Mono Lake

The last weekend in April momma was starting to get really sick of being in town. She likes to go camping and things in our area (aka Tahoe) were not going to start opening for several more weeks. She found a really cool place to camp down by Mono Lake on the east side of the Sierra on the website Hipcamp.com, and it didn’t take much convincing for daddy to agree to a quick and fun weekend trip to this very unique place!

We started Saturday morning waking up early and hitting the road. About two hours into our drive just past Tahoe we were dropping into the Carson Valley. There are a few trailheads or parking areas, really, just off the road that momma has always wanted to stop at, and since we didn’t have an agenda it was the perfect time to go explore!

The first trail we followed took us on a little historical tour of the area, where there was this little cave that a man used to use as a shelter when he was traveling with mail over the Sierra. But much beyond that there was not a lot of trail, but a lot of boulders for bouldering! We actually saw some people out doing just that, and to get out of their way we decided to climb up high.

I refused to go out on this very exposed outcropping with momma, daddy and Lolo because I am not a ding dong!

We played around for a while trying to find trails, and made our way back to the car to eat breakfast. At the car we talked to a man who told us all about the trails on the other side of the car, so we decided we may as well check them out since we had nothing else really planned for the day. Things got snowy before too long, but we still got a chance to see some very pretty parts of the Carson Valley.

Around lunch we started continuing east and south to Mono lake when momma decided she was hungry and we stopped to eat at Walker burger. It is a cute little stop right off Hwy. 395 that has a wonderful outdoor eating area, so Lolo and I could hang out and eat fries and crumbs while momma and daddy ate.

Back on the road we kept heading south towards Mono when momma decided to take a road up towards Lundy Canyon to see just how much snow there was up high. We found that there was still TONS of it!

We were very near camp and arrived to find our cute little cabin which has a stove you can use for heat (we didn’t need it, it didn’t get that cold), and a foam mattress you can sleep on inside. So it’s kind of like camping without having to bring your tent! The property has views down to Mono lake, which is very much a desert landscape – something that Lolo and I love to run and go feral in chasing bunnies. We decided to go down into the national forest section of the area so we could do just that!

We spent quite a bit of time exploring the land around the lake without getting super close to the lake! If you’ve ever been to the east side of the Sierra you will know just how much open land there is and space between people. It’s really something special because you get big views and solitude!

We returned to camp to cook dinner and watch the most spectacular sunset! It was dead silent and so peaceful at camp, a real treat for us ALL.

In the morning our only objective for the day was to go see the ‘famous’ tufas at Mono Lake, so we had breakfast and headed down to do just that.

We had never come to this side of the lake before, and momma was relieved it wasn’t as smelly and buggy as she remembers it being when we stopped here in October.

If you don’t know, Mono Lake is super salty so there was no sort of swimming or drinking or playing around here. Momma has considered SUPing here, but isn’t sure she wants to expose her inflatable board to all of that salt!

After we got our fill of the Tufas momma suggested we go drive down to the June Lake loop, which happened to just open because it was ALSO the opening weekend for fishing! Daddy has never been to the June Lake loop so we did a little exploring on the trails behind Silver Lake, where we had camped earlier this fall.

There were a LOT of deer out and Lolo had to really be a good boy and not chase them because there was still a TON of snow in the area we don’t want to disturb too much. Much like our recent adventure behind Emerald Bay,  we turned around when we saw relatively fresh slide activity.

Since we were kind of hot (and honestly very grubby from playing and laying in the desert around camp) momma continued on to take us to June Lake. When we got there we asked about where we could go swim but found out dogs aren’t supposed to be swimming in June Lake. Don’t tell anyone that we totally swam here last summer!

So we just hiked around and got some killer views of the lake before eventually needing to hit the road to make it home. All in all it was a super fun, last-minute, no-plan weekend!

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