The trail head starts at about 8,400ft elevation and climbs to about 9,800ft when you reach Duck Lake. You pass 5 small lakes on the way up to Duck Lake all unique and beautiful.
Backpacking this beautiful country side up above Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains will touch you to your soul. It might sound corny to hear that but it truly does, and the only way to feel this is by getting up there and feeling it for yourself.
Here is the rowdy group of guys that came up there with me to experience this beautiful lake, Duke Lake. I would agree that we do not look like a professional backpacking group but when does that ever matter. We also turned this into a survival trip so supplies and resources were limited to a select list.
Once you make it up the final stretch of switch backs which looks like a boulder landslide has just occurred, you have reached the target destination.
Beautiful Duke Lake makes you feel like you are in a different part of the world. With the colors in the water going from a tropical light blue to the dark blue you truly feel like you are somewhere tropical until you notice the granite walls and tree lines.
We pitched camp in between Duck Lake and a small neighbor like Pika Lake.
After finding some success fishing Pika Lake, my friend John went on a hunt for small game. Using a sling shot he had converted to shoot arrows he actually came back with a chipmunk that he had shot right through the eye. This was indeed a 1 in a million type shot but hey we were excited. After being gutted and skinned we cooked the chipmunk over the open flame from out jet boil.
The trip was going to be a 2 night stay but due to the emergency blankets trapping condensation inside the bag all of us who kept to the rules woke up damp and very cold. So we turned the trip into a single night stay and packed out the next afternoon.