The other day, I went to Rock Creek for a hike, but I didn’t want to do the beautiful hike out of Mosquito Flat at the end of the road. That hike is a really good example of the awesome lakes in this valley. It takes you past many lakes of which Heart Lake is my favorite.
But I wanted to find a hike off the beaten path, so I did a little exploring. And I found a hike that is not on the map just below Rock Creek Lake, yet it is every bit as pretty as Tuolomne Meadows in Yosemite. Here’s how it looks from the trail:
So here’s how you get to the trailhead. Take Hwy 395 to the top of the Sherwin Grade, and turn at the sign for Rock Creek. Follow the road up 7.6 miles just past the signs for Upper Pine Grove Campground and Lower Corral Horseback Rides. Park in the little turnout on your left, and put on your mosquito repellant so you don’t get bit.
If you want to know how to avoid mosquito bites, search this Mammoth Ski Club blog for my post on 5 Ways to Avoid Mosquito Bites and West Nile Virus.
Go down the path at the lower end of the turnout to the road, past the dumpsters for the campground. Then go right at the “Y” in the road and continue about 75 yards. The trail starts to the right of the small parking area inside the campground, and follows the north side of Rock Creek.
My dog, Casper, and I completed this hike without seeing another human. It was only about 2 miles roundtrip, and really pretty with all the flowers blooming. There were swampy areas, but there have been wooden paths constructed so you never had to step in the mud, marsh, or water. Here’s what the wooden paths lined with flowers looks like:
After about a half mile you get past the wooden paths and begin to climb slightly. There are cascading waterfalls to your left on this part of the hike. At the top of the hike, it ends right near my favorite place to eat in Rock Creek, the Rock Creek Lakes Resort.
Rock Creek Lakes Resort has a general store with supplies for camping, hiking and fishing, as well as cabins and boats available for rent. But my favorite is the “Pie in the Sky Cafe”. For years, Jim and Sue King have been famous for their hospitality and fresh baked pies. So much so that Sue is known locally as “the pie lady”.
Fresh pie always tastes good, but it tastes especially good just out of the oven after a hike. The Pie in the Sky Cafe also serves breakfast, lunch. They have indoor and outdoor dining. I recommend you get there early because they sell out of pie daily.
So after a delicious hamburger and a slice of pie, I went back to the trail and went down about 1 mile back to my car. The fishing here is also excellent, and you could see some nice trout from the shore. So if you want a nice hike that is off the beaten path, try this one, but keep it a secret so it doesn’t get too crowded, OK?
If you have any hikes and/or resorts you want me to review, just make a comment on this post. Until next time, make every day fun, and look for a guest blogger post I did on the similarities between Walt Disney and Dave McCoy to be released soon at www.DaveMcCoyPhoto.com.