US Road Trip || Hiking Mono Pass, California

I was determined to do some hiking during our US road trip. I had heard there were some great hikes in the Yosemite area and I even bought myself a brand new pair of hiking boots before we left for the US. We stayed in the Crowley Lake area (about 15 miles from Mammoth lakes) for three days and after spending the day exploring Yosemite we decided to take a hike nearby where we were staying. After a bit of googling we decided the Mono Pass was the hike for us!

Mono Pass

Our hiking adventure did not start off well. It turns out we aren’t very good at following the directions given by Google and had several false starts before finding the trail head. The photos above were taken at these detours so that was one good thing to come out of it at least. Anyhow, we did finally find the start of the Mono Pass trail and narrowly avoided a full blown domestic. Win. By the time we actually reached the start of the trail I was over it to say the least. However, Carl had got his heart set on it and frankly after all the time and effort it took to find the bloody trail it would have been stupid not to hike it.

We had read that Mono Pass was a strenuous hike, but we figured we had hiked the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand with a hangover so this would surely be a doddle! What we failed to take into account was the heat. You may remember me prattling on about how hot it was during our entire stay in the US and this was no exception. It was so HOT. We had tried to be prepared with two massive bottles of water but it just wasn’t enough. We survived to tell the tale though. The trek itself was quite steep at times and at one point I did find myself getting a little dizzy but at it’s highest point the trail is about 11000 ft above sea level so the air does start to feel a little thin. Enough of my whinging though, this hike is totally worth the effort.

The pass offers some simply stunning views of the Little Lakes Basin and Ruby lake. The surrounding mountains look magnificent and there was still quite a bit of snow dotted about despite it being the middle of June and there being a heatwave. In fact the snow was very useful at cooling us down when we got too hot. The hike is about 7 miles and it took us a few hours to complete, I can’t remember exactly but let’s just say I stopped a fair few times to have a whinge and a drink of water, so if you are a season hiker you will do it a lot quicker! I also noticed that it wasn’t busy at all. We saw maybe five other hikers in total along the way which was nice.

And there we have it! A beautiful hike as I am sure you can see. I would definitely recommend it if you are staying in the area, you can find more info here about the Mono Pass trail. There is no better feeling than completing a hike like this and I am always left wondering why I don’t hike more often!

Here are a couple of snaps from my phone which probably shows how tired we were!

Where has been your favourite hike in the world? Let me know below.

Read more about my US road trip!