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Big Pine Creek Nth Fork Trail (4hrs nth of LA)

Los Angeles, California, USA


Starting at Big Pine Creek campground you can walk along the Big Pine Creek trail beside a lovely stream. In the beginning of summer if there has been a large winter snowfall, the snow melt will make the stream into a raging river! After a short while you come to a bridge over the stream where you can admire a waterfall! Depending on the water situation, the waterfall can be really powerful and stunning. This short hike to the waterfall is perfect for kids, with a real reward at the end.
Next, you come to a fork in the trail. Take the North Fork trail from here, which leads to meadows of flowers and after 2 1/2 hours, a magical blue-green lake called First Lake. Note: This is a hard hike with the possibility of mosquitoes and storms, and it is a high altitude.
Although the trailhead begins on Glacier Lodge Rd, there actually is no lodge. It burned down and all that's left are some super cabins right on the water. So, no hot chocolate in the lodge...
For a good place to get delicious BBQ ribs, check out Copper Top, in Big Pine.
A nice roadside town with a bakery, frozen yogurt place, bookstore, and coffee shop is Bishop, 27 minutes east and then 25 minutes north of here.
To check out a fish hatchery that is still working, and feed the fish, check out Fish Springs Hatchery, 36 minutes east then south.
Also nice for a stop 50 minutes south of here is Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery, which no longer has fish but transports you to Austria or Germany with its glorious building backed by the amazing mountains. Kids can see ducks in the pond.
One hour to the east and south, check out the Eastern California Museum, a humble museum that makes everyone in the family happy with its interesting, diverse exhibits.
Another good stop two hours south of here is Indian Wells Brewing Company where you can try unusual flavors of soda and see quirky roadside attractions like a skeleton driving a truck.
2 1/2 hours south, check out Red Rock Canyon, where you can gaze up at the amazing red cliffs, or go for a trail walk.

Photo Gallery

The path.

Looking up at the pines.

Little cabin in the woods...

The raging waterfall and bridge!

Blue lupine!

Where you choose to take the south fork or the north fork.

Incredible mountain vistas.

The waterfall as it roars below the bridge.

The waterfall!

Gorgeous mountains.

The stream.

The stream, full of water after a heavy winter snowfall.

Water overflowing the banks of the stream.

The jagged mountains.

The pretty views from the drive to Big Pine Creek Trail.


This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

The Big Pine Creek North Fork trailhead is located at 4024 Glacier Lodge Rd, Bishop, CA 93514. There is plenty of free parking and a clean outhouse restroom.
Copper Top BBQ, 310 N Main St, Big Pine, CA 93513.
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