Road trip to the east side! It is an annual thing for me to try and take at least one trip to the east side of the Sierra to check out the fall colors. Those colors start up earlier over there than they do here and there is something about the way those yellow and orange leaves contrast with those incredibly vivid colors of the rugged mountains. Fall colors on the eastern side of the Sierra don’t last long, so I headed to Lundy Canyon to check out the aspens before it was too late.
Where: Inyo National Forest, Hoover Wilderness
Elevation Range: 7,800′
Date: October 12, 2020
Maps: Big Alkali, Buckeye Ridge, Falls Ridge and June Lake Topographic Quad
Dog Hike? Yes
It was time for a day trip over Tioga Pass, driving north on Hwy 395 and then east on Lundy Lake Road. I hadn’t driven up Lundy Lake Road too far before I spotted some color toward the bottom of the canyon but that color was on private property so I kept on driving up the canyon. The lower stretch of the road was a little on the early side but I spotted a slash of color on the west end of Lundy Lake.
I needed to get a closer look so I parked at the boat ramp and walked along the east side of the lake. Do you ever have the feeling like someone is watching you? Well, I looked closer and there they were.
I stood and watched the small herd of deer for a while then started walking a little closer and they decided to move on.
So I moved on also, getting back in the car and driving up the dirt road lined with trees with the beginnings of yellow and oranges.
I had to stop at the lower beaver ponds to check out the colors and reflections.
Then I drove up the road further.
There were a few more potholes as I drove up to the end of the road to the Lundy Canyon Trailhead. The Hoover Wilderness is still closed because of the United States Forest Service Order, but you can hike up the trail until you reach the boundary of the Hoover Wilderness, seeing some nice color and that is what I did.
I detoured off of the main trail below the waterfalls to check out a pond.
I had only spent the morning exploring Lundy Canyon but it felt time for me to start heading back down the hill.
I did take a short detail through the Mono County Campground but the color wasn’t happening there yet. I didn’t do much hiking on this adventure but for some reason I couldn’t top thinking about stopping by Mono Cone in Lee Vining to pick up lunch to go. . . and I did. I found a nice spot with a view of Mono Lake to enjoy my lunch then headed home.
Lundy Canyon is loaded with interesting history that you can read more about in my prior blogs linked below but this trip was just about the pretty colors and reflections. Many areas closer to us will soon be showing fall colors, including Yosemite Valley, and as you drive around Oakhurst, Bass Lake and Ahwahnee, you are sure to spot a gorgeous tree.
This area can be a great place to hike with your dog, if your dog is a good fit. There are some rocky areas that can be tough on a dog’s feet, wearing the paw pads down, with the possibility of slicing them. I carry boots with me when I bring Sally, just in case she gets too much wear or an injury to her foot. The water sources that a dog can access are good year round. This is an area that has Bubonic Plague, so need to keep your dogs away from squirrels and rodents. Below are the dog rules for the Hoover Wilderness:
- Dogs are allowed in the Hoover Wilderness, but are not allowed in wilderness areas in adjacent national parks.
- Pet food must be stored to the same standard as people food. In areas where use of a bear resistant food storage container is required, pet food must be stored in your container.
- Leashes protect dogs from becoming lost and from wilderness hazards such as porcupines, mountain lions, and sick, injured or rabid animals.
- Unleashed dogs may intimidate other hikers and their dogs, depriving them of a peaceful wilderness experience.
- Unleashed dogs may harass, injure and sometimes kill wildlife.
- A leashed dog’s keen senses can enhance your awareness of nearby wildlife or other visitors.
Prior Blogs in this Area:
Patera, Alan, Lundy, Western Places, Lake Grove, Oregon, 2000