Each time I visit the USA (which I definitely try and do with every overseas trip!), I always plan in a visit(s) to a national park, preferably a different one each visit.
My last visit to the states we hired a camper van and did a road trip around California and into Nevada for the Burning Man festival. On the list was a visit to the Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. This mountain range is primarily in California and part of the range in Nevada and if you have not visited the area of seen pictures of it – IT’S BEAUTIFUL!
After researching which day hike to do, we decided on hiking Little Lakes Valley. This hike looked to be the most picturesque, not too challenging and not too far from where we were camping. The hike itself is not too hard, however as you will be hiking from 10,000 to 12,000 feet, this may impact you.
The hike starts from the Mosquito Flat Trailhead and signs are visible along the trail. The views are incredible right from the start. The mountain range is in sight the entire hike and we passed so many of the little lakes, it is obvious to where the name of the valley originated. My camera had yet another work out hiking past flowers in bloom, artists painting the landscapes and the changing foliage from green pastures to barren rock. You can make the hike as short or as long as you like, as there are many areas to enjoy and relax.
We met some fellow hikers along the way and I always love a chat. We met one guy, named Jeremy, who was planning on solo hiking in the area for a couple of weeks. Jeremy was planning on staying the night at Chickenfoot Lake, so we all continued our hike with Jeremy and then enjoyed lunch at Chickenfoot Lake at his campsite. It’s always interesting to see how other people set up their campsite and in the USA, you need to be prepared for bears. I learnt all about bear canisters and what precautions to take to minimise a bear from wandering near your campsite from a very experienced hiker.
Chickenfoot Lake was our turnaround point, however you can continue further to Mono Pass, where you will reach 12,000 feet and onwards to Summit Lake.
- There is no water on the trail – bring your own supply
- It can get very hot over the summer in this area so please check the weather and plan accordingly
- Due to the altitude, seek professional advice before undertaking this hike if you are concerned
- Bears live in this area, therefore plan accordingly, especially if overnight hiking