After a little mid-morning snack we were back on the road again and headed through Groundhog Meadow. The site from the intersection of the West Fork of Cherry Creek and Buck Creek was spectacular to the east we were surrounded by a great granite bowl while the landscape dropped down to the west via Cherry Creek.
gWe then headed south following Buck Creek and doing a bit of climb to get to our trail junction. Along the way we were rewarded with a beautiful waterfall in Buck Creek.
At about the 9 mile mark we hit our trail junction that would take us east to Gem Lake. By this time our stomachs were rumbling and we were looking forward to resting our dogs and chowing down on some cheese and crackers or in Steve's case an oh so yummy Cliff Bar and Sour Bears. Gem Lake was beaufitful and crowded I think we saw about 5 tents setup so while it was a great spot I was glad that we were hiking a bit further in the hopes of having fewer people.
The trail was flat and easy going all the way to Jewlery Lake. We passed about 6 people on our way up to Jewlery Lake which was a great sign and when we finally got to the lake we saw only one campsite set up.
12 miles later we finally made it to Deer Lake and it was beatiful it was about 3:30 in the afternoon so we had plently of time to relax and enjoy the lake. We were also the only people staying at the lake we couldn't believe it. The long hike was definitely worth it and to reward ourselves we cracked open a Nalgene full of wine and built a great campfire.
We were up bright and early Sunday morning and hit the trail around 9. Don't we look ready to go?
The hike back was great and we had bluebird conditions. A reminder of why I love the Sierras so much. We passed through Jewelery and Gem Lakes again on the way back and not far from the trailhead we took a break at Camp Lake which was really pretty.
See all of my Deer Lake pictures