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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > Fall Colors in the Eastern Sierra

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hikerdmb

So Cal

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Posted: 10/11/10 10:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We (wife, dog, and me) left right after school/work on Thursday night and pointed our rig north to the Owen’s Valley. Wylie, my dog loved his new backseat platform. See the link here to see some pics of this project.

Our plan was to make it to the Eastern Sierra, hike each day, and cover as much ground in between hikes into some of the most beautiful valleys and canyons of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. We had a bit of traffic on I-15 as we left San Diego County. But after about 5 hours we made it to our first stop. Our first night of this trip we spent in Lone Pine Campground
[image]

just west of the town of Lone Pine, CA and below the 14, 505’ summit of Mt. Whitney.
[image]


We left early on Friday morning and drove north an hour to Bishop. Here we turned west on highway 168 and headed up into the canyons of Bishop Creek. Our plan was to camp at Sabrina Campground but unfortunately it was closed for the season. We made a quick drive up to the lake but then started our back-up plan. Camping plan two was to head up to North Lake and camp there. Unfortunately that was also closed. We did see some of the most beautiful Aspen trees up in this area of the entire trip.
[image]

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Here is a pic from near North Lake looking up at Lamarck Col, a great summer hike that leads into the Evolution Region, but a bit too much snow and too far for this weekend.
[image]

Since this campground was also closed we then went down hill a ways and then up the South Lake Road. We found the Four Jeffries Campground open and got a nice spot with views up toward Mt. Humphries, Basin Mountain, and Mt. Tom.
[image]

After a quick lunch we drove on up to South Lake and began our hike for the day at about 1:00. We hiked up past Long Lake with its view of Mt. Goode.
[image]

Long Lake has a beautiful island at the north end.
[image]

After leaving Long Lake we continued up passed a couple more lakes until we reached the shores of Saddlerock Lake at 11, 250’.
[image]

After hiking two hours to get here, the snow was starting to get a bit deep so this would be our turn around point. We made it back to the rig and returned to our campsite for a well deserved campfire and some beers and then a delicious dinner of orange chicken and rice.

Saturday morning we took one more drive up toward South Lake to get some pics in the morning light. Looking up canyon was amazing.
[image]

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We stopped along the South Fork of Bishop Creek for a few more photos.
Looking up stream.
[image]

And down stream.
[image]

Then we drove back down to highway 395 and headed north to Tom’s Place and a drive up into Rock Creek Canyon. We got a campsite at Rock Creek Lake and felt lucky to have it since this campground would also close in a couple days.
[image]

After a quick lunch we drove up to the trailhead at Mosquito Flat and started our hike for the day into Little Lakes Valley. Again it was about 1:00 before we began hiking so we needed to get a move on so we could get up the trail a few miles and back by dark.
After only about a mile we were rewarded with this lovely panorama of the mountains at the southern end of Little Lakes Valley, including Bear Creek Spire.
[image]

There was much more snow on this trail compared to yesterday, and lots of people for the first couple of miles. After that, the people thinned out but the snow got deeper.
[image]

We continued on up the trail to Long Lake (this is a different Long Lake than yesterday).
[image]

Wylie went swimming in every lake along the trail, not to mention jumping in the creek whenever possible. But in this photo he is actually on the trail. That is the Hourglass behind him.
[image]

We then hiked on up to the Gem Lakes and wandered over to the highest of these lakes at 10,950’ for a well deserved rest stop.
[image]

On the way back down the trail we had to keep stopping for just one more view back up into the upper reaches of Little Lakes Valley. I don’t think I could ever get tired of this view. I have hiked up this trail numerous times including my daughters first Sierra backpacking trip, some solo backpacking trips, and even skied in and camped a couple of nights. This is a beautiful area and very easily hiked. If you have not been here, you should check this area out.
[image]

We made it out from our hike by dark and then drove on down to our campsite and another well deserved fire and more beers. Dinner was delicious pasta and then a movie and to bed. We left early Sunday morning and made it home in time to see the Chargers stink it up against the Raiders. Should have stayed in the mountains longer!

* This post was edited 10/11/10 10:47pm by hikerdmb *


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bubbabod

Beautiful Carlsbad, California

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Posted: 10/12/10 12:02am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great trip and fantastic pictures!


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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 10/12/10 04:42am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Nice photographic work! Nothing like fall colors in the east, central or west [emoticon]

Thanks for all your hard work putting this together!

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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 10/12/10 05:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wonderful photos. Surprised to see the snow, but north and high up, guess it is time for it to start falling.


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tuna fisher

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Posted: 10/12/10 06:18am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We missed fall color this yr in the Sierra's due to other stuff,thanks for sharing.Nice early snow....


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weymard

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Posted: 10/12/10 07:05am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice pictures ! Thanks .


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Crazy Ray

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Posted: 10/12/10 07:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Beautiful photos.


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dbbls

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Posted: 10/12/10 07:49am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another example of pic's in the TC forum. Keep up the good work. We all like it.


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DianneOK

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Posted: 10/12/10 08:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Don't you love fall? We did a lot of hunting in that area and know it well...beautiful!


Dianne (and Terry) (Fulltimed for 9 years)
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lots2seeinmyrv

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Posted: 10/12/10 09:37am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gorgeous...thanks for sharing your pics!

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