CA – Eastern Sierra . . . where’s the snowline?

It was late May 2019, and I wanted to see for myself what 200% of normal snow levels looked like. My first stop was Alabama Hills for this view of Mt Whitney. I couldn’t help but reminisce about my first time playing among these rocks (link) as well as my unforgettable ascent (link) and descent (link) of the tallest mountain in the continental US.

My friend Nancy (WhyNot?!) and I wanted to explore canyons off of Highway 395 we hadn’t previously visited. The first was out of Big Pine on the Glacier Lodge Road.

While we may have wanted to adventure deeper into this cirque, we decided to check out the nearby waterfalls instead.

The trail was in great shape.

We found lots of water.

Next stop was Lake Sabrina (pronounced Sa-BRINE-a) at the end of Highway 168 out of Bishop.

With everything still pretty wet and snowbound, we decided to skip hiking the trails this trip.

From Tom’s Place (I’m guessing named for nearby Mount Tom), we drove Forest Road 12 to Rock Creek Lake.

We hiked the road a bit.

We made it to the Little Lakes Valley trailhead which only made me want to explore further.

Instead we walked around Rock Creek Lake.

It was a little early for wildflowers, but we found a little color.

Adventure Date(s):

  • May 28-29, 2019


  • Great dispersed camping can be found at Alabama Hills and Buttermilks.
  • I spend a lot of time at near freezing temperatures and have found not all fuel to be equal. On my latest jaunt I ran out of the better quality fuel and had to buy Coleman brand, yes it was crazy expensive in a tiny resort area but I wanted hot coffee! I’m happy to report on a 34 degree morning it worked perfect. I’ve learned to store my fuel upside down and warm (in my sleeping bag) in cold weather. I shake the canister, while holding it upside down, before attaching to my stove. It’s much easier to find Coleman brand in small towns so I’m thrilled it’ll be an option in the future.



Photo credit: Nancy




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