East of Loon Lake are Spider and Pleasant Lakes, all of which we are told are connected with one another and controlled by the same company. Another lake, Bixly or Bixby, slightly to the north of Pleasant, is also connected.
To the east of Pleasant Lake, Buck Island and Rock Bound Lakes were dazzlingly brilliant in the mid-day sun.
One has but to look at the map to realize what a comprehensive survey is possible in every direction from Ellis Peak. There is no wonder that it is so popular. The panorama is unobstructed—the outlook practically complete and perfect. Though the whole of the Lake is not revealed, there is sufficient of it to make a transcendent picture. Every peak to the north and on the eastern side is in sight, while the Tallac range, and the near-by mountains make one long for an aeroplane that he might step from peak to peak without the effort of journeying by land to their elevated summits.
On the left side of Tinker’s Knob is a peak, unmarked on the map, to which the name of Lion Peak has been given, for the following reason: Some years ago former Governor Stanford’s nephew, who has been a visitor for many years at Hopkins’ Spring, was climbing, together with a companion, over this peak, when they came to a cave. Lighting a rude torch they thoughtlessly entered it and had barely got well inside before they saw the two fierce eyes of a mountain lion glaring at them. Surprised and startled, they were about to turn and run, when the astonished animal sprang past them and disappeared before they recollected they had a gun.
It should not be overlooked that Ellis Peak is the most eastern mountain of the Sierran divide. East, its drainage empties into Lake Tahoe and thus eastward into the Big Basin; west, into the Rubicon, thence to the American, the Sacramento and finally out by the Golden Gate to the Pacific.
To the west of the Rubicon Peaks is a chain of lakes in the valley below known as the Rock Bound Lakes. There are nine of these in all, though several of them are practically unknown except to the few guides and the sheepmen who range over the surrounding mountains.
As far as the eye can see, westward, there are distinct glacial markings, a wonderful revelation of the widespread and far-reaching activity of these glaciers borne on the highest crests of the Sierras. The canyon in which the Rubicon River flows is definitely outlined, as is also the deep chasm known as Hell Hole. Near by is Bear Lake, about the same size and appearance as Watson Lake, its overflow emptying into the Rubicon.
Close at hand to the north and west are Barker’s Peak, Barker’s Pass, and Barker’s Creek, and these decide us to go home by way of Barker’s Pass instead of the way we came. Accordingly we drop down, returning a short distance to the south, over the western slope of Ellis Peak to Ellis Valley. Both peak and valley receive their name from Jock Ellis, a Squaw Valley stay-behind, who entered the cattle and sheep business, and pastured his animals in this rich and well-watered region.