Sierra Nevada - Rock Creek - Hilton Lakes

On June 7-8, 1980 myself and Jimmy White backpacked into the Hilton Lakes. We drove Friday night to Don Stansifer's cabin at Tom's Place to show slides of the Onion Valley-Center Basin-Whitney trip he plans for August.

Next morning we drove to Hilton Creek Pack Station and started the hike about 8:30 a.m. or so. First three miles is open slope with scattered trees. Trail is well graded but could be warm. We arrived at an abandoned mining road and the first water after three miles and 1500 foot climb (from 7,200') and took a rest and ate lunch.

During lunch discovered we had picked some ticks up on our clothing on the trail. After a good rest we followed the road for a ways and then crossed the creek on the trail as it climbs easily along the south side of the valley, well above the creek. Several side streams provided water.

It was three miles and 1100 feet from lunch to Davis Lake. The last mile was on several feet of firm snow. Blazes on the trees and patches of trail bare of snow helped us find the route. We arrived at Davis Lake around 4 p.m. and made camp on snow.

The lake was about 2/3 frozen no bugs - beautiful weather. Just after arriving talked to a man whose party apparently came over from Rock Creek and were camped at the inlet of Davis Lake (we were at the outlet about a mile away from them).

During the night at about half past midnight a small earthquake hit the area. I happened to be awake, Jimmy slept through it. We had a lazy next morning and hiked about 2 miles to Hilton Lake #2 and back. It was frozen except at outlet and inlet.

We found a spring feed into the lake that contained much ground up rock which clouded the water - very interesting effect of earthquakes. On return to camp found three day hikers who had come up via the mine road to fish.

We left about 2 p.m. and had easy hike down to the car. Found ticks on clothing again. Talked to packer who said they usually came and died quickly in the spring. Very pleasant weather and hike. Would be hot later in season.

Davis Lake
Davis Lake

Jimmy White at Hilton Lake #2
Jimmy White at Hilton Lake #2
Jimmy White at Davis Lake inlet
Jimmy White at Davis Lake inlet

Jimmy White at Hilton Lake #2
Jimmy White at Hilton Lake #2

Jimmy White observing earthquake 'dust' coming out of a spring at Hilton Lake #2
Jimmy White observing earthquake 'dust' coming out of a spring at Hilton Lake #2
Hilton Lake #2
Hilton Lake #2