On Tuesday, it was time for our second high altitude conditioning hike. I really wanted to see the area around Lake Sabrina outside of Bishop. It was the one area I had never been to when I visited the area as a child. But my parents would always talk about the area up around Buttermilk. It was a longer drive from Mammoth (about 60 miles) so we debated a bit about hiking in the area instead of something closer. But curiousity won out.
It was a quick drive into Bishop. Much of Hwy 395 is four lanes so you can make good time although Hyundei slowed down going over Sherman Grade. We turned off downtown Bishop and headed back west. The road is paved all the way to the trail head at 9,800Ft. Our destination was an easy hike to Long Lake. (5 miles rt, 10,700, 900 elevation gain). This was a much more popular trailhead. A day or two hike from the TH and you can easily reach the John Muir Trail. A three or four day hike can take you to the Palasides or Emigrant Basin. But the stark beauty. You reach county like the Enchantments with just a few hours day hike.
The parking lot was very busy. There were a lot of backpackers gearing up at 10am for the three day hike. Some were just being dropped off. I suspect they had parked their cars at the destination and hired someone to transport them to South Lake.
The hike started out above the short of South Lake and then switched back up through bristlecone pines. It was pretty busy at first but we spread out after a bit. After about 1 1/2, we reached Long Lake. It was gorgeous and quite large. There were many flowers in bloom in the meadows that surrounded the lake. We decided to eat lunch and rested along the shore. It was quiet with just the occasional buzz of a bee. Fortunately, the mosquitos were not too bad.
We decided to go a bit further. The trail skirted the edge of the lake. We passed a couple of boys fishing. At the inlet to the lake the trail started to climb and we were rewarded with some nice views back over the talus slopes. After about another hour, we decided we had done enough and headed back. It was getting hot.
Back in Bishop, we stopped at Wilson's Eastside Sports to pick up a few last minutes supplies. It is a great store. I couldn't resist buying a new hat.
For dinner, we decided to splurge and eat at the restaurant at Convict Lake Resort. It was the perfect way to end our stay in Mammoth. It is a short drive from Mammoth and has excellent food. The interior is cozy lodge style decor with views of the surrounding hills. It is not located lakeside as I expected but just off the road in the resort which located before you get to the lake.
We started by splitting the Louisiana Crayfish Cake. I had a Ceasar Salad and G had the Spring green salad. I had a great rack of lamb. Very generous portion. G had the ahi tuna. To drink, we had a bottle of Trefethen dry Riesling. Although tempted by the Bananas Foster that we saw being prepared at several of the tables, we passed on desserts.
A leisurely drive back to condo in the twilight. A great way to end our stay in the area.