Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Very Favorite Hike

I've been to the Little Lakes Valley many times and never tire of it. To find the trailhead, turn off 395 at Tom's Place (north of Bishop, CA) onto Rock Creek Rd. Go up, up, up, past Rock Creek Lake (shown here), to the very end of the road, a place called Mosquito Flat.

You'll be up at 10,000 feet elevation, where all the good stuff is. Very little elevation gain is involved in this hike.

The yellow flowers show my route this time - going south on the trail, then doing a semi-off-trail loop around two of the lakes - a total of about 4 miles round trip. There are many other choices and many other lakes that can be done from this trailhead.

The first lake you come to is Mack Lake. Believe it or not, this is the least scenic of the bunch.

Then comes Marsh Lake - a real jewel with marshy grasses and the Sierra Mountains in the background.

Up and over a small rise and you cross Ruby Creek to head down to Heart Lake.

At the head of Heart Lake, I left the main trail, and worked my way up to the foot of Box Lake on a secondary trail.

From there, you can walk along the shoreline to the first Hidden Lake.

And then to the second Hidden Lake.

Remember the red stuff I saw on my 20 Lakes Basin hike? Well, they have it here too - it seems to grow in the cracks of rocks and is more brilliant with the sun behind it.

Then, I went the rest of the way around the first Hidden Lake to the head of Box Lake, and got back on the main trail.

Looking down on Box Lake from the main trail.

Then back to Heart Lake where some water dogs were having a great time.


  1. Oh my all of the pictures are just so beautiful if I had to choose a favorite I just could not. I did really like the one with the red flowers growing through the cracks in the rocks, mother nature is amazing, thanks so much for sharing :o)

  2. Beautiful hike. I logged it in my trail book for when I 'do' California. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Gorgeous! Your blog has become a camper's and hiker's bible. Thanks for all the photos and documentation!!!

  4. Thanks for giving away all you secrets! Your adventures keep getting better and better.

  5. We did that hike 3 years in a row - stayed at East Fork Campground along Rock Creek Memorial Day weekend. It's definitely an easy way to get into the John Muir Wilderness - such beauty so close to the end of the road.

    If you head south down the 395, give me a shout - I'm in Forest Falls, east of San Bernardino.

  6. Great hike and pics. Wish I was there! I can see why it's your favorite. :)

  7. WHAT a beautiful place to hike, no wonder its your favorite..and I like the map so I can see exactly where you are--that makes it even more interesting--and I like the idea of not much elevation gain...WHAT views and so much lovely water--your photos are super- I tried looking at the Red Stuff--no idea what it is!! I bet some of the locals would know if you run into anyone.

  8. What a great place to enjoy fall weather and fall colors. All of the lakes are beautiful, but Marsh Lake is the winner for me.

    P.S. Diana, I couldn't respond to your question on my blog since your email for responses isn't active ... in short Alaska has been very good to us on both trips with more days of sunshine and clear skies than rain and overcast ... long answer is in the comments section here ... http://2totravel.blogspot.com/2010/08/kenai-fjords-boat-tour.html.

  9. OMG. Thanks, Diana for reminding me of this spot. Two years from today we will be there.

  10. That was an amazing hike, for sure. I hope to do it again soon - maybe next year.

  11. Love the mountain scenes.. I think I am gonna have to get up 395 one of these days. Thanks for the post!


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