My husband, myself, his best friend, and his best friend's dad all drove up to the Sierra's by Mammoth for a four day backpacking trip last summer! We took a six hour car ride up to Mammoth lake, where we left our car, and hiked into Red's Meadow camping ground to head way on the John Muir trail. The snow was still melting along our first five miles hiking, so it made the pit stop in our journey rewarding! All of the roads were closed due to the snow, so we were able to experience Red's Meadow like no one has been able to before! The campgrounds were desolate, so we took advantage and set up camp by a creek. Once camp was set-up, we took a mile and half hike out to discover we were by Sotcher lake where we could go fishing! This was a great surpirse since we were going to be living off freeze dried food for the next few days. Once we few fish were caught, we headed back to camp to cook our catch and settle in for the night! :)
We made the executive decision to camp out at our "luxurious" camping spot we came across for another night, so we ended up not packing our packs in the morning. Instead, we went out for a day hike! We all took our day packs, and set out for Rainbow Falls. It was a 2 mile hike out, and the views were incredible! When you're at the first view point from the top of the waterfall, you can see the rainbow cascading from one end to another! After we got our pictures in, we hiked down to the bottom of the falls. It ended up being a much more relaxing day from day one to say the least. We headed back to camp to whip up some dinner, and turn in with our books.
We got all of our things together to head out first thing in the morning! We we're headed for a 5 mile hike out to camp by Starkweather lake. Once our destination was reached, as beautiful as it was, I'd never recommend this spot to anyone! We were being eaten alive by mosquitos! Nevertheless, 5-6 miles in...I was willing to put up with the bugs. We made smores, swam in the creek, and had freeze-dried dessert! (Which is actually pretty good, surprisingly!) The next morning, we were hiking to head home.
As we had all of our things packed up ready to go... We were dreading the moutian with switchbacks we had to take to get out of there. We knew it was going to take 9-10 miles to head back, and we were well rested and prepared! The top of the mountian had views I couldn't even explain, it was gorgeous. It made the killer switchbacks feel rewarding at that point! Once we got back down to Mammoth Mountian, we all grabbed a beer by the lifts to relax before we took the trolley back down to Mammoth lake. In total, we ended up hiking 28-32 miles the entire trip. All in all, it's an incredible experience I recommend for everyone to try at least once in their lifetime! Backpacking gave me a true feeling of freedom, and we can't wait to take our next trip!