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Introducing girlfriend to Sierra/ Favorite Day Hikes in Eastern Sierra

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  • jj442434
    I will be completing the JMT from Tuolumne Meadows to Whitney Portal on August 19th of this year. Camping at Guitar Lake on the 18th, I should finish sometime
    Message 1 of 11 , May 1, 2014
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      I will be completing the JMT from Tuolumne Meadows to Whitney Portal on August 19th of this year. Camping at Guitar Lake on the 18th, I should finish sometime in the early afternoon on the 19th. 


      My girlfriend will be driving up from LA to meet me at the portal, at which point we will have a mini vacation in the Eastern Sierra before school starts on the 25th, so we have 5 days, not including the 19th or the 25th, to do something.


      On the 19th, I think I will just want to crash in one of the motels in Lone Pine. If last year is any indication, I will hate that descent from Whitney.


      After this, however, I want to take her to see the Sierra and Bishop and Mammoth. So far, I think I want to do:


      Day hike from Horseshoe Meadows on the first day, probably to Long Lake and back. How difficult is it to get a campsite there on a Wednesday?


      Day hike from Mosquito Flats CG, along Little Lakes Valley Tr, to Morgan Pass. Any suggestions for which campsite along Rock Creek road is the best?


      Go to Wild Willy's Hot Spring (near Mammoth) at night, under the stars. This is BLM land, right? Meaning we could camp a little of the road for free?


      Any other suggestions for day hikes or things to do? Any must see places to swim? I really want to make this special for her, she is from LA but has never been to the Sierra. She's in good shape, but will not be fresh off a JMT hike, which is something to keep in mind.


      Any suggestions, hikes or otherwise, are welcome. Thanks.



    • Joe MacLeish
      Take her to Bodie Ghost town and Mono Lake. The Obsidian dome or Glass Mountain is also cool. She may not want to hike all day, every day. Joe From:
      Message 2 of 11 , May 1, 2014
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        Take her to Bodie Ghost town and Mono Lake.  The Obsidian dome or Glass Mountain is also cool.  She may not want to hike all day, every day.  

        Joe

         

        From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jj442434@...
        Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2014 6:03 PM
        To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Introducing girlfriend to Sierra/ Favorite Day Hikes in Eastern Sierra

         

         

        I will be completing the JMT from Tuolumne Meadows to Whitney Portal on August 19th of this year. Camping at Guitar Lake on the 18th, I should finish sometime in the early afternoon on the 19th. 

         

        My girlfriend will be driving up from LA to meet me at the portal, at which point we will have a mini vacation in the Eastern Sierra before school starts on the 25th, so we have 5 days, not including the 19th or the 25th, to do something.

         

        On the 19th, I think I will just want to crash in one of the motels in Lone Pine. If last year is any indication, I will hate that descent from Whitney.

         

        After this, however, I want to take her to see the Sierra and Bishop and Mammoth. So far, I think I want to do:

         

        Day hike from Horseshoe Meadows on the first day, probably to Long Lake and back. How difficult is it to get a campsite there on a Wednesday?

         

        Day hike from Mosquito Flats CG, along Little Lakes Valley Tr, to Morgan Pass. Any suggestions for which campsite along Rock Creek road is the best?

         

        Go to Wild Willy's Hot Spring (near Mammoth) at night, under the stars. This is BLM land, right? Meaning we could camp a little of the road for free?

         

        Any other suggestions for day hikes or things to do? Any must see places to swim? I really want to make this special for her, she is from LA but has never been to the Sierra. She's in good shape, but will not be fresh off a JMT hike, which is something to keep in mind.

         

        Any suggestions, hikes or otherwise, are welcome. Thanks.

         

         

      • Jgoring1
        Get a cabin at rock creek lakes resort above toms place. Right up around 10000 feet in the little lakes valley. Excellent day hiked in alpine eastern Sierra
        Message 3 of 11 , May 1, 2014
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          Get a cabin at rock creek lakes resort above toms place.  Right up around 10000 feet in the little lakes valley.  Excellent day hiked in alpine eastern Sierra splendor.  And pie for breakfast!

          Sent from my iPhone

          On May 1, 2014, at 7:14 PM, "Joe MacLeish" <jmacleish@...> wrote:

           

          Take her to Bodie Ghost town and Mono Lake.  The Obsidian dome or Glass Mountain is also cool.  She may not want to hike all day, every day.  

          Joe

           

          From: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of jj442434@...
          Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2014 6:03 PM
          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [John Muir Trail] Introducing girlfriend to Sierra/ Favorite Day Hikes in Eastern Sierra

           

           

          I will be completing the JMT from Tuolumne Meadows to Whitney Portal on August 19th of this year. Camping at Guitar Lake on the 18th, I should finish sometime in the early afternoon on the 19th. 

           

          My girlfriend will be driving up from LA to meet me at the portal, at which point we will have a mini vacation in the Eastern Sierra before school starts on the 25th, so we have 5 days, not including the 19th or the 25th, to do something.

           

          On the 19th, I think I will just want to crash in one of the motels in Lone Pine. If last year is any indication, I will hate that descent from Whitney.

           

          After this, however, I want to take her to see the Sierra and Bishop and Mammoth. So far, I think I want to do:

           

          Day hike from Horseshoe Meadows on the first day, probably to Long Lake and back. How difficult is it to get a campsite there on a Wednesday?

           

          Day hike from Mosquito Flats CG, along Little Lakes Valley Tr, to Morgan Pass. Any suggestions for which campsite along Rock Creek road is the best?

           

          Go to Wild Willy's Hot Spring (near Mammoth) at night, under the stars. This is BLM land, right? Meaning we could camp a little of the road for free?

           

          Any other suggestions for day hikes or things to do? Any must see places to swim? I really want to make this special for her, she is from LA but has never been to the Sierra. She's in good shape, but will not be fresh off a JMT hike, which is something to keep in mind.

           

          Any suggestions, hikes or otherwise, are welcome. Thanks.

           

           

        • jj442434
          I actually looked into that resort. It s a little out of our price range, I should have mentioned that we re both college students.
          Message 4 of 11 , May 1, 2014
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            I actually looked into that resort. It's a little out of our price range, I should have mentioned that we're both college students.
          • sierranevada@ymail.com
            Wild Willies can be pretty wild, party central, especially on weekends. Maybe that s fine, but its not the best camp spot for sure. It s a parking lot with a
            Message 5 of 11 , May 1, 2014
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              Wild Willies can be pretty wild, party central, especially on weekends.  Maybe that's fine, but its not the best camp spot for sure. It's a parking lot with a long walkway to the hot springs. The other hot springs in the area are better for camping where you can drive close to the springs and not have too many people around.  Be low profile and responsible about camping, but it's awesome at night under the stars and the price is right.  If you're an early riser, sunrise soaking is great while it's chilly and everyone is still sleeping.  Ask around in Mammoth or email me for directions.

              For day hikes besides the one's you mentioned, try Devils Postpile and then Rainbow Falls in the afternoon for best rainbows. These are pretty easy but scenic and interesting. Waterfall flows might be low in August this year, but it's a winner.
            • whcobbs
              I assume you are referring to the parking lot at the end of Whitney Portal Road. Early afternoon arrival may be an ambitious schedule. I left Guitar Lake at
              Message 6 of 11 , May 2, 2014
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                I assume you are referring to the parking lot at the end of Whitney Portal Road.  Early afternoon arrival may be an ambitious schedule.  I left Guitar Lake at 7 am and reached the Portal Parking Lot at  10:30 PM (by headlamp).  I had the benefit of hiking down from Whiney Junction with a friendly group, and I did wait about 40 minutes while they struck camp on the way down.  They graciously gave me a ride into Lone Pine.  Especially for hikers departing via the northbound bus, I do recommend the Dow Villa.  The bus stopped just across the street at the McDonalds.

                Happy trails,

                 

                Walt


                 

              • tknapp86
                In Mammoth area... June Lake Loop is great for swimming and fishing. You can make a full day out of June, Gull, Silver, Rush Creek, Reverse Creek. Nice little
                Message 7 of 11 , May 2, 2014
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                  In Mammoth area...


                  June Lake Loop is great for swimming and fishing. You can make a full day out of June, Gull, Silver, Rush Creek, Reverse Creek. Nice little general store and places to eat.


                  Day hikes out of Coldwater Campground to Duck Lake / Pika Lake are wonderful, as is the hike to Crystal Lake from Lake George parking lot.


                  Sherwin Lakes trails are also nice, but can be dusty and hot, pretty steep climbing as well.


                  As far as must swim places, I would say June Lake, but I avoid the beach area. I walk around the left side of the beach area or park along the roadside and climb down to the rocky shore and swim out there away from the crowds. Rainbow Falls is pretty fun to swim at, water is cold though.


                  Sounds like a great trip, have fun!

                • ravi_jmt2013
                  I m not sure if this has already been mentioned in the thread but consider the ancient bristlecone pine forest:
                  Message 8 of 11 , May 2, 2014
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                    I'm not sure if this has already been mentioned in the thread but consider the ancient bristlecone pine forest:

                    http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/specialplaces/?cid=stelprdb5129900

                    There is a free (donation accepted) campground nearby if you want to stay overnight, but I did this as a day trip several years ago while car camping above Big Pine. 

                    http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/inyo/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=20268&actid=29

                    The road to the first grove is paved. 
                  • medici95014
                    Just north of Mammoth Lakes a mile off 395 (turn to the east on Owens River Road) is Big Creek Cpgd. Free. No water. Can fill up on weekends, but usually
                    Message 9 of 11 , May 2, 2014
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                      Just north of Mammoth Lakes a mile off 395 (turn to the east on Owens River Road)
                      is Big Creek Cpgd.  Free.  No water. Can fill up on weekends, but usually not.  Good access to
                      any of the Mammoth hikes as well as Toms Cabin/Little Lakes Valley.

                      Little Lakes Valley is a terrific introduction to the Sierra.  Hike starts at 9k' and you top
                      out a little over 10k' at the highest lake in the basin.  No real views from Morgan Pass.
                      I recommend you take the turnoff (signed) at the bottom of the pass trail up to the
                      lake that sits at the top of the cirque.  Very nice.  Can't remember the name, but it's
                      obvious on the map.

                      Once you head up into the Bishop Basin toward North/South/Sabrina Lakes, it's 
                      restricted to pay campsites, which can all fill up on weekends.  4 Jeffrey is usually
                      the last one open.  Nice hike (~6 miles round trip) up to Treasure Lakes from 
                      South Lake.  Also lots of exploring to do out of Lake Sabrina hiking as far as
                      Hungry Packer Lake.  

                      Glacier Lodge Road out of Big Pine takes you to a trailhead providing access
                      to the Pine Creek Lakes below Palisades Glacier.  You can do a longish loop
                      and return via Black Lake.  The only free camping that I know of in this area
                      is near Aberdeen at Goodale Crk or Taboose Crk campgrounds.

                      Pete


                    • Paul Fretheim
                      It s never full at Horseshoe Meadow.
                      Message 10 of 11 , May 3, 2014
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                        It's never full at Horseshoe Meadow.

                        On May 1, 2014 6:03 PM, <jj442434@...> wrote:
                         

                        I will be completing the JMT from Tuolumne Meadows to Whitney Portal on August 19th of this year. Camping at Guitar Lake on the 18th, I should finish sometime in the early afternoon on the 19th. 


                        My girlfriend will be driving up from LA to meet me at the portal, at which point we will have a mini vacation in the Eastern Sierra before school starts on the 25th, so we have 5 days, not including the 19th or the 25th, to do something.


                        On the 19th, I think I will just want to crash in one of the motels in Lone Pine. If last year is any indication, I will hate that descent from Whitney.


                        After this, however, I want to take her to see the Sierra and Bishop and Mammoth. So far, I think I want to do:


                        Day hike from Horseshoe Meadows on the first day, probably to Long Lake and back. How difficult is it to get a campsite there on a Wednesday?


                        Day hike from Mosquito Flats CG, along Little Lakes Valley Tr, to Morgan Pass. Any suggestions for which campsite along Rock Creek road is the best?


                        Go to Wild Willy's Hot Spring (near Mammoth) at night, under the stars. This is BLM land, right? Meaning we could camp a little of the road for free?


                        Any other suggestions for day hikes or things to do? Any must see places to swim? I really want to make this special for her, she is from LA but has never been to the Sierra. She's in good shape, but will not be fresh off a JMT hike, which is something to keep in mind.


                        Any suggestions, hikes or otherwise, are welcome. Thanks.



                      • yesyesiwillyes
                        Hey! I can t help you with where to car-camp along Rock Creek Road, but if you re up for a quick overnight you can camp up by Morgan Pass. It s an easy trail
                        Message 11 of 11 , May 12, 2014
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                          Hey!

                          I can't help you with where to car-camp along Rock Creek Road, but if you're up for a quick overnight you can camp up by Morgan Pass. It's an easy trail except for the quick altitude gain at the end—I did it with zero difficulty in October after having spent two months at sea level after last summer's JMT. 

                          Rock Creek Canyon is seriously underrated for hiking. If you want your girlfriend to experience a total moonscape, choose Mono Pass over Morgan Pass (same Mosquito Flat trailhead). Have a quick snack at the lake there, then stop at gorgeous little Ruby Lake on the way down for lunch and a dip. For an overnight (or two), a friend recommended Pioneer Basin, just down from Mono Pass.

                          If you want to offtrail a bit, the lakes on Tamarack Bench on the north side of the canyon are fun, easy, rewarding bushwhacks. Try for Dorothy Lake. And another simple, short bushwhack on the way to Morgan Pass is to Treasure Lake, one of the most stunning and accessible lakes in the area. 

                          Don't forget to stop for a slice of pie at Rock Creek Resort!

                          As far as swimming along 395 is concerned, try the pools just before Keough's Hot Springs. The turnoff is easy to miss; if you're heading north toward Bishop, it's about two-thirds of the way past Big Pine. Keough's itself is kitschy but fun, but heading up there if you take the dirt roads to your right you'll end up in a series of hot springs. I think you can camp out there. I know people who have, at least. 

                          You'll have a great time and she'll be hooked!
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