Fall Road Trip to the Eastern Sierra

A recent weekend road trip had us sneaking off to the Eastern Sierra for a little autumn fun. Empty campgrounds and beautiful fall colors were our reward for braving the frigid weather as fall descends upon the higher elevations in our home state of California.

Leaving behind the warm Santa Ana winds of Southern California, we made our way up the 395, our favorite highway to explore, towards Lone Pine, near the base of Mount Whitney. Arriving well after sunset we made our way out of town, diving into the Alabama Hills to find a dispersed campsite for the night. Guided by the moon we found our way to a nice outcropping of rocks to park the van beside and provide a little shelter from the icy winds developing.

The view out the back of the van waking up in the Alabama Hills, California - Fall road trip with Davis Taylor Trading Co.


After an early night and a solid 10 hours of sleep we woke early to explore the Mobius Arch. A short drive found us at the parking lot for the loop trail, were we had a good laugh after realizing we had camped so close to the trail, not knowing exactly where we had parked in the dark of the night. Bundled up against the chilly wind we hiked the easy trail to enjoy the view and take a few pictures. It was our first time in the Alabama Hills and we both agreed it won’t be our last!  

Mobius Arch with a view of Mt Whitney - Alabama Hills, California - Fall Road Trip with Davis Taylor Trading Co.


Back in the warmth of the van we were now on our way north towards Mammoth Lakes. After a quick side trip to Aspendell and then Convict Lake, to take in the fall colors, we headed to Twin Lakes Campground to secure a spot for the night. Finding a prime spot with a view of Twin Falls we made camp and set off on our way to Horseshoe Lake for a leisurely stroll. Our rescue pup Indiana Jones, loves swimming so we always try to visit water spots where he can play and make new friends. With a big hike planned for day two we focused on relaxation for the day and drove to a few prime lookout spots to enjoy the views and conserve our energy.

Amazing fall color in the Eastern Sierra, California - Fall Road Trip with Davis Taylor Trading Co.


The next morning we were off early again, after fixing a hearty breakfast to fuel our adventures for the day. With only a short drive back down the 395 towards Tom’s Place we soon found our way deep into the mountains yet again this time arriving at the Little Lake Valley Trailhead. This picturesque trail is dotted by lakes and creeks as you make your way deep into the John Muir Wilderness.

Hiking with dogs is my happy place! Exploring Little Lakes Valley Trail in October - Fall road trip with Davis Taylor Trading Co.


On a mission to make it Chickenfoot Lake we set off on this moderately challenging hike. Bundled up in fleece sweaters, beanies and gloves, we took our time, enjoying the view and letting our lungs acclimate to the higher elevation. Some spots where still iced over from the night before so we had to watch our footing as we made our way along the trail. After passing by Mack Lake, Marsh Lake, Heart Lake, Box Lake and Long Lake we easily reached our destination after two and half hours where we stopped for a picnic lunch beside the lake. Setting up our blanket in a quiet spot in the grass to take in the view, we basked in the sun and feasted on a picnic lunch at 10,500 feet, under one of the bluest skies we had ever seen. 

Lake side picnic lunch at 10,500 feet elevation in the Eastern Sierra, California - Chickenfoot Lake - Hiking the John Muir Wilderness with Davis Taylor Trading Co.Don't forget to pack a Bohemian Fiesta Blanket for those relaxing moments enjoying the view. Get yours here.


Making our way back to camp after our hiking adventure, the first thing we did was start a fire to fend off the cold that was rapidly approaching as the sun approached the mountain tops. The camp host had warned us that temps had dipped down to 17 degrees the night before so we knew we were in for a chilly night. To our surprise, just before we went off to bed, the tiniest snow flurries began to twirl around us like we were inside of snow globe. We danced around like children, as snow in October was a first for both of us!

In the morning our camp was completely iced over. Indy ran out of the van to get a drink of water only to find his water bowl frozen solid. With that we quickly packed up and made our way towards lower elevations and warmer weather as we headed home from our three day road trip.


 Fall road trip to the Eastern Sierra, California with Davis Taylor Trading Co.

Where is your favorite place to explore on a fall weekend getaway? Do you prefer to stay close to home or take off on a mini road trip? Tell us about your recent adventures in the comments below.

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