BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Here at The Now we have spent a lot of time showcasing the outdoor trails along the western slope of the Sierra Mountains because of the close proximity to local Kern County families, but Thursday on a new episode of Tori's Trails we took a look at the other side of the Sierra Mountains.
Reporter Tori Cooper wanted to encourage everyday people to take a step further and explore what else the other side of their mountains have to offer and what it's like to camp and hike in the same weekend.
If you are craving post card worthy Sierra views Bishop California may be the spot for you. However, you may want to bring your camping gear because this spot is made for day hikers who want to hike in and hike out.
In this case Cooper decided to make this a family trip with her dad and brother. The three set up camp at the Intake Two campground where there is plenty of trees and wildlife to surround camping tents, along with tons of fishing on the lake. After catching trout for their dinner and paying for their campsite fee they headed three miles up the mountain to the South Lake Trail head which grants access to hundreds of trails for hikers.
Since they were interested in a day hike they chose to take the 5.5 mile round trip trek to Long Lake. The path wasted no time climbing up steep gravely terrain but It eventually leveled out.
Along the way they came across several mule trains, streams, familiar Kern County flowers like Indian Paint Brush and plenty of sage. The trail ultimately topped out at over 11,000 feet in elevation with plenty of vistas for you to cast a fishing line or simply enjoy the view and snap a picture or two.
Eventually Cooper and her family started a fire at their campsite, prepped the trout they caught and cooked dinner over the fire.
After hiking a total of 12 miles in two days they made one last stop at the Wild Willy's Hot Springs before making their way back to Bakersfield.
"It's about 103 degrees in this water right now, as you can see I have a face mask on that many of the locals say is great for your skin exfoliates your skin quite a bit, very therapeutic experience we have here. To the left you can get a greater observation of some of the grand vistas that one can see when they are out here. There is nothing but Eastern Sierras for you to check out with you and your family so if you do decide to make your way down here it's about 40 miles north of Bishop, so not too far from where you will be doing most of your camping and hiking. Make sure you take all of your trash with you to preserve it for others,” Cooper said while sitting in the naturally formed hot spring.
Click here for a link to hiking and camping packing essentials.