Rock Creek Lake
Rock Creek Lake is a very pretty lake just below the tree line.
This has been said to be the highest paved road in California. From the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains, it is up a curvy and steep good mountain road. Not difficult unless you don't like curves or your car has cooling problems. From the San Francisco Bay Area, the shortest rout is over Tioga Pass which is a similar road. From Southern California, one goes through spectacular deserts.
The primary attraction in the area is the Little Lakes Valley hike from the Mosquito Flats trailhead. It is one of the best day-hikes anywhere. There are many lakes along the way, with a few particularly noteworthy viewpoints. Heart Lake has creeks running into it from three sides. A great spot is just left of the bridge as you approach the lake. The trail then passes an overlook of Box Lake, which is a great stopping spot. Long Lake is also very pretty, and a good lunch spot is toward the far end. If you want to go further, Chickenfoot Lake is fairly pretty. At four miles out, Gem Lakes are reached via an unmarked right turn off the main trail. The largest of the three is scenic, but a bit less so than some of the earlier lakes.
Hilton Lake is also scenic, reached with about 1,000 feet of gain. The walk around Rock Creek Lake is pleasant, though at times on the paved road. The Tamarack Lakes trail from the east side of the lake is not at all appealing, and is skipable.
The small store at the lake offers showers, paid by token.
There is camping at the lake, as well as cabins. The cabins are somewhat rustic.
This is an ideal rout to get up high quickly (if you don't get altitude sickness easily). One can climb from a trailhead directly over the main crest of the Sierra.