Thursday, May 5, 2016

Busy in Bishop



We are now happily parked at “Camp Lazy Daze” in the Volcanic Tablelands BLM area just north of Bishop, CA. Jeanne had to take Riley to the vet on Saturday so we gave her the coordinates of where we stayed in 2013 and she found it vacant. Riley had a seizure but is now on a couple of medications and doing fine.

Can’t beat our views of the White Mountains.


This is a nice area to walk, with a nearby trail to some petroglyphs.


Looks like the kids were coloring on the walls again.


Wanting to do a hike we missed when we were here before, we drove south to Big Pine to the North Fork Trail. It was a perfect hiking day, in the upper 50s and calm at the 7,800’ elevation of the trail head. And only two other vehicles there.



There are several nice looking vacation cabins at the beginning of the trail.


The trail follows Big Pine Creek with views of  the Pallisades, a group of peaks in the central Sierra Nevada ranging from 13,000-14,200’ and containing the southernmost glacier in the US.



All the creek crossings had bridges so no wet feet.


First falls.

Bishop, CA 20161

We were surprised at the number of wildflowers and blooming manzanitas along the trail.

Bishop, CA 20163

We continued on along the North Fork trail because our goal was the Lon Chaney cabin at three miles in.



We gained 1,400’ of elevation but most of it was a gradual climb on switchbacks. The steepest parts of the trail had rock steps, but we were both getting a bit light headed from not being accustomed to hiking at over 8,000’. Luckily we stopped for a loaf of Energy Bread at Schat’s bakery on the way, which kept us going.






Second falls can be seen way off in the distance, then the trail switches back alongside the falls. It’s a 100’ cascade and is never visible in it’s entirety from the trail.



Great scenery everywhere.


After 3 miles we finally reached the cabin, which is now a little used forest service ranger camp but was built in 1929-30 for actor Lon Chaney, Sr. This is a good article about the cabin if you’re interested.


Bishop, CA 20162

The front porch faces the creek where he would fish for trout. A very serene setting.


Our friends had their own little adventure that day at McGee Creek, so none of us were in the mood to cook. A good excuse to try out Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop. Jim liked the Seven Gable Scottish Ale, and I really liked the Inconsolable Double IPA. They have a veggie burger and the food was good, too.

Jim, Jeanne, Mary and David.


The next day we went to the Buttermilks, a world famous bouldering area just west of Bishop. Not that we’re into climbing, but it’s a gorgeous area to hike around and do some rock scrambling, which we also did in 2013.


You can barely see David down there, but he gives some perspective to how huge these boulders are.





Jim, do you think I can make it?


As high as I care to go.


But Jim always has to outdo me.



These guys were doing some serious bouldering.


They made it look effortless, no harnesses or ropes, just climbed up the side of the rock.


Practicing so it’s not far to fall.


I didn’t have the strength or the nerve to get both feet off the ground but it was fun trying.


Lots more flowers.

Bishop, CA 2016


And we drove on a little a little farther to check out another area. It’s all good.



The weather is looking iffy for the next few days so not sure what’s in store. We’ll figure it out as we go.


  1. What beautiful pictures of such a gorgeous wild area. Those are the hikes I'd love to be taking. I am so tired of urban.

  2. The Eastern Sierra never fails to amaze me! Thanks for pointing out a few of the 'secret' areas. If you're still there any of the hot pools might be nice for a rainy day. Pick up some of Erick Schat's chili cheese bread sticks before you leave - great road munchies.

  3. One of the best photo collections I've seen his year!

  4. We love traveling and hiking along 395. Such a beautiful landscape, and your photos certainly do it justice. Big Pine looks like a great hike! It's going on the list. :-)

  5. Now that is some great scenery. Snow-capped mountains, emerging wildflowers and piles of rocks. Wish I was there!

  6. Lovely, lovely, lovely! You are giving me some great ideas for our next foray through the Eastern Sierras!

  7. Oh my...what an outstanding area. Everywhere there is so much beauty. Breath it all in!
    Now that was some rock scrambling. Good job.

  8. We love Bishop and the hikes surrounding it. I believe we took the North Fork Trail to Third Lake, and I seem to recall Terry was not liking me much that day. It was rather brisk above the 10,000' mark. ;) Love the Buttermilks. Those boulders are enormous and the surrounding snow-covered peaks are spectacular. Beautiful images! Perhaps one day we can travel the 395 together.

  9. Jim wasn't crazy about going 3 miles to the cabin, so you can imagine he was not very receptive when I suggested hiking to the first lake! Yes, it would be great to travel together along 395. The guys could turn back on the trail when they want, and we could just keep going without listening to the complaining ;-)

  10. Thank you so much for all your info: BLM, hikes and Lon Chaney's cabin! I appreciate the time and effort it takes to post. I was just in Bishop; maybe we passed on the road. I look forward to following your adventures and gleaning more nuggets.

  11. Love the new trail! Waterfalls and snowy mountains, not to mention the great temps...perfect!!

    We enjoyed scrambling around the Buttermilks for the first time last fall. But I wasn't a fan of the really rough rocks. Those boulders are a crazy group. But it was fun watching others:)

    Love all the wildflowers:)

  12. Love that area. Beautiful flowers - especially the field of yellow with the mountains in the background! They really need the water, but hope it doesn't spoil the visit.