We picked an area in the one loop in which nobody else was camping.
There were no neighbors around. We only had views of the lake and the oak trees that have been hit by the blight. After setting up camp and eating lunch, we headed up to Arnold to hike a portion of the Arnold Rim Trail.
We parked at the Valley View Road staging area to hike a loop that would bring us to Cougar Rock. From the staging area, we hiked the P9 trail with Mountain Misery (aka bear clover) on either side of the trail until we descended the one ridge and came to the junction of the P9 and the ART.
We followed the ART along the creek for a short ways and then crossed the creek and started the climb up the next ridge to Cougar Rock.
After a moderate climb, we were rewarded with a beautiful vista.
After soaking up the views of the region, we headed back down the ridge.
We quickly left the ART from Cougar Rock, took the P8 back to the P9, and made the last climb on P9 back to the car. This hike was such a delightful surprise. Many times we have driven past Arnold on our way to Alpine lake region, and I had always wondered what trails were in the Arnold area. Now that we know of this gem with wonderful trails to explore, we will be back to explore more of the ART.
Back at camp, our fearless dog was reward with a Junior Ranger New Melones pin from the friendly camp host, Justin, after telling him of our hiking adventure for the day. Justin had remembered us visiting last weekend at the Big Oak campsite. When he saw that we had returned from our hiking adventure for the day, he came over to our campsite to welcome us back. After chatting with him for a bit, he went off and then quickly came back with the Junior Ranger pin. He is the nicest camp host that we have ever met.
After another restful and quiet sleep, the next morning we took a hike along the section of the Carson Creek trail that we didn't do the previous weekend.
When the water is low, a land bridge forms to connect a small island to the mainland. We decided to check out the island since the water was low for us to cross onto the island without getting our feet wet. I'm facing the island, but looking at some large house boats at the mooring dock close to the island.
After hiking the loop around the island, we headed back to the mainland for the trek back to camp. There were numerous folks out fishing that day. We only met one couple hiking the trail. Back at camp, we walked the loop noting sites for future stays.