We spent the last three days between two campgrounds in the Eastern Sierra Mountains. We love Yosemite National Park but this time we are just going to skirt the eastern side of the park without even entering it. I was not sure what to expect from this area, but after spending the last three days here, we will certainly be coming back. This area is a perfect summer getaway. At an altitude of about 8000 feet, the days are cool and bright and the nights provide a nice chill to the air. Our campground was the Browns Owens River Campground. It could not have been more perfect for us. No it did have electric. No it did not have water and No it did not have septic hookups. What it lacked in amenities it made up for with the unbelievable views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. The Owens River ran 30 yards from our camper. Beyond that was a pasture for free range beef cows. Beyond that was the snow-capped Sierras. The visual and auditory symphony at dusk and dawn were unbelievable. The stream would trickle, the cows would Mooo, the Coyotes would howl and an occasional solo from the Elk would be heard through all of it. This was the soundtrack every night.
This area of the Eastern Sierra’s hides many hidden gems. Take for example Convict Lake. I almost stumbled across it by accident, yet it was one of the most beautiful alpine lakes that I had ever seen. So beautiful in fact that we returned at 7:30 A.M the next morning to rent a boat and go fishing.
This area is filled with spots like this. Mammoth Lakes, June Lake, Grant Lake, and Mono Lake are all awesome spots to enjoy the mountains without the madness of the National Park just a few miles away. On our second day we decided to hike to Parker Lake which is not accessible by car. This hike started at 8000 feet and climbed about another 900 feet in 2 miles, which should not be too bad if it were not for the fact that none of us had acclimated to the altitude. The only one who was not dying was my 9 year old niece Kiley who thought it was a walk in the park. This was a fantastic hike.