Hiking McGee Creek near Mammoth, CA

On the same trip that I hiked Parker Lake in the Eastern Sierra I also finally got to hike McGee Creek.  Sunset Magazine had a write up about McGee Creek Pack Station (horses) a few years ago and T has gone fishing there a few times.  We even camped right below this area last year on our way to Cherry Lake but I had never made it up to McGee Creek.  Until this year right after Memorial Day.

Even though it has probably melted by now, there's was a lot of snow on the ground still when I was in Mammoth after Memorial Day.  The McGee Creek hike was no different and the ranger at the visitor’s center had warned us that eventually snow would block our path.  She was correct, but it was a nice hike anyway.

Mo and I hiked McGee Creek after we had explored the Owen’s River Gorge closer to Bishop.  I think we hiked / walked the “lower gorge” as we dead ended at the power plant.  The walk was exposed and along a paved road that the Department of Water and Power (DWP) used to access the power plant.  We saw some climbers and fishermen but overall felt like it wasn’t really a nature hike like we were looking for.  It was interesting but very exposed.  I thought it would be cool to bike it before I realized it dead ended about two miles in.  We went to explore another section of the gorge but changed our mind as a big asphalt truck went by us.
Owen's River Gorge

The drive to McGee Creek Canyon switchbacks up a hill with beautiful views of Crowley Lake.  Drive past the campground and the pack station to the small parking area with a bathroom and a few camp spots.  The trail is easy to follow with a few different paths that get you where you are going.  We took the path that veered left to walk in the aspens and next to a very full and fast moving McGee Creek.  We walked through patches of snow and eventually met up again with the main trail. 

The beginning of our hike was exposed as we were walking in a canyon carved by a glacier.  Eventually we made our way into some aspen trees but not before crossing a few minor streams that had decided to flow in the middle of the trail.  Eventually we got to a place where we could not continue our hike because the snow blocked our path.  It was still a lovely day and we enjoyed the hike very much.

When we returned to Mammoth we tried a different brewery for "after hike beers".  This time is was Mammoth Brewing Company and for the first time I got to sit outside on their patio as I have only gone here in the winter before.  Mo and I agreed it was a great way to end our day.

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