Lone Pine, CA
On our last full day in Bishop we decided to drive north for a hike on the Little Lakes Valley Trail which begins near the Mosquito Flats Campground. To get to the trailhead we drove north on US-395 for about twenty-two miles and turned west on to Rock Creek Road at the Tom’s Place exit. The clouds hanging over the mountains created a great scene as we drove north.
As we headed up Rock Creek Road the sky became quite dark and a light rain began to fall.
But you gain about three thousand feet of elevation on this road so as we continued, we eventually broke through the clouds and the sky cleared.
Once we arrived at the trailhead we realized that we had made a serious mistake. When we left the motorhome we were dressed for a hike at that elevation (about 4,100′). But the hike begins at an elevation of about 10,000 ft! Now, this is not the first time we have hiked at that elevation, and we know that the temperature drops sharply as you go up that high. When we left Bishop the temperature was in the mid-60s. When we arrived at the trailhead, the temperature was 44 degrees with a moderate wind and a low cloud hanging in the canyon…no sun. There we were, sitting in the Jeep with shorts on and carrying only a light jacket. We know better! Other people preparing for the hike were dressed in long pants, winter jackets, hats, gloves, etc. OK, no way we are doing this hike!
As we drove back down to Bishop we quickly developed “plan B” and headed back to the motorhome to put on a few more articles of clothing. Once properly dressed for a high elevation hike we drove out of Bishop on Rte. 168 going up a scenic canyon headed for Lake Sabrina. Lake Sabrina is a lake created by damming the middle fork of Bishop Creek. The dam was built in 1908 to supply a constant flow of water to the hydraulic power plants located along the creek. Like the rest of California, the lake is showing the effects of the extended drought.
There is a trail that goes along the hillside on the far side of the lake. It begins a ways down the road from the parking area we were in, so we walked across the dam and scrambled up the other side to find it.
We enjoyed great views of the mountains surrounding the lake as we hiked.
We hiked up the trail for about two miles when a light rain began to fall. Rather than risk the chance of the weather deteriorating we decided to turn around and head back.
Once back at the Jeep we headed down the road a bit before turning on a narrow dirt road leading to North Lake. The Aspens lit up the road along the way.
We woke up Sunday morning to a steady rain. Since we don’t travel in the rain it looked like we would be spending another day in Bishop, but mid-morning the rain stopped and the sky cleared. This allowed us to pack up and head further south down US-395 to the town of Lone Pine. The rain in Bishop was snow at high elevations, giving the mountains on either side of us a nice covering of white.
After a drive of just sixty miles we pulled into Boulder Creek RV Park just behind Dave and Sue (Beluga’s Excellent Adventure) and set up in our site next to them. The view to the east and west of us is quite beautiful.
The Lone Pine area is filled with interesting things to do and see. We paid for a week in our site but have the option to extend our stay if we want to stay longer. With the arch-filled Alabama Hills just around the corner a few more days may be necessary.
More on that later . . .