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Archive for the ‘Ansel Adams Wilderness’ Category

A long time hiking buddy of mine (my mom) turned 60 in October.  To celebrate, my sister and I took her to June Lake, CA for a 4-day weekend of hiking and enjoying the eastern Sierras.  I had never been to June Lake before.  Let me tell you, that place is beautiful.  It’s past Mammoth, a popular winter destination for skiers and snowboarders.  We didn’t get to stop into Mammoth, but people tell me June Lake is less developed.  We arrived on a Thursday evening at the Haven, a quaint cottage near June Lake.  On Friday we did our first hike, the Rush Creek Trail.  The trailhead is near the Silver Lake Resort.  We started out around 10am under clear skies.  The temperature was perfect!  Warm, according to the locals but still a bit chilly for my southern California bones that I had to wear a few layers.  But the trail is a steep ascent and one warms up fairly quick!  As you ascend and approach a waterfall, you get views of Silver Lake.  We stopped near the waterfall to soak in the air.  Continuing on, we reached Lake Agnew.  The lakes we passed on this trail are damned lakes in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.  After Lake Agnew, you reach Gem Lake.  Oh, it was gorgeous!  Coming up over the pass and seeing the lake with snow-covered mountains behind it was amazing.  And we had the entire trail to ourselves!  We took several pictures, had a snack and then continued on to our final destination,Waugh Lake.  My sister was way ahead of me and my mom was about 15 minutes behind me, so I was pretty much on my own.  It was nice hiking among the pine trees and taking pictures of small ponds and rocky creeks.  We reached Waugh Lake around 2pm.  One can continue on that trail, but my sister recommended that we head back around 2:30pm if we wanted to make it back before dark.  We agreed, and after taking several pictures at Waugh Lake, we headed back to the trailhead.  Nothing much exciting happened on the way back down.  If you’re ever in the June Lake area, then I highly recommend the Rush Creek Trail.  We covered 14.5 miles with an elevation gain of 3,431 ft.

Gem Lake

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