Friday, June 14, 2019

Mammoth & June Lake Scenic Loops & Grant Lake Camping (CA)

After our couple hours touring the Hot Creek Geologic Site on 30 May 2019, we headed north on Highway 395 to the Mammoth Scenic Loop. The drive was awe-inspiring! The shimmering pine trees, snow patches, puffy white clouds, and cerulean sky...ahhh. We stopped at Lower Twin Lake; and even though the wind chill was nearing painful levels, how could we not gawk?

Lower Twin Lake. Photo by Margaret.

A short movie of the Mammoth Scenic Loop and Lower Twin Lake. Video by Virginia.
[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, 
you may view it directly on YouTube here:]

After the Mammoth Scenic Loop, we headed into the town of Mammoth Lakes and did some grocery shopping at their beautiful Vons store. It was raining fairly hard going in; but the store had almost all the groceries on our lists, which made getting a little wet totally acceptable. :>) Following our epic shopping trip, we drove the scenic June Lake Loop. Margaret probably pulled off to the side of the road a dozen times for me to take photos. It was unbelievably beautiful! During our leisurely drive on the loop, we saw deer and one healthy-looking coyote, who crossed the road right in front of us and looked back.

June Lake and the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. Photo by Virginia.

Horsetail Falls above June Lake Loop. Photo by Virginia.

Margaret had planned on our boondocking for two nights at Grant Lake, which is a reservoir and the largest of the four lakes on the loop. It is within the Inyo National Forest, and the surrounding views were stunning! We ended up staying an extra night, as we were quite comfortable there, even without any cell signal.

A short movie with Virginia actually on camera!
[If you have trouble viewing this embedded movie, 
you may view it directly on YouTube here: ]
Grant Lake. Photo by Margaret.

The Roadtrek at Grant Lake. Photo by Virginia.

Grant Lake. Photo by Margaret.

Grant Lake and rocks. Photo by Virginia.

I took a rather long walk from our campsite on the east side to the north over the earthen dam and then to the northwestern tip of the lake and one of the spillways. It was very early in the morning, and the weather was probably in the 60s. Perfect!

A Grant Lake inlet. Photo by Virginia.

The earthen dam on Grant Lake. Photo by Virginia.

There were very few fishing boats on the lake each morning and a few people fishing from the shore somewhere within our visibility each day, but our three nights there were very peaceful and quiet. The serenity of camping just feet from the water was unique to me.

Grant Lake and one of the spillways. Photo by Virginia.

There were two thunderstorms while we were camping there, but they were brief and not particularly eventful. They certainly changed the appearance of our surroundings, though. For most of our time there it was very temperate and not nearly as cold as our previous campsite further south.

The Roadtrek at Grant Lake. Photo by Margaret.

We parked up on a grassy area just at the end of the forest road spur leading to the lake, which was fairly stable and not too soft. However, two guys in a small truck got stuck in the small gravel too near the lake and ended up staying all night in the truck's cab until a tow truck used its winch to pull them out the morning we left.

 The rocky shore of Grant Lake. Photo by Virginia.

On our second night, I made soft tacos with sautéed vegetables and vegan ground round in whole wheat tortillas. I added Daiya Cheddar to mine (Margaret only wants it on my special enchiladas), along with salsa, green onions, and romaine. They were excellent! 
 Soft tacos (vegan) on whole wheat tortillas. Dinner and photo by Virginia.

We left Grant Lake on the morning of 02 June and traveled to three uniquely different parks. There are endless amazing places for us to see and to share with you. Stay tuned for the next ones.

NOTE: Clicking on the photos in the post will open them in a larger view (recommended!). If you want to see more photos of the beautiful places we've shared, we have them in this Flickr Collection: Over the Hill Sisters Photo Collection.


Cyn said...

Ahhhh this scenery is glorious! Is it really as empty and people-free as it appears? You are so fortunate to be doing this. Sending love.

Margaret Hill said...

Yes, Cyn, we basically had Grant Lake to ourselves, except for the one unplanned night spent by the poor guy who got his car stuck in the sand. He never even approached us, though. I love the freedom that we have to be able to camp this close to a beautiful lake pretty much to ourselves and for free, to boot! We are not able to do anything like this back at our home base. Too crowded, lots of rules, expensive, and needing reservations or not allowed to stay overnight at all. We are definitely feeling fortunate. Sending love back. 😘