A hike of Little Lakes Valley via Mosquito Flat makes for a quintessential Eastern Sierra outdoor experience. This 8.5-mile out-and-back hike passes by six alpine lakes and provides side trail options to quite a few more. Hikers will pass under the 13,000+ ft mountain peaks of Bear Creek Spire, Mt. Dade, Mt. Abbot, and Mt. Mills.
Patriarch Grove rests at an elevation above 11,000ft, and requires 13 miles of driving on an unpaved dirt road. There are two .5 mile hikes at Patriarch Grove, the Timberland Ancients Trail and the Cottonwood Basin Overlook Trail. In this guide, I’ll provide directions, photos, maps, and instructions on combining these two hikes for a 1-mile figure eight loop.
The Discovery Trail is a short 1-mile loop hike that gains a mere 276 ft of elevation within the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. Although this hike is short, it can still be a challenge since it begins at an elevation above 10,000ft. The trailhead for the Discovery Trail is located at Schulman Grove, right outside the Ancient Bristlecone Forest visitor center. In this guide, you’ll find driving directions, maps, instructions, and photos.
The hike to Big Pine Lakes via the North Fork Trail is a great way to see the beauty on display in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Starting at the Big Pine Creek Campground, this trail passes by Mt. Alice, before entering the John Muir Trail Wilderness of Inyo National Forest. There are 7 Big Pine Lakes numbered sequentially. For this hike, we only visited the first three, as snow and ice were blocking the trail for lakes 4-7. The first three lakes are known to be the most scenic, as they sit with the majestic Temple Crag in the background.
Mono Lake is a large and shallow salt water lake just east of Yosemite National Park on HWY 395. Mono Lake is best known for it’s sweeping views of the Sierra Nevada mountains and it’s iconic tufas. One of the best places to see tufas along the shores of Mono Lake, is on the South Tufa Trail.
Alabama Hills is a recreation area made up of scenic rocks and hills located in the Owen’s Valley. Sitting on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Alabama Hills has some of the most impressive low-elevation views a visitor can hope to see of Mt. Whitney and it’s surrounding peaks. In this post I’ll include instructions for this hike and information on camping at Alabama Hills, along with maps and photos.