July 8, 2008 - Mammoth Lakes California
California Road Trip and Family GTG
The Mammoth condo is great. It is one bedroom with a living room. It has everything we need and is very clean. We decide to go out for breakfast at the Good Life Cafe. It is warm and sunny and we can sit outdoors.
We decided to take it easy and do a short hike from Lake Mary to a Sky Meadows. (4 miles RT, 970 elevation, 10,050ft high point). It is just a short 5 miles from the town area to the basin of Mammoth lakes at around 9,000 ft. The parking for the trailhead just past Coldwater Campground just beyond Lake Mary. It serves both Sky Meadow and Duck Pass which was our second choice.
The trail ascended gently through the open forest. After about .9 miles, we came to Emerald Lake. There were several families who had come out to the lake to fish. The mosquitoes were out in force so we slathered on DEET. Unfortunately, I didn't put any on my arms. I thought they would be fine because I was wearing long sleeves. Not a chance! They feasted on my arms through the cloth.
The trail continues around the left side of Emerald lake passing a junction with a trail up over to join Duck Pass trail. It crosses over the Coldwater creek which feeds the lake and continue along the stream with the banks filled with flowers; monkeyflower, lupine, swamp onion, phantom bog orchids, and paintbrush for another .3 miles before entering Gentian Meadows. Across the meadow is a wonderful view of Blue Crag. The meadow was filled with elephant head, spirea, lupine, paintbrush, corn lily.
Continuing on and up through the open forest, you come to a water fall. At the top is Sky Meadow. We spent about an hour exploring the area. On the rocky slopes we found gorgeous paintbrush, coyote mint, blue penstemon, pink rock penstemon, western columbine, Above the meadow were the granite crags.
We returned to the condo for a relaxing evening.
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