Many people come to Big Rock Resort to escape city life and, instead, enjoy the peaceful and often awe-inspiring sights of nature.
Are you looking for gorgeous views and trails to hike? Less than 10 miles south of the June Lake Loop (where Big Rock Resort is located) you’ll find Minaret Vista. It’s the kind of place photographers visit when they want to be able to drive somewhere in the Sierra Nevada, park their car and take incredible shots of breathtaking views from one iconic vantage point.
Minaret Vista is on Lookout Point Road above the saddle on San Joaquin Ridge. It offers great views across the valley to the west of the Minarets, Mt. Ritter and Mt. Banner. If you’re visiting the Inyo National Forest and want to see the Ansel Adams Wilderness, then you simply must visit Minaret Vista and bring your camera– or your paints, brushes and an easel. At the lookout point, there are some tables and chairs and restrooms and a decent parking lot, making it a convenient place to visit when the weather’s nice.
If you visit the Minaret Vista area at night, chances are you’ll see the Milky Way in all its splendor. It’s one of the best places in California to go where you’ll be far from light pollution! The higher elevation (9265’) allows for spectacular star gazing. Oh, and if you’re able to get there just before sunset, or sunrise for that matter, do so– in one word? Stunning!
Also, in the area you’ll find the Minaret Vista Trail, which starts behind the Mammoth Mountain Inn and climbs gently for about a mile and a half through pine trees all the way up to Minaret Vista. Hikers like that the trail is mostly shaded, though they note it can get warmer and windier the higher you go. Generally, this trail is considered suitable for most people– an easy hike trail through forest and open meadows with great views, especially at the top.
Want to visit? From Big Rock Resort, take 395 South to the Mammoth Scenic Loop… Then take San Joaquin Jeep Road/Lookout Point Road to Minaret Vista.