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Little Lakes Valley
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mini location map2015-10-07
69 by photographer avatarOdinWiski
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Little Lakes ValleySierra Nevada, CA
Sierra Nevada, CA
Backpack avatar Oct 07 2015
Backpack2 Days   4 Hrs      
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The Little Lakes Valley by Rock Creek in the Eastern Sierras is a beautiful area with gem-like alpine lakes and snow-capped peaks.

We got to the Mosquito Flats TH around 11:00 Wednesday morning and thankfully the parking lot was only 3/4 full because it wasn't on a weekend. We took the Mono Pass turn off shortly after starting on the Little Lakes Valley trail that leads to the Morgan Pass. On the gradual climb up the Mono Pass, it offered a great view of the valley below with Mack, Marsh, Heart and Box lakes.

We turned off to the Ruby Lake, which is sort of tucked away and not frequented by as many hikers. Beautiful lake! We spent a couple of hours there fishing and relaxing and only a couple of people came up during that time.

Time to get back on the Little Lakes Valley trail down below. Instead of taking the Mono Pass all the way back to almost the beginning of the Little Lakes Valley trail, we went cross country and bushwhacked down toward Heart Lake. We ended up having to traverse a bit when we got to a big dropoff that was not wise to do down without ropes and with big packs. Then we found another spot that had a steep rocky yet doable descent, which took us straight down to Little Lakes Valley trail right by Heart Lake.

After passing Box Lake and Long Lake, we turned off to Chickenfoot Lake, which we had planned on setting up camp at. We had Chickenfoot to ourselves for the next two nights. Both nights were uneventful with no bear incidents.

The next day we went up to Morgan Pass and Gem Lakes, which were beautiful! Spent 2-3 hours fishing and exploring around Gem Lakes. We went up the huge talus field by Gem Lakes and got to the unnamed little lake above the saddle. Wiski quicked quite a few of her toe nails climbing and hopping the boulders. So we decided to abandon the plan to check out Treasure Lakes and head back to camp. Treasure Lakes are the only ones in that area that have Goldens. She had gotten "cold tail" the previous night, but surprisingly only took half a day for it to go away. Evening sunset was gorgeous on Chickenfoot.

Friday morning we took our time breaking camp and started hiking back out. Long Lake was beautiful in the morning with reflections of the peaks (it was getting dark when we hiked past it the first day). Since it was Friday, there were quite a lot of day hikers and some backpackers on the trail. Too bad they didn't make the famous Mudpie at the Rock Creek Lodge Resort, but we did get to have their famous chili and one of the homemade pies, along with a couple of Mammoth Epic IPA's :)
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