Friday, September 23, 2011

Parker Canyon Hike

Don, Ward and Dick above Silver Lake

Don Dupage and Ward Schroeder, two old hiking buddies, joined Dick and I on a hike to Parker Canyon to find another set of cascading waterfalls we spotted from a distance a day earlier.

We took the Parker Trail starting at Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop. The 6 mile RT hike was very strenuous. The trail ascends a 2,000' wall from the get go to a plateau with spectacular views of the Sierra Crest and Mono Lake.

The trail abruptly ascended a 2,000' wall. No easy warm-up today.

The trail switch-backed through clumps of aspens forests and low growing vegetation

Dick working his way up the wall

Mule ears turning color. Looking up at Mt. Wood (12,657').

Don and Ward taking a break about half-way up

After 2 miles and 2,000', we reach a vast plateau at 9,000'

Heading toward Parker Canyon over the next ridge

A fantastic view of Mono Lake from the plateau . . .

. . . and views of Mono Craters to the east (above and below)

On the plateau were stunted juniper trees hammered by winter snow and winds. All the lower branches were beaten down and dead. Life up here is brutal.

Skeletal remains of a dead juniper

We reach a ridge but could not get good view of the falls. Another ridge blocked our view.

A glimpse of upper falls

An intervening ridge obscured most of the falls. We did not have enough time to bush-whack our way to the next ridge. Well, maybe next time . . .

A grand view of the Sierra Crest north toward Tioga Pass Canyon.
Possibly L-R - Mt. Gibbs (12,773'), North Peak (12,242'), and Tioga Peak (11,526')

Grand view of Mono Lake and Grant Lake

Where forests meets the desert

Me and Grant Lake below

Heading back through a thick stand of aspen

Dick, Ward and Don about 2,000' above Silver Lake.
End of tough but great hike.

A couple last views - Convict Lake

Mt. Morrison - 12,241' - at sunset sits above Convict Lake

End of Eastern Sierra blog

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