Stunning Scenic Day Hike Location Just outside of Lee Vining, Lundy Canyon is a Must Do Hike in the Eastern Sierra.
Do you Like Waterfalls? Do you like Beaver dams and Associated Ponds? How About Aspen Groves and High Mountain Peaks?
Welcome to Lundy Canyon, On many tourist sites in the Sierra, Lundy canyon will show up as a top hike, especially in the fall for a Color hike. but Lundy Canyon is so much more than just the color. The Lundy Recreation area starts about 5 miles off Hwy 395 just outside of Lee Vining California. The Lundy Reservoir and Camping Areas are a popular fishing and recreational area most of the year. The Hiking trail system provides Two main starting locations for different hikes. The First Trail is located near the Eastside of the lake and the dam area. The second trail is located Approx 2 miles up the canyon past the Lake where the road ends in a day use parking area with a bathroom and picnic tables.[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”9″ gal_title=”Lundy Canyon”]
The Second trail is best know as the Lundy Canyon Trailhead. The trail head sits within a grove of old Aspen growth and is surrounded by the workings of local beavers which have developed a series of dams and stream alterations throughout the valley.
Starting on Lundy Canyon Trail through the Aspen’s you will walk approx. 1/4 mile before you will get your first real treat along this trail. A well-defined beaver dam has created a clear water pool as large as many high altitude lakes in the Sierra. Upon inspection of the area you can easily identify the beavers home int he middle of the lake and immediately notice the first Waterfall Feature that the trail will be heading towards after leaving the pond/lake.
Once you leave the beaver dam the trail climbs over a rock bluff you will come to trail split, the left trail heads down to the base of the waterfall that you saw from the dam. This is a recommended detour as you get up close and personal with this waterfall. At times part of the trail is wet as the trail becomes part stream under some water run off. This is not a loop trail and you will climb back up to the trail after visiting the waterfall.
A little further up the trail and you will find a second Beaver pond featuring a grove of dead snags and shallows water pond and a small waterfall / stream feeding the pond that you will cross.
From here you will follow another stream as you climb higher out of the valley floor and start to take in the beauty of each mountain that wraps this Valley hike. each peak seemingly made out of different materials and standing a couple thousand feet above you, they cut crystal clear shapes into the blue sky of the Sierra. Next, of the trail comes a large grove of old growth Aspen trees that in the fall at stunning, in here you will cross the stream again, discover the old trappers cabin that has been swallowed by the forest and find the flattest part of this entire hike.
After the Aspen grove, the remainder of the hike beckons you forward as multiple Waterfalls line up as you climb this final stretch of the canyon floor. Each unique and quite beautiful the trail will break off in multiple places to give you up close photo or rest stops at each waterfall. Some sections of the trail at this point are quite steep for 50 to 100 yards at a time, but after each climb a new water feature appears and you’ll find that even if you’re tired you will keep trucking forward. As you close in on the base of the valley floor and now the mountain that sits at the very back is right in front of you the last Waterfall can be found to the left, plummeting from 1000 feet above. Spectacular.
From here many adventurers will climb another 1000 feet up to a series of mountain lakes which are great for backpacking trips or Summer day hikes that feature a cool dip in the lake. You can also find backpacking access into Yosemite National Park is you so desire. But for the average explorer coming to Lundy Canyon the Waterfalls are enough.