Inyo National Forest

Hiking - Mono Lake Area

The Mono Lake area offers hikes through the arid basin around the lake and High Sierra trails entering the Ansel Adams and Hoover Wildernesses. See hikes 5 through 12 for Ansel Adams and hikes 1 and 2 for Hoover day trips. The map tracks the routes.

1. Lundy Canyon - Trail access is from the Lundy Lake Road 7 miles north of Lee Vining. Two miles west of Lundy Lake is the location of the trailhead parking area. There is extra parking space provided approximately 1/2 mile down-canyon. The trail proceeds through Lundy Canyon and then climbs steeply up many switchbacks to the 20 Lakes Basin. The total mileage from the trailhead to the 20 Lakes Basin is 5.4 miles. (Bottom 2/3 easiest - Top 1/3 most difficult)

2. Lakes Canyon - The trailhead for this trail is located at the east end of Lundy Lake next to the dam. This trail/road is under a Special Use Permit from the Inyo National Forest for mining purposes. Foot and horse travel is allowed past the locked gates. The trail will take you 3.2 miles up out of Lundy Canyon and into Lakes Canyon. (moderate)

3. Gardisky Lake - This trailhead is located approximately 1 1/4 miles north of Hwy 120 on the west side of the Saddlebag Lake Road. It is 1 mile from the parking area to Gardisky Lake. This trail is very steep.(most difficult)

4. Bennettville - The trail to the historical mining site of Bennettville begins at Junction Campground road just before site #1. Bennettville is approximately 1 mile from the trailhead. (moderate)

5. Glacier Canyon - Access to this route is on the west side of Tioga Lake on Hwy 120. Cross the meadow on the west end of Tioga Lake and follow, the drainage. It is a 2.3 mile walk to the end of the Canyon.(moderate)

6. Gibbs Lake - Follow the Horse Meadow Road located off of Hwy 395 1 mile south of the Hwy 120 west junction. This dirt road is recommended for 4-wheel drive vehicles only. The Gibbs Lake trailhead is located at the west end of upper Horse Meadows. Gibbs Lake is located 3.8 miles from the trailhead. (most difficult)

7. Walker Lake/Bloody Canyon - 'Railhead access is off of the June Lake Loop just north of Grant Lake. After traveling north on the Aqueduct Road (IN17) turn west on (lS23) towards Walker Lake Trailhead. It is approximately one mile to Walker Lake and 6 miles to Mono Pass from the trailhead. (most difficult)

8. Parker Lake - Turn west on the Parker Lake Road north of Grant Lake on Hwy 158 (the June Lake Loop). The trailhead is located two miles west on this road. From the trailhead to Parker Lake is 1.8 miles.(easiest)

9. Parker Bench - This trail is accessed from the Rush Creek trailhead located across from the Silver Lake Campground in the June Lake Loop. The distance from the trailhead to Parker Lake is 5 miles. Other access to Parker Bench can be obtained from the Parker Lake trail. This trail is a major access route for stock. (moderate)

10/11. Yost Lake/Fern Lake - This trailhead is located approximately one mile south of Silver Lake on the June Lake Loop (Hwy.158). At 1.5 miles up the trail, the trail splits. The upper right hand trail fork leads to Fern Lake (another .7 miles) and the lower left hand fork will take you to Yost Lake (another 2.3 miles). (moderate, Fern Spur is most difficult)

12. Yost Meadow - The trailhead is located across from the June Lake Firehouse. This trail takes the hiker through the June Mountain Ski Area (under a Special Use Permit from the Inyo National Forest) to Yost Lake, Total distance is 5 miles. (moderate)

13. Saddlebag Lake (20-Lakes Basin) - Follow Hwy 120 east past Ellery Lake to the Saddlebag Lake Road. 'Railhead parking is located across from the Saddlebag Dam. 'Rails on both sides of Saddlebag Lake will lead you to a trail loop which will take you by many of the lakes in the basin. Total distance is approximately 6 miles. (easiest)

14. Mt. Dana - It is a 3 mile hike from Tioga Pass to the summit of Mt. Dana. The hike begins on the south side of Hwy 120, at the Tioga Pass entrance station to Yosemite National Park. This is an unmaintained trail.(most difficult)

15. Tioga Tarns Nature Walk - This loop trail is located on Hwy 120 just east of Tioga Lake. It is approximately 1/2 mile in length and has posted signs informing the visitor of interesting natural history and geological features along the way. (easiest)

16. Rush Creek - The trailhead is located across from the Silver Lake Campground in the June Lake Loop (Hwy. 158). This trail is a major access route for stock. (moderate)

17. Mono County Park - Five miles north of Lee Vining, turn right on Cemetery Road, The trailhead is located in the County Park 1/2 mile east. From the boardwalk to tufa and lake area is approximately 1/4 mile.  (easiest)

18. Old Marina Area - This area is one mile north of Lee Vining on the east side of U.S. 395. Boardwalk to tufa and lake area is approximately 1/4 mile. (easiest)

19. Lee Vining Creek Nature Trail - Trail may be accessed either across from the Best Western Motel on the east side of U.S. 395 or at the Mono Basin National

20. South Tufa Area - Travel 5 miles south of Lee Vining then 5 miles east on Hwy. 120 then north on a dirt road to the parking area. This is a nature walk to the tufa and Mono Lake. A great bird viewing area. (easiest)

21. Panum Crater - Travel 5 miles south of Lee Vining on U.S. 395 then 3 miles east on Hwy. 120. This is a nature walk to a volcanic dome. (easiest)


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 3 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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