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August 13, 2018
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March 10, 2020

W e had just come from being vagabonds the previous night. We had to find last minute camping accommodations and set up camp in the dark since our car couldn't make it to the the elevation of the campsite in Death Valley without overheating.

I craved more adventure.

Visiting Mammoth Lakes was an excellent segue from what we had done and what we were going to do on a road trip through Nevada and California. Mammoth is tucked in the Sierra Nevadas and is a quaint resort and recreational town. The town is surrounded by forests and mountains. Mammoth Mountain looms largely over the area. It is less than 50 miles from an entrance to Yosemite, which would be our next stop on this journey.

We ended up in the June Lake area. A sprawling ski resort which was sprawling in early July. We chose a hike to Fern Lake. A shorter hike with decent elevation gain where we secured camping permits to stay overnight. We pit stopped at Mammoth Brewing Company and had incredible food and beer before setting off on the trek.


Hiking to Fern Lake in Mammoth Lakes


We packed our park ranger provided bear canister and set off. The trail is listed as about a 3-mile out and back with a little over 1500-feet in elevation gain. We estimated that the trail is probably closer to 4-miles, but regardless, it's safe to say that it is steep. It begins with gradual incline but quickly escalates once you hit the fork for Yost-Fern Lake trail. Pretty much the rest of the hike is a leg workout.

Once you arrive at the top however, you quickly release your rucking was all worth it. There are two lakes, Yost Lake and Fern Lake which are nestled in their own valleys high above the June Lake area. The views from above are absolutely breathtaking. We passed many day hikers before the fork but were alone for the remainder of the hike.

There aren't many overnight permits given out, so we knew we would at least knew it would not be crowded. There was one other family enjoying the shore of Fern Lake but return down trail hours before the sun began to set. It was only us in complete solitude. We had pristine lakes and acres of beautiful nature thousands of feet above sea-level completely to ourselves.


We set up our campsite and explored our surroundings.

This is what adventures are made of.


As the sun set, I could only think about how much I wished our stay atop Fern Lake was more then one night. But then I remembered that we would begin a new adventure in Yosemite the very next day.

Chris Fluitt
Chris Fluitt
I am an all around tech guy, a graphic designer and programmer, a car enthusiast, and a coffee and beer lover. When I'm not behind the keyboard I am probably exploring a national park.


  1. PickAkayak says:

    I agree with this is what adventure made of, thanks for sharing I would definitely be having a great trip this vacation 🙂

  2. Olivia says:

    The Fern Lake trail is steep and rocky but the reward at the end is paradise. The 3.2-mile hike to a secluded lake filled with brownies and stunning views along the way. I hiked alone for some “me” time and I didn’t encounter another human being the entire time. It was awesome. Rated hard for good reason, but if this 35-year-old female can do it so can you. I made it up in 1 1/2 hours (lots of stops for pics) and down in about an hour. Trailhead is just a short distance from the center of June Lake.
    Olivia recently posted…Best Hot Weather Hiking Pants of 2020My Profile

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