Elevation/Mileage: 8 miles (12.9 km) round-trip, 1,000-foot elevation gain; 4 to 6 hours.
Begin at Mono Pass trailhead, on the Tioga Road six miles east of Tuolumne Meadows (free shuttle service is available twice per day).
This historic, trans-Sierra trail climbs gently at first from the Mono Pass parking area, through wet meadows and rushing creeks. The climb is gently and there are great views all along the way. Check out the multiple old “ghost” mines that dot this trail. In July and early August this is a great trail for wildflowers. At the Spillway Lake junction, the trail climbs steadily and more steeply to Mono Pass (elevation 10,600 feet). Don’t miss the spectacular view of Mono Lake and Bloody Canyon from the pass, hike a bit farther toward Upper Sardine Lake.