Monday, June 18, 2012

Day 575: Forks Campground - Sierra National Forest - Bass Lake - Way-of-the-Mono Interpretive Trail

Bass Lake from the top of the Way-of-the-Mono Interpretive Trail

Day #575 * Hike #657 * New Track #560
Tuesday June 12, 2012
Forks Campground - Sierra National Forest, CA
Bass Lake
My Tripometer: 45 minutes * 1.25 Miles * +125 Feet
 Forks Campground at Bass Lake!

From Fresno, CA take the 41 North for 45 miles and turn right onto Road 426.  If I recall correctly, this intersection is in the town of Oakhurst and there is a traffic light and gas station on the corner.  Stay on this road for 6.3 miles and then turn left to continue following Road 426 for another mile.  At the end of the road, Bass Lake will be directly in front of you.  Turn right and the campgrounds will be immediately on the right.  Turn on in...

For $24.00 + fees, I reserved my site online.  Google Forks Campground Bass Lake and you should be able to find it.  I never knew about this place before and the reason I stayed here is because Yosemite was all booked up!  To stay in Yosemite, you really have to reserve your spot many many months in advance.  Forks Campground however is only about 30 minutes outside of the Yosemite entrance.  Let me tell you, this place is great!

It seems very rare to have a wooded area around a lake like this in California.  You feel like you are in the Pacific Northwest.  Ayden and I set up the tent and then walked around the campground.  There were many empty sites and the bathrooms were clean, no showers.  Eventually, we walked back towards the front and took the bridge over the tiny stream which placed us on a short cement path...

 This lead out to the road...

 Bass Lake Across the Street
We walked down the road to the store and found out that we could rent a fishing boat here.  The cost, just $40.00 for 2 hours!  Of course, the boats maximum speed is only 15 mph, but since Bass Lake is a small lake by comparison to others.  There are other places on the other side of the lake where you could rent jet skies and what not, but this will do just fine.  I made a deal with Ayden, go on one short hike with me and we'll do the boat ride.
I researched the hiking trails around Bass Lake and I intended to do at least a couple of them.  The Willow Creek Trail & Angel Falls is just beyond the Devils Slide (We'll see this from the boat ride later).  Goat Mountain / Spring Cove Trails, Browns Ditch Trail but we decided on the easy Way-of-the-Mono Interpretive Trail...
Day #575 * Hike #658 * New Track #561
Tuesday June 12, 2012
Way-of-the-Mono Interpretive Trail -
Bass Lake
My Tripometer: 45 minutes * 1.25 Miles * +175 Feet
 Private Beach down the road


From the campground, turn left on the road and pass the store.  Continue driving with the lake on your right for a mile or so and just across from the Little Denver Church Day Use Area you will see the trailhead on your left.  Pull in and began this short loop trail.

 The trail begins with fresh smells of the fir trees

 make your way to the top

 Bass Lake

 1, 2, 3, Blow!

The trail had many interpretive signs and many other posts where the signs were missing.  It was mostly shaded which was a pleasant relief from the bright sun.  We worked up a sweat and as promised, time for a boat ride...
 Make your way to the dock

 Captain Ayden!

 look out for the geese

 Madera Sheriffs

 The other side


Tuxedo Duck?

 Beaching the boat

 Dare to slide?

This bonus coverage of the boat ride is obviously not a hike.  We boated around the entire lake from the middle, to the dam to the falls and back.  This was a real nice way for Ayden and I to bond and start our trip off with a positive experience...

 Ayden cooks our dinner

Ayden jumps in the lake at sunset
We went to bed early, it was a bit cold but we had plenty of blankets.  It's much easier to bring warmth and comfort to camping when you park right next to your tent.  That said, I still prefer hiking in to my destination.  Good night, tomorrow will be my first ever visit to Yosemite...

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