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Adventure to the East Side of the Sierra with Mom Day 2: Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake

My mom and I were on the second of a 4-day adventure at Rock Creek Lake, just south of Mammoth Lakes on the eastern side of the Sierra. We headed separate directions for the day. I took off for a hike to Dorothy Lake and Mom took a hike up Rock Creek. (Read Part One here).

Where: Inyo National Forest
Distance: 6.14 Miles
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Elevation Range: 9,746′ – 10,530′
Date: September 16, 2014
Maps: Mount Morgan Topographic Quad

The trailhead for Dorothy Lake starts at the Rock Creek Lake Campground area, where I started a steady but gently climb up through Aspens that were turning their fall colors. Splashes of yellow lined the trail with an occasional tree showing orange. As I looked back, I have wonderful views of peaks towering above 13,000′ in elevation.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 2

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 3

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 4

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 5

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 6

The final approach to Dorothy Lake is through a long meadow and I think I may have seen Lucky Ned Pepper and Rooster Cogburn lined up at opposite ends of this valley.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 7

When I reached Dorothy Lake, I was greeted by two small lupine still in bloom.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 8

The water level in Dorothy Lake was down quite a bit but it was still a pretty lake and Sally and I had it to ourselves.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 9

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 10

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 11

I had heard reports that the fishing was pretty good here and I also saw reports that there were no fish in the lake anymore. I couldn’t see any signs of fish. No fish were surfacing and I couldn’t see any moving in the water but I gave fishing a try anyway. I had absolutely no luck fishing on this day, no bites, no nothing. I did have a beautiful view though.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 12

When I am hiking by myself, sometimes I come up with some ideas that are a little off the wall. Self portrait.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 13

Bug

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 14

I started heading back down the trail the same way that I had come in. I had originally planned to stop by Kenneth Lake but since Dorothy was so low, I figured Kenneth Lake was probably all dried up or close to it. The white clouds had gotten a little puffier and contrasted beautifully with the fall colors of the Aspen and the blue sky. My short video highlights the sounds that the leaves made as they gently rustled.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 15

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 16

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 17

I completed my hike, was back to the car a little before noon and I knew exactly what I had to do. Last time I had hiked in this area, I had wanted to stop by “Pie in the Sky” and try one of their world famous pies that Sue King makes there but I had been too late and they had sold out of all of the pie. It was a very sad day. But today I was in luck! I was greeted by a friendly face ready to sell me whatever kind of pie I fancied.

It was a tough decision but by recommendation, I decided to try the Boysenberry and the Cranberry-Walnut, taking them back to the cabin for dessert that evening. What flavor of pie would you choose? Oh by the way, it would be a sad day for someone because I got the last piece of the Cranberry-Walnut pie and got to witness him scratching it off the board. When I said that these are world famous pies, I am not exaggerating. Check out the article that was in Sunset Magazine on these pies.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 18

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 19

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 20

While I waited for my pie, I wandered around the store and spotted several mounted Huge or Record Trout for this area. The largest one on the wall was a monster caught in 1985, 15 ½ pounds and 33 ¾” long caught by Mike Hethcoat from Chula Vista, California. It sure made my 13-inchers look pretty small.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 21

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 22

Mom also had her own hiking adventure on this day. She left our cabin, heading upstream on the trail that follows Rock Creek. She came across some fishermen who had caught some trout and were cooking it on an impromptu cooking fire along the creek. (Next 6 pictures taken by Rosemary Gregory)

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 23

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 24

She continued up to an area where Rock Creek widens into a pond then turned around. What a gorgeous picture she took!

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 25

I got back to our cabin, then wandered upstream where I met Mom and we walked back together. I headed down to fish Rock Creek.

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 26

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 27

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 28

I caught 4 nice trout, 13-inchers or so, got them cleaned and they went in the freezer to take home with me. My sister had made us some chili beans to bring with us, so we had those for dinner, along with corn bread that mom whipped up from a mix I had picked up in Grocery Outlet in Oakhurst. Of course we had the pie and it was out of this world!!

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 29

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 30

Day 2-  Rock Creek Lake to Dorothy Lake 31

Sources:

http://rockcreeklodge.com/
http://www.rockcreeklakesresort.com/cafe/
http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/flavors-of-the-west/rock-creek-lake-fresh-peach-pie

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