“The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~ John Muir
We share this esteemed naturalist’s views, the allure of these mountains is that strong. It is a spiritual experience, for sure, and the recommended hike passed on to our friend Nina by a forest ranger was to most definitely do Little Lakes Trail. We were blessed with a rainstorm a few days earlier so we knew without a doubt there would be snow topping the rugged peaks of the John Muir Wilderness where this hike was to take us.
Looking at the topographical map at Mosquito Flats, our jumping-off point, we saw evidence of literally hundreds of lakes dotting the mountainsides. Our hike was to take us by a mere six of these sparkling jewels, ending at Gem Lake, where we lunched lake-side, surrounded by snow-covered granite peaks. Could life possibly get any better than this?!
Considering the hikes we had done at June Lake and many others that were available in this area, Little Lakes was relatively easy, a 7-miler beginning at 10,300 feet and topping out at just shy of 11,000 feet…piece of cake! For sightseeing, these are my kind of hikes, not too taxing to leave me huffing and puffing, just a nice, easy hiking pace while enjoying the grandeur all around me, and there was plenty of that! Sparkling lakes, alpine meadows and many thirteeners surrounded us, Mt. Dade, Mt. Abbot, Mt. Mills, and Bear Creek Spire, to name a few.
We marveled at the condition of this trail as we wound along meadows and shimmering lakes. Perhaps it is so well-maintained because it is a popular trek. Going early and in the off-season is recommended, as we did, and were rewarded with very few hikers on our way out. This trail is also popular with the fishing and climbing enthusiasts.
From our campground at Horton Creek, it is an approximate 45-minute drive on Hwy 395 to get to this lovely trailhead, where the mountains are calling anyone who wants to experience Mother Nature at her finest.
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27 thoughts on “The Mountains are Calling ~ John Muir Wilderness ~ Eastern Sierras, CA”
These pictures look like many old paintings, I have seen of this area, except, of course, the ones with the young folks in them. Beautiful, as usual. Please continue having safe and wonderful journeys.
Thanks Joan. One more week in the mountains then down to the San Diego area.
Sounds like it was an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing LuAnn
It was pretty special and you are welcome Alastair. 🙂
Good times for sure 🙂
Yes there are. 🙂
Absolutely beautiful! I MUST do this hike!
It was stunning and I would highly recommend it! 🙂
Your photos are fabulous! What a wonderful time you are all having. Keep the good times rolling!
Thanks Marsha! Are you two any closer to finding a 5th wheel?
Al and I went on another hike in the State Park today. Need to get back in shape especially after the hikes you’ve posted. Easy 7 mile hike? That’s our goal. Still need to work on getting past 4 miles easily 🙂
I must admit that we have been getting after it lately, especially since we are in such a great place to hike. If I get away from it for awhile, it takes me some time to get back into hiking shape. It took me some time to acclimate to higher elevation hiking.
Such great shots – I definitely need to get out of the flat midwest and see some mountains again sometime soon!
Thanks Will. Am I hearing a road trip in your near future? 🙂
Lovely words and photos, and to answer your questions it would take a lot to be better than your experiences.
Thanks Stefan. Have a lovely day. 🙂
GREAT shot of our lunch spot stop!! And so love the “zen” shot of Paul too!
Beautiful shots! I’m tempted to pack my hiking shoes and go…
Just amazingly wonderful LuAnn. Regarding your sentence, “can life possibly get in better than this…nope! Keep enjoying yourselves! Penny, xx
Thanks Penny! Hope you are having a fabulous weekend! 🙂
Yes I am thanks LuAnn! 🙂
Thank you. 🙂
You let me savour the glorious landscape of your country with your pictures and words LuAnn. Thank you so much 🙂
We have a lot of beauty here, especially in nature, but you are the consummate travel guide. 🙂
lovely pics..a nice post..