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Lake Hopping the Eastern Sierra (Oct 2022)

The Eastern Sierra.

I don't know if they are less well known, harder to get to, or I was just oblivious, but while I've driven past the majestic peaks numerous times - on my way to and from Death Valley - I've never really taken the time to explore the mountain range that boasts the tallest peak (Mt. Whitney, at 14,505 feet) in the contiguous United States.

But, over the last few years - as I've ventured into the Volcanic Tablelands, and here and there within the Owens Valley - I've reveled in the rocky faces and snowy peaks. Now, finally, we'd get a chance to explore - climbing to elevations of more than 12,000 feet - as we lake hop in the Eastern Sierra.

 

 

Coyote Flat via Big Pine Route - Eastern Sierra #1 Coyote Flat via Big Pine Route | Eastern Sierra #1 - The Eastern Sierra. I don't know if they are less well known, harder to get to, or I was just oblivious, but while I've driven past the majestic peaks numerous times - on my way to and from Death Valley - I've never really taken the time to explore the…
Coyote Flat via Bishop Route - Eastern Sierra #2 Coyote Flat via Bishop Route | Eastern Sierra #2 - Our night below the The Hunchback couldn't have been more pleasant. Though we were at 10,500-feet, temperatures never dropped below the mid-40s °F, and even getting up for a bathroom break and some less-than-mediocre star photos was an enjoyable few minutes. Unlike the previous morning when I hadn't set my…
They Built a Road to the Sky | Eastern Sierra #3 They Built a Road to the Sky | Eastern Sierra #3 - We awoke on the third morning of our trip, full of anticipation. Or at least, full of something that starts with an "a." Perhaps apprehension. Whatever it was, we knew we needed to get an early start on our day, and so were down the ladder before the sun rose…
A Quick Jaunt to Laurel Lakes | Eastern Sierra #4 A Quick Jaunt to Laurel Lakes | Eastern Sierra #4 - We arrived at the Laurel Lakes trailhead just after 9:15am on a Sunday morning. Aware that this was a reasonably well-known destination, we were a little worried that the trail - and lakes themselves - would be crowded. On the flip side, I knew that portions of it were considered…

 

6 Comments

  1. Keith
    Keith October 12, 2022

    I was down there first weekend of Oct we must of just missed each other. It was spectacular! I as like you have driven past all these gems for years and finally made a trip to explore!

    • turbodb
      turbodb October 12, 2022

      I don't know whether to say "cool!" (that you were there) or "bummer!" (that we missed each other)! We were there for 4 days starting on Thursday the 6th. Were you there the weekend before us (which I suppose was technically the first weekend of Oct)?

      I'd love to hear where you visited while you were there - either here or via email if you don't want to say publicly.

      • Keith
        Keith October 12, 2022

        Yes few days before you then! I left Reno and first turn off was the lil walker basin area, then up to some hot springs by bridget port, twin lakes, camped up green creek, headed out dunderburg mine, up to virginia lakes, lundy lakes, june lakes loops, sagehen summit back roads out from there. Went up top of lee vining to an old mine was really cool 10k ft. thats a round about trip report. Been wanting to hit alot of these trails. Cut out early to come back home as my plan took longer than expected.

        Didnt get to bishop creeek or up to the whites to see some old trees. Next trip.

        • turbodb
          turbodb October 12, 2022

          Nice - sounds like a great trip. I was near the Little Walker Basin last fall when I got to the top of Mt. Patterson - a very cool area. I'll have to do a bit of research on the mines - I always like visiting those types of sites. May shoot you an email if I can't sleuth it out from your description.

          Speaking of mines at high elevations... we hit a couple on our trip as well. Mining cabins were at 10K feet, and the mines themselves were at 11.5K and 12K! Still in remarkable condition!

  2. Mudslide
    Mudslide November 7, 2022

    Such a phenomenal area, not many places are drivable with plenty to explore at that elevation. We were there October 2020, 2021 and for fear, entered from Bishop, glad to see you made it, after reading all the bad stories I chickened out. Checked out that ranch cabin, which is very nice to know they trust people and people are respectful, there are other remnant cabins and mine structures up there as well. We drove up Baker Creek, camped, then hiked to Baker and Hidden Lakes (Hidden has CA Golden Trout, Baker Brook), water level was really down at Hidden, which isn’t very big to begin with, but Baker was gorgeous, catching some fish was icing on the cake.

    I have to admit, you have the most enjoyable and informative blog around, not to mention awesome photos of awesome trips. We’re in SoCal so your southern excursions are in my neighborhood, but hoping to make it up to the PNW empire in the new future.

    • turbodb
      turbodb November 7, 2022

      Wow, thanks for the kind words - always puts a smile on my face when folks enjoy the stories and photos!

      We ran into a couple other structures while we were up there (coming in the next part of the story - hopefully to be posted Wednesday/Thursday), but they were rundown/dilapidated as comapared to the cabin in this installment.

      I'll have to check out Hidden Lakes (and Baker) - I'm always looking for nice hikes in places like this where it's just so enjoyable to wander and wander and wander...

      More SoCal stuff coming as cooler temps set in elsewhere. Of course, probably not to 12K feet, hahaha! 👍

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