10 Photos of Big Pine North Fork, Inyo National Forest | California Hike

Looking for a California hike- Inyo National Forest in the Eastern Nevadas has lakes, mountains and adventure. Find tips on hiking North Fork Pine Creek- Travel-Break.net travel blogMove over Big Sur! The Golden State reaps lakes, beaches and mountains… but the best of California hikes are those undisturbed.. and undiscovered. I packed up my backpack for a weekend camping (meh… somewhere between camping and glamping) in the Eastern Nevadas. We hit Alabama Hills before taking on Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail to unplug — a much needed digital detox. The Inyo National Forest, just a drive from Mammoth or Sequoia National park was well worth the four hour drive from Los Angeles.

In this post:

– Directions to Big Pine North Fork.
– John Muir Wilderness Printable Map.
– Inyo National Park rules.
– Where to stay.
– Day Hike packing list.
– Pictures of everywhere we stopped.
– Similar hikes you might like.

 

 

Directions to Big Pine Fork in Inyo National Park

The closes town in the Eastern Sierra Nevada is Big Pine. Data and phone reception is inconsistent. If you’re afraid to lose access to your network, I suggest getting directions to Big Pine ahead of time:

From Big Pine, go west on Crocker Avenue which becomes Glacier Lodge Road. Follow until the end of the road. There’s an alternate trail start point at the pack station and parking lot with cabin restrooms (the only ones available). Parking is for day use.

Inyo National Forest provides a printable map oh John Muir Wilderness with details.

Route distance:

The North Fork of Big Pine Creek is said to be a 9 mile hike. However, between all of the wandering in Inyo National Forest, my friends’ step-o-meter recorded over twelve miles of walking.

Big Pine Creek North Fork Rules:

  • Dogs are okay (yay).
  • Bring in what you bring out.
  • Treat the water before drinking it.
  • Day parking only.
  • Camping okay with permit from Inyo National Park visitor’s center.
  • If you see an animal, leave it alone. Store food and trash properly.
  • No campfires (on the trail, campground fires are okay).
  • John Muir Regulations apply.

Where to stay:

  • Nearest Campground: Big Pine Creek Campground
  • Closest Lodge: Glacier Lodge
  • Other: We camped at the nearby Tuttle Creek Campground and caught sunrise before heading over to the foot of the hike.

Learn more about Inyo National Forest on their official website.

En route to the lakes, pause at the first falls.

If there was ever a hike worth nine miles, it’s the Big Pine Creek North Fork. 

Big Pine North Fork at Inyo National Park, Eastern Nevadas, California | Hike packing list and travel tips via Travel-Break.net

View of first lake.

Big Pine North Fork at Inyo National Park, Eastern Nevadas, California | Hike packing list and travel tips via Travel-Break.net

Inyo National Forest gets hot. The aspens provide shade to and from the glacier lakes, but there are several stretches throughout the hike that don’t provide any shade.

Big Pine North Fork at Inyo National Park, Eastern Nevadas, California | Hike packing list and travel tips via Travel-Break.net

Shore at second lake.

Big Pine North Fork at Inyo National Park, Eastern Nevadas, California | Hike packing list and travel tips via Travel-Break.net

 View at second lake. Photo collaboration @TiffPenguin and @JonathanBasiago

chasing light in the alabama hills ☀️

A photo posted by tiffany nguyen (@tiffpenguin) on

Day-Hike Packing List + Tips

The sun is hot! Most of the trail has shade, but you will get sunburnt. I packed my Maui Jim sunglasses, not just because they’re one of my sponsors, but because they’re the most light-weight pair of sunglasses I own and they have a polarizing lens which enhances colors (and provides UV protection).  This means that your eyes aren’t only safer, but you get a better view. Think of it as walking around with your favorite Instagram filter veiled across your eyes. This is particularly important in such a bright, exhausting hike.

Chapstick is also crucial to combating chapped lips from dehydration and a hat will protect your face despite the many times you re-apply sunscreen.

Big Pine North Fork at Inyo National Park, Eastern Nevadas, California | Hike packing list and travel tips via Travel-Break.net

There didn’t seem to be any mosquitoes that were biting us, but there were a plethora of bugs (and mice) I’d never seen. We wore inspect repellant just in case.

Unless you want to hike the first 5 miles with a gallon of water, you should consider a compact water filter. There are plenty of creeks along the way to the main lake. My friend packed the Sawyer water filtration system. The Sawyer is not as fast as the pump or gravity assisted ones, but it’s the most compact — and with longer hikes, the less you carry, the better.

Pictured Right @Axelle_Claire 

Big Pine North Fork at Inyo National Park, Eastern Nevadas, California | Hike packing list and travel tips via Travel-Break.net

Reminder: there aren’t any porta-potties or cabin-style restrooms on the trail. Please do your business away from natural water sources and carry all of your trash outside of the park upon departure.

  • Snacks / Lunch
  • Shoes for water and hiking

Important note: I took my regularly running shoes and they fell a part. Seriously, they tore.

Men’s Hiking Shoes: (light), (heavy)
Women’s Hiking Shoes: (light), (heavy)

The United States Department of Agriculture has set out a warning that there is an “increase in bear activity.” Inyo National Forest is no exception.

I find it convenient to have my iPhone in a fanny pack, so that I don’t have to take off my entire backpack for a photo or Snapchat. Don’t judge me, it’s a part of my job and I do love photos.

Day-Hike suggested photo equipment:

  • GoPro
  • Oslo Clip for your smart phone
  • iPhone battery pack
  • Mini Trip-Pod + iPhone Tripod case

Check out these articles for more details:

Read: The Ultimate Guide to iPhone Photography
Read: The Ultimate Guide to GoPro Accessories and Tips

 


Posts You Might Like

Big Sur Road Trip / Highway 101 – No Clever Title Necessary (Photos)
Unplug: Goodbye Technology, Hello Yosemite National Park
California Winter: Ski, Surf, and Avocado (Photos)
Desert Vibes: Everything You Want to Know About The Wave, Arizona (Photos)
Arizona & Utah Road Trip (Photos) – Horseshoe Bend, Monument Valley, Devil’s Garden


 

S H O P

 

Travel Packing List: Active Wear and Outdoor Adventures (Women)
Travel Packing List - Outdoor Adventure - Active Wear Essentials for Men
Luggage + Backpacks
Packing Essentials
Travel Electronics
Photography Equipment
Travel Home Decor
Gifts Under $50
Gifts for Long-Distance
2016-12-04T17:13:49+00:00

4 Comments

  1. Elaine J Masters January 21, 2017 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    I’m a Californian who’s never been to Inyo. It looks like you caught perfect if hot, weather as well. The views are well worth it the travel.

  2. Supriya January 22, 2017 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Whoa. That looks like Canada. (not that I’ve been there). But this is drop dead gorgeous and you just gave me some major #hikegoals (albeit a tough one!)

    Thanks for sharing this post Stephanie – being on the East Coast, I had no idea that Inyo exists!

  3. Sia January 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    Never heard of this place, but when/if I make it to California any time soon I would definitely love to do this hike. The views are simply stunning and I love the never ending blue water that looks surreal!

  4. Bon Voyage Lauren January 25, 2017 at 11:59 am - Reply

    Wow, what a beautiful part of the world! And I live so close… how have I never been?! Beautiful post, thanks for sharing 🙂

Leave A Comment

1K Shares
Share70
Tweet417
Stumble460
Pin120
Share
+11