Tag Archives: Inyo National Forest

Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail: A Hiker’s Promised Land

Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail in Inyo National Forest, California has it all: from spectacular views of 14+ lakes, 14,000 ft. mountain peaks, and access to the southernmost glacier in the United States and the largest in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Palisade Glacier.  There are flowing rivers and waterfalls, rocky switchbacks, Golden Trout, Jeffrey and Lodgepole pines, Aspens, a gorgeous rock cabin built by Lon Chaney Sr. and glacier-fed lakes.  This trail is truly a nature lover’s paradise.

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Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail by Julia at XplorMor

John Muir once said, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”  Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail gives life to these words.  From the moment your car leaves the 395 at Big Pine, California and heads into Big Pine Canyon, it’s clear another world awaits; the further into the canyon, the clearer the vision.  The road ends at the parking area for Inyo National Forest, and the trail head for accessing Big Pine Creek North and South Fork trails.

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Second Lake in Inyo National Forest by Julia at XplorMor

The trail is well-defined throughout its about 19 miles, except one mile in from starting at the Glacier Lodge trail head where signage is missing (Read more on Finding the Trail).  As the trail winds up Big Pine Canyon glimpses of a possible destination, Palisade Glacier, are seen through the trees and past the overlooks.  The trail to the glacier gains more than 4,000 feet in elevation with intervals of steep narrow rocky switchbacks and sharp drop-offs, yet the destination beckons an enticement of wonder and untouched natural landscape.  Many hikers do not reach Palisade Glacier as it requires extensive hiking and possibly an overnight stay in this rugged wilderness.  Regardless of whether the hiker follows the loop past seven lakes on a day excursion or ventures further overnight to the glacier, the scenery will not disappoint in this hiker’s promised land.

View slide shows and read more about Big Pine Creek North Fork Trail and Inyo National Forest.

National Parks Week is Here!

Get out there and take advantage of free admission to our National Parks and lands this weekend: April 19th and 20th! In honor of National Parks Week, our park lands will waive entrance fees this Saturday and Sunday.

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North Fork Trail, Inyo National Forest, California by Julia at XplorMor

National Parks Week celebrates all 401 amazing national park sites around the United States. This year’s theme is “Go Wild!”. Events from Hawaiian sailing to mountain biking to wildlife talks and wildflower walks will be held at many of the national parks; to find events near you, check the event calendar.

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Glacier Trekking, Tongass National Forest, Alaska by Julia at XplorMor

The National Parks Service offers tools to help you plan your visit by what you want to do or where you want to go. There’s truly a park for everyone interested in visiting our great outdoors.

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Gator, Everglades National Park, Florida by Julia at XplorMor

XplorMor Team has enjoyed exploring our Nation’s parks and forests from East to West Coasts, Alaska and Hawaii. We trekked glaciers in Tongass National Forest, Alaska, observed wildlife like alligators and crocodiles in Florida’s Everglades, hiked tremendous mountains in Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest, and watched lava flow on the Big Island of Hawaii. We kayaked in park waters, discovered Chumash pictographs hidden in amazing rock formations, climbed obsidian cliffs, and trekked from grassy fields and rivers in low-lying valleys to rocky terrain at 14,000 feet to frozen glacier crevasses to sandy desert lands and heated lava rock ridges. What’s next?!

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Searching for pictographs at Piedra Blanca by Julia at XplorMor

Read about Five Ways to Celebrate National Parks Week from the National Parks Conservation Association, and visit the U.S. National Parks Service website to view a list of Free Entrance Days, and see the list of Participating Parks. Get out there, explore more, and enjoy some of our national treasures!

Watch XplorMor Expedition slide shows with photos from National Park Lands: Alaska, California, Florida, Colonial America and Wildlife.

National Parks Free Entrance This Weekend!

All 401 U.S. National Parks are providing free admission today through Monday to honor Presidents Day. Visit the U.S. National Park Service website to view a list of Free Entrance Days, and see the list of Participating Parks.  Get out there, explore more, and enjoy some of our national treasures!

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Rainbow Falls in Inyo National Forest by Julia at XplorMor

A bit of history…  On March 1, 1872, Congress passed an act that officially established Yellowstone National Park “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” This event started a worldwide movement. And, today our planet houses more than 1200 national parks or equivalent preserves.

Furthering efforts to support and protect our park system, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act on August 25, 1916, creating the National Park Service, a federal bureau in the Department of the Interior. This “Organic Act” states that “the Service thus established shall promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks, monuments and reservations . . . by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks, monuments and reservations, which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

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Nugget Falls Trail in Tongass National Forest by Julia at XplorMor

The U.S. National Park System now comprises more than 400 designated areas covering more than 84 million acres in 49 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands. These areas have been deemed to hold national significance, and therefore protection in accordance with various acts of Congress.

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Moro Rock, Sequoia National Park

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees now care for America’s national parks and “work with communities across the nation to help keep local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities.” Learn more and get involved at www.nps.gov.