Kaiser Pass Road, which links Huntington Lake to the Ansel Adams and John Muir wilderness areas, opened Friday. Not a moment too soon, either, because the first pair of Pacific Crest Trail hikers (hey, it's only 2,650 miles) arrived Saturday at Edison Lake's Vermilion Valley Resort. Now that's getting a leg up.
While some campgrounds are already open, including those at Bass Lake and along lower stretches of the Sierra Vista National Scenic Byway, most at upper elevations remain closed despite the lack of snow. But that could change by next weekend, so stay tuned for updates.
Details: fs.usda.gov/sierra or (559) 297-0706
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
By the Friday of Memorial Day weekend, just about everything will be open in these twin jewels of the Southern Sierra, including the road to Mineral King.
Campgrounds and facilities in Grant Grove, Cedar Grove and Lodgepole are open or will be soon. Same goes for Sequoia National Forest facilities along Highway 180 and at Hume Lake. Campgrounds at Big Meadows, Stony Creek and Dorst Creek are closed.
While you're there, drive to Roads End, hike the four miles to Mist Falls and get tickled by the icy spray. Or head up to Panoramic Point for incredible views of Kings Canyon that on a clear day stretch to the Palisades.
Details: nps.gov/seki or (559) 565-3341.
Things are shaping up nicely at the region's major recreation lakes. Among the biggies, San Luis is currently 74% of capacity, Millerton is 81%, Pine Flat is at 78% and New Melones is at 79%.
In the foothills, McClure is 77% full, Eastman is 75%, Hensley is 55%, Kaweah is 88%, Success is 75% and Isabella is 39%.
Higher up, Bass is 70%, Shaver is 67%, Huntington is 98%, Edison is 70% and Florence is 56%. There are no figures for Wishon, and the road to Courtright should open soon.