Friday, July 22, 2016

EASTERN & CENTRAL SIERRAS: Summer Vacation July 3, 2016 (Day 2: Bishop Region - North Lake & South Lake)

On day two of our Eastern Sierra vacation we were in Bishop and this time on the agenda was North Lake, a locale that I had always crossed off the trip list in years past because the descriptions of the road conditions and drive up that I had read in travel guides and online had always sounded harrowing (e.g., from California's Eastern Sierra: A Visitor's Guide: "North Lake is located 1 mile before Lake Sabrina. Steep, narrow, and partially paved, the 2-mile road to North Lake is not recommended for RV's or trailers." But a couple months ago I watched a YouTube video of someone driving up North lake Road and it actually looked quite navigable and even fun https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=082ndwVobs4 . 

North Lake is not crowded like Sabrina and South Lake always are in the summer, with the only caveat being that you must bring bug repellant because the skeeters, aka mosquitoes, were out in force (late spring-early summer are their prime seasons). Mosquitoes would prove to be the bain of our trip every place that we traveled to in the Eastern Sierras that was near water. But as long as you slather on the deet, you'll be protected from the skeeter onslaught and be able to enjoy the awesome scenery and fresh air without undue distraction. After spending most of the morning at North Lake, we next headed up Hwy. 168 to Lake Sabrina but it was packed to the gills - no parking whatsoever at the roadend or roadside. We attempted South Lake next, but had the same road jam issue. WTF? Eastern Sierras used to be that hidden gem that few have discovered, but not so much anymore. Moral of the story from our trip this time was: paved roads = tons of people while dirt/offroad tracks = a lot less people and more R&R.



 Hwy. 168W from Bishop en route to North Lake

Hwy. 168W


Turnoff from Hwy. 168W to North Lake Road

North Lake Road


Ascending North Lake Road

 North Lake Road

 North Lake Road

North Lake Road

 Sierra Linanthus (Leptosiphon pachyphyllus), North Lake Road

North Lake Road

Mountain Snowberry (Symphoricarpos rotundifolius), North Lake Road 


Um, where are we? Mom...dad...anyone?

 North Lake Road

 North Lake Road

 North Lake Road

Piute/Lamarck Trailhead, North Lake Road

 Giant Red Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata), near North Lake Campground

False Solomon's Seal (Maianthemum stellatum, formerly Smilacina stellata), 
meadow off North Fork of Bishop Creek

 
 North Fork of Bishop Creek off North Lake Rd.

Ranger's Buttons (Sphenosciadium capitellatum), North Fork of Bishop Creek

Squaw Currant/Wax Currant (Ribes cereum), off North Fork of Bishop Creek


 Meadow off North Fork of Bishop Creek

Meadow Penstemon, Giant Red Paintbrush, and Slender Cinquefoil,
Meadow off North Fork of Bishop Creek
  
 Meadow Penstemon (Penstemon rydbergii), North Lake Road

 Meadow off North Fork of Bishop Creek


 Owlsclaws (Hymenoxys hoopesii), North Lake Road


 Rosy Pussytoes (Antennaria rosea), North Lake Road


North Fork of Bishop Creek

Mountain Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), off North Fork of Bishop Creek

 Addy swimming!!! North Fork of Bishop Creek

 Our beaver-bear boy!!! 


Meadow Chickweed (Stellaria longipes), meadow off North Fork of Bishop Creek

Coulter's Daisy (Erigeron coulteri), meadow off North Fork of Bishop Creek

 Apr├Ęs creek dipping, meadow off North Fork of Bishop Creek

 Western Blue Flag (Iris missouriensis), North Lake Road


Mule Ears (Wyethia mollis), North Lake Road

 Western Columbine (Aquilegia formosa), North Lake Road

 North Lake Road, lined with Aspens

 Sierra Shooting Star (Primula jeffreyi), off North Fork of Bishop Creek


Primrose Monkeyflower (Mimulus primuloides), North Lake

 Slender Cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis), North Lake Road

 Western Monkshood (Aconitum columbianum), North Fork Bishop Creek

 Field of Western Blue Flags (Iris missouriensis), North Lake Road


Kelley's / Sierra Lily (Lilium kelleyanum), North Fork of Bishop Creek

View from North Lake Day Use Area

 North Fork of Bishop Creek


 North Lake


 North Lake

 North Lake is at an elevation of 9,200 ft. and is relatively shallow 
compared to Lake Sabrina and South Lake. 
It has good fishing now but is slowly in the process of becoming a meadow


 North Lake

 North Lake

North Lake

Sierra Linanthus (Leptosiphon pachyphyllus), North Lake Day Use Area

 North Lake Day Use Area


Mountain Pride/Newberry's Penstemon (Penstemon newberryi), North Lake Road

Mountain Monardella/Pennyroyal (Monardella odoratissima), 
North Lake Road

 Sierra Angelica (Angelica lineariloba), North Lake Road

 Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius), North Lake Road


Heavenly Blue/Giant Woolley Star (Eriastrum densifolium)
Hwy. 168 at 6,500' 5 miles east of South Lake Road


 Bridge's Penstemon (Penstemon rostriflorus)
La Hup Picnic Area, South Lake Road


Newberry's/Mountain Pride Penstemon (Penstemon newberryi)
La Hup Picnic Area, South Lake Road


 Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Tyee Lakes trailhead, South Lake Road


 Mountain Snowberry (Symphoricarpos rotundifolius)
Tyee Lakes trailhead, South Lake Road


Giant Red Paintbrush (Castilleja miniata)
Tyee Lakes trailhead, South Lake Road


 South Fork of Bishop Creek, meadow restoration area off of South Lake Road

 South Fork Bishop Creek, meadow restoration area


 South Fork Bishop Creek, meadow restoration area


 Meadow restoration area off South Lake Road

 Meadow restoration area off South Lake Road
(of course, this was outside of the restricted no trampling area) 


 Owlsclaws (Hymenoxis hoopesii), meadow restoration area off South Lake Road

 Antelope Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), meadow restoration area off South Lake Road

Slender Cinquefoil (Potentilla gracilis), meadow restoration area off South Lake Road

Alpine Pussytoes (Antennaria media), meadow restoration area off South Lake Road


Sierra Linanthus (Leptosiphon pachyphyllus), meadow restoration area off South Lake Road


 Wandering Daisy (Symphotrichium ascendants), meadow restoration area off South Lake Road


View from meadow restoration area, South Lake Road


Meadow restoration area, South Lake Road


Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua), South Lake Road,
south of Bishop Creek Lodge


Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and Western Aster (Symphyotrichium ascendens)
South Lake Road, south of Bishop Creek Lodge


Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) and Western Aster (Symphyotrichium ascendens)
South Lake Road, south of Bishop Creek Lodge


Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum)
South Lake Road, south of Bishop Creek Lodge


Mountain Mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius)
South Lake Road, south of Bishop Creek Lodge


Bruneau Mariposa Lily (Calochortus bruneaunis)
East side of South Lake Road, just south of Bishop Creek Lodge





East side of South Lake Road, just south of Bishop Creek Lodge


Sierra Angelica/Soda Straw (Angelica lineariloba), South of Bishop Creek Lodge


Take-out dinner of tri-tip, mac & cheese and cole slaw from Holy Smoke Texas-Style BBQ in Bishop, which we 
(including the fur babies) enjoyed in our room at the pet-friendly Comfort Inn.

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