What’s New Pussycat? Hiking with Cat’s Apparently

The following rant was brought to you by the fall colors of the Eastern Sierras and all the dumbass millennials taking selfies with their domesticated house cats in Lundy Canyon. Because if you were a ninety-pound blond social media influencer with a purebred kitten why wouldn’t you put a Louis Vuitton collar on it and take some snaps in the fall colors for your tick-tock? Hiking Convict Lake is a great way to spend an autumn’s day but no place for your favorite pussycat.

hiking Convict Lake

If I see one more social influencer taking a selfie with their domesticated housecat out on the trails hiking Convict Lake I might just scream. And I might just scream, “Hey dumb-dumb, does that domesticated housecat look like a dog to you?”

I personally come from a long line of crazy cat ladies. Even I draw the line at hiking with my cat. Maybe because I have common sense? Unlike these dumb-dumbs who identify as meow-meows.

New 2022 trends; Hiking with cats

Maybe I’m just not hip enough to clearly see that cats are the new dogs. I mean why wouldn’t you take your cat on a three-mile hike Astrid (Or Harper or another trendy millennial vapid girl name) How about because there are so many unsocialized pitbulls trekking these trails with clueless Alltrails hikers who have no idea where they would be going if their iPhone fourteen didn’t tell them where the obvious trail junctions were. And what are you going to do, Kaylee when your feline gets scared while hiking Convict Lake to take selfish selfies, breaks their harness and disappears into the wilderness to get eaten by a coyote, a hungry hike or dies of exposure? This kind of careless pet owner really pisses me off and kills my frolicking through the fall colors vibe.

When I’m not ranting at dumb-dumb millennials I’m usually struggling my way up a rocky iron-red canyon like the one above Convict Lake in the high Sierra Nevada mountains of southern California.  This is a fantastic off-the-beaten-path hike. Maybe because all the social media influencers would rather stay within a mile of their Teslas while hiking Convict Lake.

hiking Convict Lake

My plan was to start this hike just after six a.m. to avoid that hotter-than-hell ascent up red rocky Convict Canyon. Once you break away from the shenanigans on the shoreline of Convict Lake, this whole first mile and a half of trail is exposed red rocks, wild sage and can be very hot if you start later in the morning, even late in October. The last time I attempted to do this trek, maybe three Julys ago, Convict Creek was near impassable where the bridge washed out in 2012 and I decided to come back another day. This autumn day was so perfect to trek up Convict Creek to Mildred Lake. My goal was Lake Dorothy but by the time I reached the top of Convict Canyon, nearly three thousand feet of elevation gain latter I was pooped. With Red Slate Mountain in the distance, the meadows near Mildred Lake were so beautiful but I just couldn’t stomach the thought of another mile ascent up to Lake Dorothy.hiking Convict Lake

Trekking up Convict Canyon

After I left the social media vapids in my wake down hiking Convict Lake I continued up the aspen-lined Convict Canyon in solitude. There was no one else but me on the trail my entire ascent up. If you are looking for a fall colors hike off the beaten path in the eastern Sierras, oh boy is this the one! After mile two of this trek as you enjoy those vast views of the iron red and of Laurel Mountain you leave all the influencers taking portrait-mode photos of their pure-bred Siamese in your wake. The only other outdoor adventurers out here are few and far between. It’s the hardcore trekkers who are willing to try these rocky trails full of shale and sand and massive dropoffs. I’ve trekked to the Laurel Lakes on the other side of Laurel Peak before and that is an epic hike and those elusive golden trout are known to lurk in those waters. That is another area of the eastern Sierras you don’t tend to see other day hikers.

This hike begins in the wash of Convict Canyon and you are absolutely all in the sun. People I know who live in the Bishop area say this is one of the few mountainous areas where you could potentially run into rattlesnakes. For that reason, I always leave my dog on the leash in this area until we get further up the canyon into the yellow shade of the aspen groves. The aspen’s growing in Convict Canyon were absolutely beautiful, especially alongside Convict Creek. The pup and I stopped at the creek underneath the shade of the aspen’s to have the first half of our sandwich at about ten a.m. and then continued up to the creek crossing.

At the washed-out bridge you reach the four-mile basically all-uphill point and This trail gets a little tough again. It’s basically a big push at this point up the left-hand side of the shale canyon with a crazy drop-off to the creek down below. Sometimes you have to hold on to roots as you crawl on your knees across sections that washed out in the 2016 floods. There is a reason I did not see a single other trekker on this hike on the way up until I met some friendly backpackers at Mildred Lake around one in the afternoon.

When I had almost made it to Mildred Lake my legs were so done I was saying, I will never hike this one again. I mean that was until I took in the beauty of these massive meadows and the red rocky cliffs that sat above Mildred Lake.

The very best hikes are off the beaten path, away from the social media reality stars and their inappropriate pets. It may seem that the eastern Sierras are just full of tourists this October but there are a few hidden trails if you know where to look. Although, the best-hidden hiking trails are sometimes the most intense ones! In this twelve-mile trek, I gained almost three thousand feet and my calves were aching for days but it was so worth it for this hidden hike.

So what did we learn today? Kitty cats are not hiking dogs and yes there are some epic hidden hikes in the eastern Sierras.