Ellery Lake

Ellery Lake

Last weekend, the first one with an open Tioga Pass of the season, we did a quickie overnighter to Bishop. David is recovering from a sprained ankle so instead of hiking we did a bit of fishing, bouldering, nomming on Whoa Nellie goodies, and hot springing.

Our trip took us to Ellery Lake where we fished the outlet. We saw tons of fish but they weren’t interested in anything we were throwing at them. David caught one guy who would end up being a decent dinner appetizer. From there we timed our lunch stop for fish tacos at Whoa Nellie, then headed down to Rock Creek. The road is clear all the way to the Mosquito Flat Trailhead, remarkably dry for early May.

We fished the creek and wandered up to the first couple of lakes. While snow still dominated the slopes of the peaks to the west, there was barely any in our immediate vicinity at 10,500 ft. Absolutely insanely dry. On the bright side, mosquito season should be long gone by the time we head out on our annual August backpack.

Bear Creek Spire, Mt Dade, Mt Abbot, Mt Mills
Bear Creek Spire, Mt Dade, Mt Abbot, Mt Mills

For camp, we found a nice spot out Casa Diablo Road north of Bishop. It was quite hot out but cooled nicely overnight. In the morning we headed straight to the Sad Boulders where we saw some colorful lizards and got in a little bit of bouldering. My hands are calloused by indoor gym holds, and the real rock hurt so much, ouch! But it’s still a lot of fun.


Bouldering at the Sads

Bouldering at the Sads

On our way back north we hit one of our favorite hot springs and went for a second lunch at Whoa Nellie (lobster taquitos this time). Back over the pass, we decided to fish Tioga Lake and it was here where David had the best luck. We ended up bringing home four holdover stockers from last summer, so dinner was covered for a couple of nights!

Hot Springin'

Hot Springin'

Conditions are changing rapidly up there as the snow melts out. While almost all trailheads are accessible now, remember that the higher terrain still has a fair amount of snow. If you’ll be venturing out make sure to get recent condition reports and be prepared for spring conditions – it’s not summer *quite* yet.

Rebecca Sowards-Emmerd

Mountain sports addict. Dog Mom. Craft beer drinker. Tech nerd. The best days are those spent above 10k ft. Meet me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google +


Jim Jarvis · May 18, 2012 at 12:26 am

Morning TV weather from Sacramento has a live Tahoe cam. I’ve been watching the rapid snowmelt, day by day. The snow-cross on Mt. Tallac was strikingly obvious early on. Rivers & streams up Hwy 50 way aren’t running high though, so snow depth was low. And, yes, reservoirs are far from full. Gonna be dry, but fine & fun.

I was expanding pics of David fishing to get an idea of rod & reel. Looks like small spinning outfit. Small gold spinners? Have attracted brookies for the past 50 years (Iceberg Lk even – deep pink flesh, salmon-like). Fly swatters stun grasshoppers which attract trout in late summer or fall. Nothing aesthetic but “Yummy!”

Thanks Rebecca. Fun weekend. Snazzy new car. You look to be reviewing a new tent. Some pretty impressive photos. Wowza, gal! JimJ;O)

Jim Jarvis · May 18, 2012 at 1:03 am

Looking for the tent in one of your pics, I Googled tarptent, double, rainbow. Hey, there’s Calipidder modeling inside her single Rainbow on Trailspace. Headed for the big-time, ya be.

…So she loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly; Hills, that is; Swimmin’ pools, movie stars.

…Well she’s movin on up; To the east side; To a deluxe apartment in the sky.

…Fish don’t fry in the kitchen; Beans don’t burn on the grill; Took a whole lotta tryin’; Just to get up that hill.

Go ahead and take David along. He’s a good enough sidekick. (Take care not to let him call you “kimosabe.”)

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