2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on

Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – December 1999

Earthquakes in California's Fish Valley

When hiking California's Fish Valley, don't forget to pack your Richter scale.

by: Mike Harbison

PAGE 1 2

QUICK TAKE: Fish Valley, CA

DRIVE TIME: The John Muir Wilderness is just west of Mammoth Lakes, 325 miles north of LA (51/2 hours), and 300 miles southeast of San Francisco (51/2 hours).

THE WAY: From US 395 north of Bishop, exit west onto CA 203 toward Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort. Between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., you're required to park and take a shuttle bus ($9) from the resort to Rainbow Falls trailhead. Get there before 7:30 a.m. and you can park at the trailhead.

TRAILS: Leaving Rainbow Falls trailhead, Fish Creek Trail connects with the PCT to form a 31-mile loop through Fish and Cascade Valleys. For a long, strenuous haul, break southwest at Iva Bell Hot Springs and hike 13 miles to Balloon Dome, a Yosemite-size chunk of granite towering above the San Joaquin River.

ELEVATION: The loop bottoms out around Fox Meadow at 6,500 feet and peaks at about 10,500 feet north of Purple Lake.

CAN'T MISS: The Middle Fork of the San Joaquin River tumbling 100 feet over Rainbow Falls.

CROWD CONTROL: Permits are required, and entry is limited to 25 persons per day for Fish Creek and Red Cones. During summer months, go midweek or reserve a mandatory permit in advance by calling the USDA Forest Service information line (760-924-5500).

MAPS AND GUIDES: Tom Harrison's Mammoth High-Country map covers the entire region (800-265-9090;; $7.95).

PIT STOP: Kittridge Sports (760-934-7566) in Mammoth stocks any item you left at home, and the friendly staff know their backcountry.

WALK SOFTLY: Iva Bell Hot Springs sees a lot of use, so camp at least 200 feet away and commute to the springs.

MORE INFORMATION: Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center is run by the Forest Service, P.O. Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546; (760) 924-5500.

PAGE 1 2

Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Address 1:
Address 2:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -


Your rating:
Your Name:


My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Ebola breakout
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: dayhiker9
Trailhead Register
Who's Working this weekend...?
Posted On: Aug 30, 2014
Submitted By: swimswithtrout
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions