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SIERRA NEVADA HIGH COUNTRY

Photographs in this section were taken in the Sierra Nevada high country; generally from trails above 9000 ft. altitude, and in the portion of the range from near Lone Pine to Yosemite. 

 

Kearsarge Pass Trail

North of Lone Pine is the Inyo County Seat at Independence, CA. From here a road winds up the steep face of the Sierra to the Onion Valley pack station and trail head. 

This photograph, taken in August, 1958 shows our pack train on its way up the trail from Onion Valley to Kearsarge Pass (11,823 ft). University Peak (13,632 ft) is seen in the background.  On this occasion our trip continued by pack train past Bullfrog Lake, over Glen Pass (11,978 ft), to the Rae Lakes.   Later, we hiked back to Onion Valley, camping overnight at Bullfrog Lake. 

 

 

 

Bishop Creek Drainage

Bishop Creek flows from South Lake and Lake Sabrina down to Bishop, CA and into the Owens River.  An excellent highway climbs about 4,000 ft. to its end at these two lakes.  Numerous trails lead from the lakes into the high country above.  A major trail leads from South Lake to Bishop Pass, and on to Dusy Basin and then the John Muir Trail in Le Conte Canyon.  Trails also lead from Lake Sabrina, including the one to Blue Lake, Dingleberry Lake, Donkey Lake, and a whole host of other lakes.

 

   

 

 

 

Rock Creek and Little Lakes Valley

From Tom's Place, along Highway 395 south of Mammoth Lakes, a fine road climbs south to Rock Creek Lake (9,696 ft),  and then continues to the trailhead at Mosquito Flat (10,200 ft).  From here an easy trail climbs only slightly into Little Lakes Valley.  Branching from this trail is a short steep trail that crosses Mono Pass (12,000 ft). on its way into the Mono Creek Drainage.   Both trails provide outstanding views of the Valley's lakes and surrounding peaks.   The latter includes Bear Creek Spire (13,713 ft),  Mt. Dade,  Mt. Abbot (13,715 ft),  and Mt. Mills (13,451 ft) -- and their glaciers.  There are at least thirty lakes in Little Lakes Valley, and the trail passes by many of them.   Some images of these photogenic lakes will likely be added to this collection at a future date.

AGNEW MEADOWS TRAILHEADS 

Agnew Meadow is on the west side of the Sierra Main Crest along the road from Mammoth Lakes to Devil's Postpile National Monument.  There is a pack station there, and two important trailheads.   One of these trails descends to meet the River Trail that follows the Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River.  The other is the Pacific Crest Trail that was in the past referred to as the High Trail.  Interesting loop trips can be taken making use of these two trails, lateral trails branching from them, and the John Muir Trail the laterals join.   These trails pass through the high country on the east side of the Ritter Range - comprising the Minarets, Mt. Ritter, Banner Peak, and Mount Davis.   Outstandingly beautiful lakes include Shadow, Ediza, Garnet, and Thousand Island.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Convict Creek Trail to Lake Genevieve

This trip is up Convict Creek above Convict Lake.   The lake, and its excellent restaurant, are only a few miles south of Mammoth Lakes.  Climbing up the narrow and colorful canyon takes the hiker to a set of lakes that are well worth the climb.  They include: Mildred Lake, Lake Dorothy, and Lake Genevieve.  A loop trip via Laurel Canyon is especially rewarding.

 

 

 

 

Minaret Creek to Minaret Lake

Minaret Lake, like Ediza Lake, is at the base of the Minarets in the Ritter Range.   But these two lakes and the creeks flowing from them are separated by the Black Divide.  The trail begins near Devils Postpile National Monument, crosses the San Joaquin River, and generally follows Minaret Creek up to its source at Minaret Lake (shown at right).  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional High Country Scenes

Second Lake and Temple Crag (Big Pine Creek)   8/89 Mt. Conness beyond Greenstone Lake    7/79