Flores Family Vacation

Twin Lakes in Mammoth Lakes

August 25 – 27, 2016

This year the Flores Family scheduled a family vacation to Mammoth.  My brother and his family have been going here for years.   My sister, Kim and I decided to tag along this year.  My brother Henry couldn’t make it, so I brought his daughter Brijene with me.  Hopefully next year my sister Diana and brother Henry can join us.

Of course, I did my research and planned some hikes for those who were up for it.   The first day we hiked a short 5 miles to the Devils Postpile and Rainbow Falls as I did not want to burn anyone out.  Not much elevation gain.  Everyone made it back and felt the first day was perfect for a warm up.

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Skelton Lake

Day 2, Duck Pass trail with lots of lakes to see. Option one, 5.4 miles round trip to Barney Lake, elevation gain 1,094. Option two, Duck Pass 8 + miles, elevation gain 1,736. I warned everyone the first part of this hike would be steeper than day 1.  Patty and Lynn decided to shoot for “Option one” as they have not been hiking to the level that they would like.  My nieces decided to go up to Duck Pass with me as they are both softball players and are in tip top shape.

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The girls with Barney Lake as a backdrop

We took a quick a break at Barney Lake with Patty and Lynn and then headed up to Duck Pass before the sun was overhead.  It was another 1.3 miles, so we made pretty quick time.  The view of Duck Lake on the back side of Duck Pass was amazing.  The lake was much bigger than I expected.

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Panoramic view of Duck Lake

We had a lunch break and then headed back down to the trailhead with a quick stop at Arrowhead Lake.

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Arrowhead Lake

Maddison turned 18 this week so we celebrated her birthday with the best Cajun Seafood BBQ including lobster, crab legs and shrimp.  So yummy.  I was waiting for the bears to show up for their share.

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Happy Birthday, Maddison. Schat’s birthday cake to finish off the wonderful dinner.

Day 3,  We changed our hiking plans.  Adrian suggested hiking Dragon’s Back Trail off the backside of Mammoth Mountain.  He said it was pretty easy and included beautiful views.  I was a little concerned as it was pretty steep.  It would be a short hike of 4 miles as we would take the Gondola up to the top and hike down from 11,000 ft and end in the Twin Lakes campground with the total feet descended of 2,300.  I had reason to be concerned as the first part of the hike was all exposed with lots of hiking on loose gravel.

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My first clue  that this was going to be grueling

About two thirds of the way down I felt a little better about the trail.  Lots of trees on the trail to catch me should I slip off the trail.

We stopped at the Bottomless Pit for a break and then headed down to the bottom of the trail and back to camp with a stop at the camp store for an ice cream treat compliments of Patty.  Well earned.

Meanwhile back at camp the rest of the crew had been catching fish in the lakes and streams and they  even took a trip to Tioga Pas where they caught a bunch of fish in a creek that they found on a previous trip.

This was an amazing trip.  Can’t wait to do this again next year.

NOTE:  Met lots of backpackers hiking the John Muir Trail and got some great information for some backpacking trips for next year.

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