Thursday, June 26, 2008

Mammoth Lakes, June 2008

In June of 2008, we camped for almost a week at Coldwater campground near Mammoth Lakes at 9100 feet -- very cool, quiet, and breezy. The campsite was between two rushing streams; the snow in the higher elevations was melting fast, and the streams were full. We started with a day of mountain biking, which turned into snow biking. (Remember to click on the pictures to enlarge, and click "back" to get back to the blog.)

We then hiked up to Emerald Lake:

Almost every hike we took was in the Mammoth Lakes basin, near the campground. The 11,500 foot Mammoth Crest hovered over everything:

The stream flowing into Arrowhead Lake tumbles over basalt blocks:

I took a lot of time exposures of the cascade. (For the benefit of folks with a digital SLR and a lot of patience, these were taken at about a half second at about f 32 (not 3.2!), with an ISO of 200.)

After clambering up next to the cascade, we got ambitious and headed out for Duck Pass at about 10,800 feet. The trail switchbacked up the head of the canyon through snowfields:

This was a pretty adventurous hike for us because we had to find our own way and because it was a long hike -- about 10 total miles, with about 1800 feet of elevation gain at high altitude. Also, the day was cold, windy, and semi-stormy; we could hear thunder in the distance, and we could see rain over Tioga Pass to the north. We later found out that the lightning caused about 800 fires throughout Northern California. The clouds were pretty cool, though:

On another hike, we went down into the Devil's Postpile area to Minaret Falls and Rainbow Falls:

On our way back to Southern California, we hiked up McGee Creek. Not a lot of shade, but some great views and lots of wildflowers:

Up above the 9000 foot level, we came upon a lake created by a beaver dam. The beaver lodge is the little mound in the middle of the lake; we waited to see if the beavers would show up, but they were apparently on vacation:

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