13 June 2020
Twin Lakes to Barney Lake then back via Emerald Lake and Lake George
(12 miles, +2,100/-2,100 feet).
Today was COLD! Winds constantly gusted and the temperature stayed very much in the 30s and 40s until the afternoon.
We originally planned to climb Duck Pass and hike Mammoth Crest in a big loop, but the chill turned us around early so we could stay in the woods and out of the worst of the wind.
The first part of the hike was a lot of road walking through empty campgrounds still shuttered by the pandemic.
On the paved path we actually saw a very large pile of bear scat (I’ll spare you the image). I guess they are hoping that will keep Mammoth from reopening!
After a very windy couple of miles around Twin Lakes and Lake Mary we made it to the Duck Pass Trailhead. The storm from last night blanketed the forest in a wonderful wintry mix that was both beautiful and very easy to walk on.
We passed some pretty tarns and lakes on our way to Duck Pass.
We took a nice break at Barney Lake, our turnaround point, where I admired the Mammoth Crest and badly wished we had more heat and less wind.
Half Cookie was having a tough time with the weather, and by chance I happened to take a photo that she says is the epitome of our marriage.
On the way back we stopped for lunch at a nice overlook of Skelton Lake. A Red Lake is nearby. Coincidence?!?
We then took a trail not on my map over to Emerald Lake.
A short bushwhack took us across a stream where I picked up an unmaintained Forest Service trail that eventually fed into a maintained one that took us past more lakes and eventually back to Lake Mary and our car.