First Dinkey Lake is quintessential Sierra Nevada; almost as pristine as when John Muir explored the range. Dinkey Creek was named after a shepherd's dog who died defending the shepherd from a bear in between what is now Courtright Reservoir and Shaver Lake (both man-made lakes). Dinkey Creek and the Dinkey Lake Wilderness are within the Sierra National Forest.
First Dinkey Lake is one of several small lakes at 8,000 to 10,000' altitude that make up the headwaters of Dinkey Creek, a tributary of the north fork of the Kings River. The lakes lie within the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness Area. There is camping accessible by car in the Dinkey Creek campgrounds at the 6,000 ft elevation, found by turning south on Dinkey Creek Road off of Highway 168 at the town of Shaver Lake.
To reach the Dinkey Lakes Wilderness take Dinkey Creek road from Shaver Lake and then turn left on Rock Creek Road (four wheel drive desirable, but not essential). From this turn off to the trail head there will be about a 2,000 ft elevation gain and it takes about 45 minutes to get to the trail head. To hike up for the day a permit is not required. To camp overnight a permit must be obtained from the Sierra National Forest office. There is no fee. But there are entrance quotas to protect the fragile ecology of the wilderness.
It takes me about an hour to carry a pack up the trail from the trail head to First Dinkey Lake, and as often as not I'm the only one fishing on the lake, unless my son and grandson come with me.