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Parker Lake

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crystalline mountain lake, wilderness splendor, fishing, sierra canyon
Near:Lee Vining, CA
Distance:4.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:600 ft
Hike Time:2.5 hours
Trail Condition:Well maintained trail
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: A very easy trail that starts out in the desert-like atmosphere of Nevada high country. It changes once you reach the marked borders of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. You follow Parker Creek along the trail and only gain a small amount of elevation along a relatively short trail. The forest quickly becomes lush and verdant.

The secluded High Sierra Lake Parker is wonderful - too cool for swimming unless it is an incredibly hot summer day, but the fishing can be divine. The locals think so also, and you might meet a few along the way. It's how I learned of the place, once upon a time being a local there, myself. The only thing that detracts is the tree graffiti that has accumulated over the years, but it ends before you reach the lake itself, and some goes back over 50 years. Most, it seems, comes from the 70's. the views are stunning and the mountains form a canopy which keeps this place very cool almost all of the time. Nice view of Mono Lake from the trail.

Trailhead: From the 395 take the North June Lake Junction (158), turn right (west) onto forest road 1S25 to Parker Lake, stay on the dirt road until you reach the parking area. The trailhead is just to the north of the parking area and very easy to find as long as you don't miss the turn. Take a map and you'll be fine. The road is also marked.

This is a great place to camp and fish. I might not hike it just to hike it, but I would certainly hike it to camp or fish again. (Lat:37.83534 Lon:-119.15865)

Trail Guides for Parker Lake:
California Hiking
by Tom Sinestra and Ann Marie Brown (Avalon Travel)

Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Inyo National Forest Mono Lake Visitor Center (760)647-3044
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Allen Riedel, who has posted  123 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Submit your own review
Reviewed by MJL on 10/8/2013
I hiked this Oct 2nd, on my second day up in the Sierras. Most of the uphill slog is on the lower part of the trail, which is steep and slippery enough in spots (thanks to loose dirt and gravel) that a trekking pole is helpful, though I saw many hikers (and three dogs) without such assistance. The second half of the trail is mostly level (with a little bit of gentle up and down) and partly runs along the creek which drains out of Parker Lake. There are great views all along the trail, in both directions, so be sure to look in back of you from time to time. In the fall, the aspens are gorgeous. The lake is beautiful, but you can't really hike around it. I hiked halfway up the south shore, ending at a nice tree seat for a s

Reviewed by JC on 5/25/2013
Windy day on June Lakes, so we just took the hike. Very Nice! 86 yr old dad made the hike & loved the views & terrain.

Reviewed by TYLC on 7/23/2012
Great hike, not crowded on Friday early afternoon in mid-July. ill do again to fish and relax in the late morning/early afternoon. Rest more and drink lots of water if you are prone to altitude sickness: Hike starts at elevation 7700 ft! I brought my fly rod but caught no fish after seeing a few jumping up for flies. No one else (about several others were fishing) caught any, too. Bring mosquito repellant. Lots of mosquitoes near where the creek starts running out of the lake and all along the creek where there is no wind.

Reviewed by KIA on 6/28/2009
Wow. The wildflowers and grasses were as stunning as the views. We took this hike two days ago. Paintbrushes, lupine, mule's ears, sulphur yellow buckwheat, delphinium, just to name a few. Then come the bright green aspen groves and the rushing stream bursting with native purple iris. The lake was breathtaking with reflections of the dramatic mountains broken only by the fish jumping. Lots of birds too. Don't forget the bug spray and some lunch.

Reviewed by dpb on 10/30/2008
We did it two in October O8. Incredible weather and yep the fish stared at us too. Also bird life at the lake buffoheads and water ozel. Do I know how to spell these? No. But glad we did not meet the group of 7! On our hike we traded off with other pairs ie. no more than four people total at any point. Why go in the summer?

Reviewed by Bill Sr on 10/26/2008
October 2008, our hiking group of 7 people just hiked this again and as usual was not disappointed with the fall color. With the temp at 70 and no wind it was a perfect day for the perfect hike. Our average age is in the high 60's and we are all in good shape. This is a 4+ star hike.

Reviewed by A. Riedel on 8/2/2006
Best short hike to a beautiful alpine lake. As stated, it's a good starter, or something to do on a rest day. Fish just stare at you from the clear water.

Reviewed by JK on 7/12/2006
It was a good hike to start your hiking vacation. Relatively easy, even for those of us adjusting to the elevation. Our group consisted of ages, 27, 32 and 57 year olds!

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: California Hiking, California Trails, California Hikes, Mono County Hiking, Mono County Trails, Mono County Hikes

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