Cardinal Village Resort and Lake Sabrina Hike Reviews July 21, 2011 for Mammoth Ski Club-BUTTERFLIES AND FLOWERS

Bishop Creek is in full flow with the runoff from the generous snowfall this winter.

All work and no play make Larry a dull boy! Too many days spent working “in the trenches” of my online advertising agency made me decide that this was no day to work, and it must be a day to play.

So I packed up my camera pack, and headed up Bishop Creek Canyon for a short hike and photo session. The trailhead to Lake Sabrina is only 17 miles from my house, so I was there in no time driving West up Hwy 168 into the Eastern Sierra off Hwy 395.

The drive up was nice, and I was putting on my mosquito repellant in the parking lot before I knew it. The best mosquito repellant is thick clothes. So what I do is wear jeans, socks and shoes which takes care of the bottom half of my body. Then I tuck in a t-shirt, and spray Cutter Backwoods repellant on my arms, back and stomach. I spray right onto my t-shirt because mosquitoes will bite you through your t-shirt if you don’t put repellant on it. Spray using overlapping strokes so you don’t miss any areas.

Next I use an Avon product called, “Skin so Soft” which has a natural mosquito repellant in it that I’ve found works best on your face, ears and neck. Using the Skin so Soft product near my face keeps the more poisonous Deet in the Cutter Backwoods spray away from where I could ingest any of it. Then I went down to the creek and washed the stuff off the PALMS ONLY of my hands. This way when I eat a snack on my hike later, it won’t taste like mosquito repellant.

So I started up the trail on the south side of Lake Sabrina, and I saw a butterfly licking the nectar out of the flowers. Here’s what I saw:

This butterfly was enjoying all the fresh blooming flowers.

I got him to stand still long enough to get this shot;) There were all kinds of beautiful flowers blooming with the creeks and waterfalls raging. Here’s some more flowers:

These are some really pretty pink ones.


White mini-flowers at Cardinal Resort.

Can you name these flowers above???

I only hiked to the end of Lake Sabrina on the south side, but I saw very few people on the trail. The trail was wet and running like a small creek in places, so you had to slow down to keep your footing. Most other places it was dry.

I had seen on Google Places some great reviews of the hamburgers at Cardinal Resort. I had never eaten there, so this was my chance to try it on my way home. I pulled in, parked at one of the many spaces, and went inside the cafe. Here’s what it looks like from the outside:

Cardinal Resort is a gem in the Eastern Sierra for fishing, hiking, taking photos, or just plain relaxing.

It is a very complete resort with a cafe with Free wi-fi, book store, grocery and tackle store, and numerous reasonably priced cabins behind this picture. (Pets are not allowed.) They have horses for dayrides up the Bishop Creek and to Cardinal Gold Mine. Mules for packer trips into the surrounding John Muir Wilderness are available with Bishop Pack Outfitters located conveniently right on the property.

Cardinal Resort even has their own fishing pond that is stocked by the Department of Fish and Game for great trout fishing.

I met the friendly Ken Cluff who runs Cardinal Resort with his wife ShaleAnn. The cafe was clean and uncrowded. I ordered a hamburger with bacon, and a water beacuse I’d gotten thirsty on my little hike. The smiling young lady behind the counter took my order, and got started immediately cooking my bacon burger. Mmmmm…  I could hear the burger and the bacon sizzling.

While I waited for my meal to be done, I looked at the interesting stuff they had on the walls. The most interesting thing I found was a diagram of the very successful Cardinal Gold Mine. It was color coded and showed where they knew there was ore, where they had already dug out the ore, where ore probably existed, and where ore possibly existed. It showed where they had dug for 400 feet below the lower opening you can see from the road. This diagram held my attention until my burger was ready.

They have dining for both breakfast and lunch either inside or outside. I chose the inside tables, and watched as the trout delivery took place at their trout pond. Then my lunch was ready.

The Cardinal burger was not a disappointment. There are not that many places in the Eastern Sierra where you can get a really good burger, but this is obviously one of them. The burger was even served in a gold pan (like you use to pan for gold) for a little authenticity I appreciated. The lettuce, tomato and bun were all fresh, and the quality of the hamburger meat was good.

Overall I was very impressed with what Cardinal Resort has to offer. This would be an ideal place to take your family or special someone for the weekend, or a summer vacation week.

It is really beautiful up here in the Eastern Sierra with the blue skies, the clean air, and clean water. Take the time to schedule your next trip to the Eastrern Sierra now. And consider giving Cardinal Resort a try. Cardinal Resort’s website can take reservations and is at Their phone number is (760)873-4789. I hope you enjoyed this review of a short hike and lunch. If you would like me to review other hikes and/or resorts, please let me know by posting a comment on this blog, OK?

See You in the Sierra!

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