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Fall is an amazing time to visit Mammoth Lakes and the Eastern Sierra in California.  In the last week I have been on several great “Fall Color” hikes and am excited about scheduling more in the weeks ahead.

The hike at Lundy Canyon is well worth the drive.  Access the trail head by driving north on Highway 395.  Approximately 7 miles north of Lee Vining turn west on to Lundy Canyon Road.  The trail head begins approximately 2 miles beyond Lundy Lake Resort.   This hike was pretty on October 3 but I expect it to really pop in the next couple of weeks.  You can go further but we hiked about 2.5 miles in and saw some pretty waterfalls.

Gorgeous Aspens with the blue sky in the background.

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Wish I had a better camera but still pretty shot of this waterfall and the leaves in various stages of changing.

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It wouldn’t be a hike without a photo of my boy Javier (and of course, my husband John!).

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2013-08-25 01.33.38Last week I only had an hour but desperately needed some fresh air and perspective.  The quick hike to McLeod Lake did not disappoint.

This is one of the shortest hikes in the area with the trailhead easily accessible from the Horseshoe Lake parking lot.  The starting elevation is 9000’ so if you drive straight to the trailhead, I highly recommend relaxing near the trailhead before starting the hike as it will help get you adjusted to the altitude.  If you just hike to the lake and back it is approximately 1.1 miles.  I prefer to walk around the lake which brings the round trip to approximately 1.76 miles.

Depending on the day or the week and time of day you could find yourself alone on this trail or see dozens of people and dogs.  Either way, your reward will be a beautiful lake in a pristine setting.  Enjoy!


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How to get there:  If driving, take Lake Mary Road until it ends (almost 5 miles from downtown).  The trailhead is near the public restrooms and area signage.  If you decide to take the free town shuttle, catch the Lakes Basin Trolley from The Village (near the gondola on Canyon Blvd) and take the shuttle to stop #104, Horseshoe Lake.

There are so many beautiful places I want to share in my beautiful home of Mammoth Lakes.  Every week I will post a photo for “Where Am I Wednesday?” and you can give your best guess as to my location.  Sometimes there may even be prizes!

Any guesses where my husband and I are in this photo?  Hint:  All photos will be within 10 miles of Mammoth Lakes unless otherwise specified.  Happy guessing!

Where am ?

Where am I?

Living in the Eastern Sierra it is easy to find new hikes and adventures.  Recently my husband and I decided to try a new hike in the June Lake area called Fern Lake.

June Lake is a short 20 minute drive north of Mammoth Lakes.  It is an easy drive — from Highway 395, follow the June Lake Loop (Hwy.158) through the community of June Lakes. Look for the trailhead sign (Fern/Yost Trailhead) with a dirt parking area just west of the Carson Peak Inn.

Fern/Yost JunctionThere are two hikes from this trail head.  The trail splits about one mile in and at this junction you have the choice to head to Fern Lake of Yost Lake.  We decided on the short and steep route to Fern Lake.  Friends tell me the trail to Yost Lake is less steep and longer but not as picturesque.  At the point where the trail splits, there is a magnificent waterfall and we took quite a few photos as the water was really flowing!

This trail is pretty much starts out steep and gets steeper.  It climbs 1500 feet in about 2 miles ending at a beautiful lake tucked inside the Ansel Adams Wilderness.  Most of the hike you will be surrounded by tall Pine and Aspen trees.  Finally when you rise about the tree line you have magnificent views of Silver, Gull and June Lakes.  It was a clear day and we even had views of Mono Lake….breathtaking.

View of June and Gull Lakes

In summary, this is a rewarding hike with magnificent views but it is not a hike to take lightly.  I have bad knees and the .25 mile vertical drop on the return was painful (thank goodness for my hiking sticks).  We ended the day with a jacuzzi, steam and relaxing dinner at Double Eagle Resort which is located near the trailhead.  Highly recommended

Double Eagle Resort

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