Big Pine North Fork to Black Lake


The plan for this trip was to get back into the Eastern Sierra for a few days, by hiking North Fork at Big Pine on Saturday and Tyee Lakes near Lake Sabrina on Sunday. We camped right across from the Tyee Lakes trailhead, but ended up heading North on Sunday to Parker Lake since the trip to Black Lake was tougher than we expected.

Trip Details:

Date Range – July 23-24
Campground – Willow Campground
Distance – 295 miles
Closest Town – Bishop, CA

We grabbed the last of the eight campsites in Willow campground. It was right next to a slow moving creek, so mosquitos were everywhere during morning and evening hours. At night, the temperatures were in the sixties and the wind was calm. The next morning we drove south to Big Pine to hike the North Fork up to Black Lake. Where the trail forks off to Black Lake is the toughest hike I’ve done to this day. It was steep, exposed, and lengthy. But the tranquility that comes with the final destination is indescribable. After taking a break to enjoy Black Lake, we headed back down to the trailhead. The views on the way back from Black Lake are incredible, with the turquoise lakes of Big Pine Creek sitting perfectly in front of Temple Crag. This added perspective to the lakes we frequent really illustrates the vastness of the Sierra Nevada.

Black Lake near Big Pine Creek

The original plan for Sunday was to hike up to Tyee Lakes, but the trail to Black Lake in the heat took a toll on our legs. Knowing that the trail to Tyee Lakes was a strenuous, short but steep climb also played a factor into heading North to hike to Parker Lake. Parker Lake trail had a few more people than I’m sure we would’ve encountered at Tyee Lakes, but it was nice nonetheless. The trail follows Parker Creek for about 2 miles to Parker Lake, which is a colorful trout-filled lake tucked inside tall Sierra peaks.

Parker Lake, near the June Lakes Loop

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