I wrote last week about how we decided to escape for a few days to the Eastern Sierras. Neither of us had been and we ended up in the Inyo National Forest. It was surprisingly difficult to research long hikes in the area, possibly because the area is most well known for the John Muir Trail which is REALLY long and Mt. Whitney which is REALLY high.
But then we heard about the Little Lakes Valley, an easy hike at a high elevation that offered alpine lake after alpine lake. Since neither of us had ever been to this area, we were not really sure what to expect. What we found was the most beautiful trail I have ever been on. You can find out more about this trail here and here. Everything that is written about elevation is no joke. It starts at around 10K and while this short hike could be considered a walk in the park, if you aren't acclimated to altitude it will take a serious toll on you.
The trail follows water the entire time. As you go from lake to lake, streams and creeks coming down from the peaks around you pass the trail and fill the lakes. The water is crystal clear. The trail is well maintained but water proof shoes come in handy on this trail as there are several points of water crossing and water often flows down the trail as well.
We couldn't have asked for better weather. The temperature was in the high seventies during the day and the skies were crystal clear. There were patches of snow along the trail but the trail only had a patch or two we had to get through. the pictures don't even capture how amazing it was.
You could see trout in the creek the whole way down and we saw people fishing some of the first lakes we passed. You can see in the picture above just how clear the water was. The last lake we got to was partially frozen still.
I still have trouble describing just how gorgeous this trail was. It is a part of the John Muir Wilderness and it seems fitting that such a beautiful part of this mountain range would carry his name. We are already scheming on how to get back to explore the area even more.