Did you know snowmobile rentals at Huntington Lake, are half the price of the ones at Mammoth rentals? Sierra Summit Resort and a bitchin' old Saloon nearby. Over 100 miles of groomed trails in the High Sierra. Let's go.
Sierra Snowmobiles CA
by Chris DiNenna
(reposted from Spring 1998)
It was another one of those long and tiring days in the office and all I wanted to do was find myself on a open highway heading out of town. So right after the time clock struck five, I raced home, picked up my bags which were packed with my clothing and gear the night before, stopped at my girlfriends home to rescue her from the mundane existence of the apartment, we found ourselves finally on our way into snow country of the Sierra-Nevadas.
Our destination was a small resort community called Lakeshore, situated on the shore of Lake Huntington between the Ansel Adams and John Muir Wildernesses in the Sierra National Forest. The drive up the mountain at dark was breath taking and clear, a night in March with a full moon out and a fresh blanket of snow gracing our presence all around us as we drove our truck through the winding mountain road. The temperature must of been in the teens that night but that didn't faze us as we looked out of our car windows at the spectacular sight Mother Nature had in store for us. Soft snow pillows hung on tree limbs everywhere, glistening moonlight bounced off the gentle lake as we drove along side and huge snow drifts towered on the road shoulder as we traveled to our resort lodge destination.
At first we thought it would require more map insight in finding the lodge under such wintery conditions. But to our surprise, the road we had been traveling on, Highway 168, just dead ended
at our weekend getaway. The check into the lodge was fast and simple, soon we found ourselves settling into a decent rustic cabin with drifts of snow twelve feet high all around. Thanks to the constant plowing of roads, everything was accessible within reason due to El Ninos erratic behavior.
The next day we became captivated by the raw beauty of waking in a wintery wonderland, hardly hours away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco. After a bit of exploring around the frozen lake, we took off on a rented snowmobile --- headed for the back country, where we became amazed by gorgeous mountain lookouts, all the way across to the Eastern Sierra Minarets @ Mammoth. Untouched wilderness full of snow capped mountain peaks, lost tranquil, pine filled valleys, frozen pools and streams locked in a time zone of raw beauty. I wanted to stay gazing for hours but our destination was deep in the wilderness valley about 25 miles away. After passing through woodsy trails and snowy spectaculars we arrived at our place of relaxation, the Mono Hot Springs. Not the resort, but the primitive tubs perched on the rivers edge. This out of the way spot has been frequented over the years by naturalists like ourselves who have pulled off the trail to dip into the 90 degree plus waters that caress the body with mineral rich fluids. Never have I been so relaxed in an environment with no one around for miles, white snow all around with a trickling stream close by for awe and amazement. If it wasn't for the deadline for the snowmobile return, we could of stayed at this place til sundown. The ride home on the machine, my body seemed to be thanking my mind for bringing it to such an inspiring place. My mood was calm and invigorated by the mountain waters. Back at the lodge after freshening up, my girlfriend and I discussed how lucky we were to be able to experience activities like these that really don't require throngs of urbanites to complicate and mettle up our space. That night we enjoyed an excellent meal inside the lodge dining room which didn't weight us down. Then over to the saloon we went to indulge in spirits, a small wedding party was happening were participates graced our presence with drunken humor. Even though they looked like the stereo typical yuppies partying, this didn't bother us Angelinos - as we knew that they had come to the same spot to be enveloped by the sheer beauty and splendor of Lakeshore.