We wanted to take one last hike in Yosemite and it was a beautiful clear day with no smoke. If the winds shift that could all change tomorrow.
The Mono Pass trailhead begins at Dana Meadows off Tioga Pass Road, about a mile past the Tioga entrance station. Much of the trail goes through a lodgepole pine forest, passing by numerous meadows with wildflowers long past their peak.
A different view of Mount Dana on this hike..
This trail was built by Native Americans, and later used by prospectors and miners working at the Gold Crown Mine in the 1880s. There are still some remains of old cabins.
And mine shafts.
After a few miles the trail finally climbs out of the forest into a glacial moraine.
And surprise! A couple of lakes. This one unnamed.
Then Summit Lake just beyond Mono Pass.
We knew if you continued on past Summit Lake into Bloody Canyon there are two more lakes and long distance views of Mono Lake. Since we had already hiked over four miles, we decided that was enough and turned back.
It‘s thought the name Bloody Canyon came about because the prospectors and miners lost so many horses and mules to foot and leg injuries from the sharp rocks they had to traverse.
For our longest hike in Yosemite, this was probably the easiest one for us, as the trail gains just 900 feet over the four miles to Mono Pass. Much of the hike is on fairly level ground, although there are some steep areas, and you are hiking at 10,000 feet, so it makes the uphills seem harder.
We had high hopes of seeing wildlife on this trail since we only saw a few other people, but besides lots of birds this was our big sighting for the day.
Today we are making a short move to the Mammoth Lakes area after we get another tire leak repaired.