Exploring the Lost Sierra’s

Upon arrival here in Clio (pronounced Klio if you’re wondering) we were awestruck by the extraordinary beauty of this area, known as the Lost Sierra’s. Within 20 miles of the camp is a bevy of sights to be explored including mountain vistas and endless lakes. As the weather has once again turned to summer temperatures these last few weeks have found us taking full advantage.

Although Aspen is moving slower these days we have found the combination of Dasaquin with MSM, fish oil pills, carprofen, organic CBD oil, and a homemade turmeric paste has her bright-eyed and ready for action. Ever the true definition of an adventure dog her favorite thing is to head out on a day of discovery. Dreams of longer back-packing trips to remote lakes are not in our future but the fact of the matter is that we are a team and our day trips are dictated by her. With so much natural beauty at our fingertips, we are finding plenty to explore close to camp.

Last week was the first true reprieve from nearly three weeks of rain, snow, thunderstorms, and rain with lows getting back into the upper-30’s and low 40’s each night. Our hoped-for car camping/ backpacking trips were not in the cards but we did get out for some exploring. First up was a drive north to check out Red Bridge campground. Turns out, there are actually two Red Bridges and the one in the Plumas County Backroads to Discovery book was a bust. We made it around six of the twelve of 4-wheel drive miles before getting turned around by deep, slippery holes filled with water and snow.

Back on pavement, we did enjoy the scenic route west of Quincy to the other Red Bridge Campground. To be sure, it was nothing special as far as the camp, but the views and serenity were enjoyable and hey, a little 4-wheel adventure and great scenery make for a great day.

This week we had better luck. The big news was the lack of snow closing the roads to both Frazier Falls and the Lake Basin. Frazier Falls is an easy 1.1-mile roundtrip journey along a maintained path. The falls themselves were quite spectacular this early in the season and it is a bit difficult to believe that they will go nearly dry in a relatively short amount of time.

Heading ever up we finally successfully arrived at the spectacular Lake Basin Recreation Area. This small area just a few miles outside of Graeagle and Clio consists of over 20 small lakes, some accessible by car while others involve a bit of a hike, and ranging from 5000 to around 7000 feet in elevation. Although all side roads were still impassable due to snow we managed to experience the beauty of both Goose Lake and Gold Lake, the largest, with just a short walk over the remaining snow melt.

Goose Lake offers up a small campground nestled right between Gold Lake Highway and the lake itself and was still mostly iced in.

Our arrival at Gold Lake found us bemused to see three Catholic priests in full-length black robes also there to admire the spectacular view. An unexpected sight to say the least. We joined them in merely standing in silence to take in the white-capped mountains across from the partially frozen lake. Truly a stunning scene.

The next day found us making a successful hike into Smith Lake. After getting stopped by deep snow last month it was lovely to reach our goal on this delightful 2-mile roundtrip outing. After the first 1/2-mile of uphill the path levels out and even Aspen had no challenges and ever the retriever was certainly ready to jump in and attempt to retrieve some fallen trees from the water’s edge.

The afternoon found us off to wine taste at The Peak to enjoy some previously undiscovered wines all coupled with still more fantastic scenery here in the Lost Sierra’s.

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