We finally explored the nearby June Lake area today. The area’s landmark – perched boulder was still perfectly balanced. Who knows how long it has been that way. According to Wikipedia, it is a glacier erratic. It is 18 feet tall and weighs 150 tons. We checked out Oh Ridge Campground. It has lots of campsites, but it doesn’t have showers, and campsites are close to each other. It has a dump station that costs $10.
June Lake has a nice sandy beach with a swimming area. The water in the lake was warm enough for a swim. We were looking at Carson Peak from a different angle at June Lake. Mountains and rocks had perfect reflections on the lake. Summer was over and there were few people on the beach. Gull Lake is between Silver Lake and June Lake. There were some fishermen fishing. A small flock of coots swam nearby. Gull Lake also had the picturesque view of Carson Peak. It said that the 2-mile Gull Lake Loop was an easy hike for families. So I took a photo of the small map of the trail and went for a hike. Stephen stayed at the marina enjoying the view.
The trail was not very clearly marked from the beginning. The sign “Trail” didn’t have arrows. So it confused me at the fork of the trail. One trail went up to a higher ground and another one went left towards some houses near the lake. Looking at the map, the trail seemed to hug the lake, so I chose the trail on the left. The trail was easy with meadows by the lake. I stopped here and there taking photos. An elderly couple with a dog caught up with me. He told me there was a trail that went behind the hill and came all the way around to the lake. I said I just want to take the regular trail. Soon I passed another sign of trail. There was a wide trail going straight, and a narrow trail turning left going through the meadow. I saw the guy and the dog were going deep in the meadow. But I didn’t follow them and took the straight trail. The trail took me towards a hill and then to a road. It was away from the lake and it didn’t seem like a trail. So I returned and took the narrow “trail” on the meadow. There was no sign of the couple. Gee, they walked fast.
The map didn’t mark the locations of hills so it was hard to figure out the location of the trail. There was no significant trail on the meadow actually. I could only guess from lines of stampeded grasses. The “trail” took me to the foot of the hill. There was a giant boulder with colorful folds. I stepped in the mud immediately while taking photos of the boulder and the hill. My shoes and socks were wet. I followed the “trail” walking towards the other hill by the lake. Half way there, I found the trail was muddy and wet. I had no idea where this “trail” would end up with. Then I saw a boy and a girl walking on a trail in the woods. I decided to abandon this “trail” on the meadow and walked towards the woods. There was a sign “Trail” in the aspen grove. I might be on the right trail now!
Shortly a Boat Launch appeared by the lake. I walked over there and asked an angler where the trail was. He told me to climb up the steps on the hill and walk around it to the campground. Then I took the steep steps up to the hill and soon found no steps but loose sand on the hill side. An old Sierra juniper was on the huge rock hill. But I didn’t find any trail going around the hill. I looked back and saw a possible trail beneath. So I climbed down with my hands and feet on the loose sand, grabbing sagebrush to steady my footing. This was not the easy hike I pictured!
I saw a fisherman on a boat and waved to him asking about the trail. He said he saw several hikers walked on the trail by the lake but he was not sure if it was the trail. I looked down and saw that narrow trail and decided to go down. Then I made my way down the steep slope by the giant rock and stood right by the lake. The narrow trail seemed to be well traveled. Junipers grew by the water. Then I came across the narrowest section. A big rock and a pine were on the trail. I had to step on the exposed roots of the pine to walk around the rock, and then swung by the trunk to get across the trail. Finally, I came to a public place called Engine 12. The June Lake Loop was nearby. Whew! The hardest part of the “trail” was over. Soon I came back to the marina. That was another little adventure.