"Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?" - Anne Murray

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eastern Sierras Part Four: Hike to Treasure Lake

Sunday again, so while some of us watch football, others of us can just take a hike. Literally.

South Lake Trailhead

My hike for the day was the Treasure Lakes Trail, starting at the end of South Lake Rd. via Rt. 168 heading west out of Bishop. I found the hike on Modern Hiker, which has a great detailed description of the trail, including topographical maps.  I started at about 10:00 in the morning and the weather was perfect for hiking - about 60 degrees I think, with strong sun all the way.

The trail is 5.3 miles roundtrip, and much of it is rocky underfoot, so it requires ones full attention. The scenery is beautiful every step of the way, so it's very tempting to gaze around while walking, but not so safe. In my usual style, I take about 10 steps and stop to look around.

The trail crosses what I believe must be Bishop Creek a few times.

The elevation gets up to over 10,500 ft. so I began to slow down considerably. I wasn't bothered by the altitude except that hiking got harder. 

I had read in the Modern Hiker that this ledge was near the top. I kept thinking that surely over the next rise I'd see the lake. 

 But no. At this point you're really up high in the rocks, and more rocks.

Looking back to South Lake (which is very low now). The parking lot for the trailhead is by that dam.

Finally the lake and a break!

As I sat on a rock on the shore, I could watch the golden trout, California's state fish. Pretty cool.

Like many alpine lakes, Lower Treasure Lake sits in a bowl surrounded by mountains. I know their names but not which one is which: Hurd Peak, Mt. Goode, Mt. Johnson and Mt. Gilbert are all visible from here.

There are plenty of nice flat rocky spots surrounding the lake to rest or picnic or fish. I think I saw only eight people and about six dogs on the whole trail.  It was very quiet. 

On the way back down the sun was edging its way toward the mountains in the west.

Back at the trailhead I was already in the cool shadows of a setting sun.

It was a perfect Sunday. (And the Patriots won, so Rick was pretty happy too.)


  1. Beautiful! I've been researching the hikes and there are soooo many to choose from! We've only got two full days in Bishop so I might as well toss a coin to choose just two hikes and know that I can return another year!

  2. If you need some local knowledge there's a great store on the Main Street of town called Wilson's Eastside Sports. They've got lots of maps and anything else you might need for hiking. Also don't miss Schat's Bakery and Keogh's Hot Springs (about 5 miles south of town).

  3. Gorgeous!!! What a beautiful hike:) Love that clear water photo of the trout. And the sun over the mountain peak is a keeper!

  4. Yes, those trout were a real gift from the California gods I guess.


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