I had this trip planned almost a year in advance for July 20th 2018 weekend seeing how fast cabins go for that area. I had everything listed and planned for our activities. It was just VERY unfortunate that that same weekend (of ALL fucking weekends), Yosemite ended up being on fire: Ferguson Fire (currently on its 26th day and burned up 93,331 acres with 43% containment the last I hear). Our cabin was located in Midpines, a little ways from Mariposa/Ferguson, but still close enough that there was a heavy cloud of smoke that covered our area. Most of Yosemite was still open, but the main road 140 was closed and even if the park was still open, it’s not healthy to be heavily breathing in smoke whilst trying to do a strenuous hike.
Our original plan was to do the Mist Trail hike to Nevada Falls, roughly 6.5 miles total with plenty of up hill hiking then go coasting in a lake nearby. What do you do when everything goes to ruins? With everyone being so skeptical and negative about the situation: Don’t wallow, instead, make a plan B. We still ended up going, once we reached our destination (11 hours and 10 minutes later -_- due to getting the wrong directions) we unpacked and settled into our cabin in Midpines (air quality was pretty bad).
As a group we deliberated for a few hours on what to do, at one point we thought about just sticking to the original activities plan but just wear masks, if it’s really bad then we call it quits. But I was really hesitant on letting everyone do heavy activities (especially with breathing) in such heavy smoke– after much research and discussion, I decided that we take another easier hike: Lewis Creek Trail in Oak Hurst, a city away from Yosemite. Even better was that down the street from that trail was Bass Lake that we can go and relax after. The plan ended up being a really fun plan. As impromptu as it was, it ended up being really fun weekend.
Lewis Creek Trail
This trail is roughly 4 miles if you do the entire trek from the upper parking lot to the lower parking lot. Relatively easy hike that takes you through creeks and eventually a Corlieu Waterfall. We were definitely not disappointed even though it was short. It’s an easy hike option and very well suited for kids and families. This place was gorgeous with trees that provided plenty of shade and it wasn’t too hard of a hike, although just be wary on warmer days it’ll still be difficult if you don’t bring enough water because you’ll be sweating balls and dehydrate.
There’s two parking lots, one on the upper hills and one down hill of the 41, 4 miles total if you did the entire stretch of the hike. We ended up only doing the shorter one to Corlieu Falls from the lower parking lot then back (2.5ish mile hike). In between are full of beautiful spots to take photos too. I loved that the midway spot where Corlieu Falls is, there’s an observation deck that you can sit and relax at to catch your breath. Make sure to take some photos!
A wonderful lake town that is surrounded by beautiful trees and cabins. The lake isn’t super cold, rather a nice cool temperature and not salty so it doesn’t hurt your eyes/nose if you decide to plop in for a bit. We bought our own inner tubes and raft beforehand so that we didn’t need to rent. Plenty of places have air pumps for customers to blow up their tubes free of charge.
We ended up at Miller’s Landing Resort because they were the remaining place that had a boat left for rent. Duly note that if you want to take a boat ride, reserve ahead of time! We decided last minute to take a boat ride, we spent over an hour calling places hoping they had a boat we can rent. Thankfully we got one for 4:00PM for $325 for 3 hours + $100 safety deposit + $20 /hr gas with a banana tube for $45 extra (really fun inner tube that sits 6 people). We ended up lounging in the lake for a few hours soaking in the sun to wait off the time until we can pick-up our boat. Remember to thoroughly slather on sun block before going in!
Miller’s Landing Resort also has some really cool cabins that you can rent for 2 nights at $800 ($888 after tax). Definitely something worth checking out in the future!
37976 Rd 222, Wishon, CA 93669