Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Exploring Mono Basin (Aug 23, 2011)

Today I played tourist and took my car for spin and explored the area. Just a few miles from my hotel is something called "Earthquake Fault." It's actually a fissure that lava used to seep out of and isn't a fault line. It's quite cool actually and fairly long. It's hard to photograph, but I tried.


Next stop was the Inyo Craters. The drive was on several gravel and dirt forest roads to a small parking lot, then I had to hike 1/2 a mile. The first crater is quite stunning and has greenish water in it. The crater next to it is even larger and blends in with the surroundings. It has a blue lake at the bottom and is so overgrown with trees, it proved impossible to photograph. It's still amazing how young the craters are.

Inyo Crater

I then headed to the June Lake loop. I've been hearing about this for awhile so I was looking forward to it. It was a nice loop around 4 lakes and some amazing mountains. The village near June lake was quite cool and looked like a nice place to stay for awhile.

June Lake.

Silver Lake.

Grant Lake.

Exiting the June Lake Loop, it was just a skip to Mono Lake. Walked through the visitor's center but was disappointed they didn't have a park brochure. I collect brochures from all the national parks I visit. I guess Mono Lake is an odd ball... I don't think it's actually part of the park system, but run by dept. of Agriculture, or something odd like that. I may be completely wrong, though. Later in the day I swung by the south Tufas where you need to pay, and I was able to use my National Park Annual Pass to get in free. So there was some cross-over.

Mono Lake.

After lunch in Lee Vining I drove up a canyon north of Mono Lake. I think the road was 167. Nice paved road for awhile then drove past Lundy Lake. After the lake the road became a gravel road which became rougher and rougher as I went. I really need a 4x4. Some nice mountain views on the drive and saw beaver sign. Back at the lake I spotted a trail going up the mountain and I managed to find the trail head and looked at the map. It looked like a fun trail to do in the future. About 3 miles each way and some good elevation change and alpine lakes.

Some mountains.

Lundy Lake

All photos from the trip are on Smugmug.

GPS Track on EveryTrail:

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