Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Alpine Lake

The Sierra Mountains were calling us to come hike and camp. So, we packed up for an overnighter and headed away from the 100+ degree heat at home.  Yes, that's snow!

After setting up camp at Pine Marten and eating shrimp salad for lunch, we headed for a hike to Duck Lake.

Instead of finding ducks, we saw lots of geese that are spending their summer at 7,300 feet elevation trying to stay cool. The temperature for that day was 85 degrees.

Since the hike down to Duck Lake was only about a mile from the trailhead, we decided to hike around the lake to explore the other side of the lake. The trail was pretty and in numerous spots we lost the trail due to washouts from the spring melt. There are lots of fallen trees in the dense forest on the east side of the lake.

The views of the lake and granite mountain range are best seen on the west side of the lake. We didn't see any snow patches along our hike.

Back at camp, we enjoyed a relaxing and quiet Sunday afternoon with the cool, pine breeze blowing through our campsite.

Most of the campers had left earlier in the day; so, four of the campsites by our site were empty.

All of the campsites located on the road to the right were empty too. There were some very nice sites for RVs on that section of the campground. One site in complete shade. Most of the campers were at the sites by the lake, which surprisingly was warmer there by the lake.

Through the trees, off on the right by the large log was a little pond that had formed from melted snow. Also, the trailhead to Inspiration Point was off on the left. Numerous cars were parked to the left of the photo, but by evening only one car was left.

After a good nights sleep and yummy breakfast, we hiked up to Inspiration Point. It was a steep climb to the lower level of the point.

We were rewarded with a wonderful view of Alpine Lake. The campground is off to the right of the photo. We could see folks kayaking and enjoying their day on the lake.

We scrambled higher for even more spectacular views.

We were delighted and surprised to see Utica, Union, Spicer Reservoirs. Basking in the view brought back wonderful memories of tent camping at Utica with our children over ten years ago. We could even spot the island which we canoed out to explore with the kids and Meeks.

And we had a view of the Dardanelles with the snowy mountains of the Emigrant Wilderness behind. Last August, we hike with daughter to Sword Lake just below the Dardanelles,

The Dardanelles and Inspiration Point are like volcanic islands in a sea of granite. Glaciers eroded most of the volcanic rock and left moraines of granite. The Dardanelles are another example of an inverted volcanic river topography.

Back at camp, we relaxed before packing up and heading home to the heat of the Bay Area. We are looking forward to coming back here to explore more of this beautiful region of the Sierra Mountains.

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