Destination: Parker Lake
Mileage: 4.2 miles round trip
Trailhead: Parker Lake on June Lake Loop/CA-158
Elevation: 7,368 to 8,412 feet
After a late Sunday start on our Eastern Sierra weekend we chose Parker Lake for a quick adventure. This hike is short and mellow with a big payoff. Based on the trailhead overflowing with cars, it seems lots of folks had the same idea.
The trail roller coastered up toward the lake with the creek far below. Once the trail leveled out Wildlife 4-8 and Soils 4 waded through the sage to reach the creek and fish their way to the lake. If they had hiked a little bit farther the creek would have come to them, but the extra effort landed Wildlife 4-8 a fish.
Between fishing, wandering about, and photographing fall colors our group of five arrived at Parker Lake at different times. We came together for lunch and to enjoy the lake view and the aspen grove on the far side. While there were a large number of other groups, I never found the crowds annoying.
Even though the fall colors backdropping the lake were brilliant, I think my favorite part of the hike was when we passed a family on the trail. The mother said to her young daughter, “Look that dog is wearing a backpack.” Daughter’s response, “No Mom, that’s a lifejacket.”
There are still some fall colors to be had in the Eastern Sierras, but only if you’re quick!