adventure, camera, hiking, hot springs, photography, travel

Hot Creek and Gorge

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Hot Creek Geological Site is one of the many diverse geothermal locations near Mammoth Lakes. The land is rich in volcanic history and has so many hot springs most of which you can freely bathe and relax in. This one is unique though. The water in the main springs (pictured below) is quite blue (yes it really is that color). While the water in the creek formed around all these springs is green (I suppose from all the algae growing in it). The gorge itself is much larger than I ever would have thought just from seeing photos. The pools are probably close to 100 feet blow us and the gorge, which has a trail running along much of its base, is quite long. Is the distance loom the might Sierras and all around are geodes and amazing rock formations from ancient volcanic activity. Sadly you can’t get in the pools anymore as they have been closed to protect them. But who’s complaining when we have so much beauty to enjoy and many other pools are still open to all. Have you seen this epic gorge yet?

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hiking, lodging, photography, sierra nevada, travel, travel tips

Free Camping in the Sierras

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One of my favorite things about visiting the Sierra’s on the eastern side is all the free camping. Camping allows you to get out in nature in a much closer more intimate way. Cooking your own food and surviving the elements are so much fun (both of which we did on this trip as a huge storm blew throughout the entire night and the next morning we cooked an entire brunch on our fire!). Much of the land in the Sierra’s is BLM land which is generally free to camp in year round. Many of the campgrounds become free in the off season as well. We like Holiday Campground near Tom’s Place, Glass Creek Campground near Mammoth, and Buckeye dispersed camping near the Buckeye Hot Springs (probably the best in the sierras that I’ve been to). Make sure to get a fire permit (available for free online) and put your fire completely out. We don’t need the forest burning any more than it already has.

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adventure, hiking, photography, sierra nevada, travel

Sharing the Sierra’s Secrets

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I love driving down the 395 (the main highway along the eastern edge of the Sierra Nevada Range in California) and finding new and unexplored (by me) roads into the mountains. One such road that I found near Bridgeport was Green Creek Road, a 9 mile winding gravel road that eventually dead ends near a campground. Hiking further up the trail continues deep into the mountains even looping around the Virginia Lakes Resort and appears to be used by pack horses in the summer. This is the first lake you come to and it offers a glimpse at the spectacular craggy peaks awaiting you further up. I can’t wait to come back and here and do some proper hiking! Have any of you hiked in this area before? Any recommendations? Please let me know below!

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hiking, travel

There are TWO Barney Lakes!

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And I visited both last year. The first one I went to is near Bridgeport, CA and starts from the Twin Lakes area at the resort. You can part there for free during the day. The hike is about 8 miles round trip and has only about 1,000 feet of elevation gain. Because last winter was so snowy, the trail was a swamp when I did it. I was severely under prepared and got quite soggy. And with all that water came swarms of mosquitoes. The worst I’ve ever seen anywhere. I killed 7 with one swat of my hand on my leg.  So be sure wear plenty of clothes (not shorts) or lots of bug spray or both. Beyond this lake the trail winds its way up into the high sierras but it was much damaged due to numerous avalanches last season and I don’t know if its been repaired yet.

 

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adventure, hiking, travel

Summertime on South Lake in the Aspendells

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The Aspendells are just west of the town of Bishop California. This small town and its associated lakes and trails are known for some of California’s finest fall colors especially among their name sake’s, the aspen trees. During the fall these color range from light green to brilliant yellows, golds, and oranges. Who knew California had such amazing colors! South Lake is one of three lakes easily accessible from the road without hiking. Kayaking and fishing are popular sports here. We found that renting a Kayak is one of the best ways to see all the beauty of the lake and and the mountains around it. The water is so clear and blue! Have you even been to California for the fall colors? Comment below and let me know what you thought!

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adventure, hiking, photography, travel

The Winding Roads around Lake Crowley

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Owen’s Gorge is a deep desert gorge that the Owen’s River flows through after leaving Lake Crowley. While Owen’s Gorge Road doesn’t offer many great views of this gorge on its own, it does offer the chance to get some amazing views. In that valley off in the distance in Convict Lake with Mt Morrison rising up on the left. To the right is the end of Lake Crowley which is a man made reservoir for LA. The road stretches in front of me leading to the next adventure. Where is your next adventure taking you?

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adventure, camera, hiking, nightlife, travel

Midnight over Morrison Peak

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Some people say that you can’t see the milky way when the moon is out, especially if it is a full moon. It certainly isn’t as crisp and clear but with a good lens, and nice camera, and a little luck one can still find our galaxy even when the landscape is being lit up like day by a bright moon. I got this shot at an undisclosed location near Mammoth Lakes California and can’t wait to come back here to shoot the Milky Way again when the moon isn’t so bright and the stars can shine to their full potential. The High Sierras make such a perfect backdrop for the galaxy don’t they?

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