Place: Dinkey Lakes Wilderness, Prather, California
Coordinates: 37.154401, -119.057428
Length: 4.5 miles
It was already afternoon when I arrived at the First Dinkey Lake and found a suitable campsite, but way to early to call it a day. So after pitching my tent and taking out all excess weight from my backpack I was ready to hike the Dinkey Loop Trail.
|My hike from the Second Dinkey Lake to the First Dinkey Lake, and the Dinkey Lakes Loop as captured by my GPS.|
The trail was level and clear, meandering through the forest. Every now and then I caught sight of the lake but mostly heard the people standing by its shore, many holding fishing rods. Here and there I saw narrow side trails leading toward the lake. I turned on one of them to take a look. Out of the trees the ground was covered in green grasses and wildflowers.
I run into a number of people going uphill, many carrying small day packs. The Dinkey Lakes Loop is a good day hike for vigorous hikers coming up from the Willow Meadow trailhead. All the hikers I've come across that day were hiking the loop clockwise, going up the milder slope. I was going the opposite direction.
Near the top I run into a couple of day hikers that I have seen near the First Dinky Lake just as I begun the Loop hike. I was astonished at how quickly they had gone around the loop. They were surprised that I chose to hike the loop counterclockwise - it was much harder that direction, they said. They probably were right, but come to think of it, my knees would probably prefer to do the steep and slippery slope uphill rather than downhill. Anyway, at the point were I had seen them first they were nearly done with their uphill walk, so no wonder they did the rest so quickly.
After a short chat we each moved our own way. A short walk after completing the ascend I came upon Mystery Lake.
I wandered along the lake shore thinking that it might have been a nicer camping spot than the crowded First Dinkey Lake.
There was some more uphill to go at the end of which I saw Swede Lake. There I had to stop for a longer break - I needed to filter more drinking water. I found a side trail leading to the water. The feeling of solitude disappeared when I heard people by the shore across the lake. They weren't being particularly noisy but they were not trying to keep quiet either, and the acoustics of the granite basin in which the lake was situated worked was very efficient in carrying their voices to my ears.
15 minutes, when coming downhill, maybe. It took me more than twice that time to get to South Lake. The main reason was that I was going uphill yet.
And then, there were wildflowers to stop by and appreciate.
I arrived at South Lake and found it very similar to Swede Lake, and also to Rock Lake which I had seen earlier on the trip.
|Ragwort, Senecio sp.|
It was the second time that day that I had hiked this trail segment, which I had already described in the previous post. But even in the same place there can be new sights.
|Gray swamp Whiteheads, Sphenosciadium capitellatum|
|First Dinkey Lake|
|First Dinkey Lake|
|Bogbean, Meneyanthes trifoliata|
|A sole mallard flying across the lake|
|Sunset by First Dinkey Lake|