Mono Pass from Mosquito Flat Trailhead is a 8.7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bishop, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

8.7 miles
2,116 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly



nature trips





wild flowers


A nice hike from the Sierra's highest trailhead A hike to a 12,000 foot high Sierra pass, covering the gamut from lush green meadows to pristine blue lakes, from calming babbling creeks to dry, desolate moonscapes. Mono Pass is a moderate hike at high elevation, with some of the prettiest scenery in the Sierra. Gaining about 2,000 feet in just over 4 miles, the trail is not terribly difficult (unless you consider you are going from 10,000 to 12,000 feet!). Overall, the trail is mostly good quality, with only a few loose rocky sections. The grade is never too steep, except for the final kick to Mono Pass, which probably feels harder because of the altitude. The trail starts at Mosquito Flat, the highest designated trailhead in the Sierra, accessible by car. It is a very popular hiker and fisherman starting point, and is usually a crowded place. From the start, the grade is around 7% for first 1.8 miles, before kicking up to over 12% at the start of the switchbacks (near Ruby Lake), for about 1.4 miles. The total distance to Mono Pass from the trailhead is about 3.3 miles. From there, a flat walk across the sand gets you to Summit Lake. The trail continues beyond the lake, but is usually reserved for backpackers continuing on into the wilderness.

2 months ago

fabulous hike, as good as it gets. spectacular peaks, pretty flowers, burbling Brook, serene ponds/lakes and well maintained trail. we achieved the pass, but not the peak. Mt Starr is formidable due to loose rock, scree and v steep.

4 months ago

What an incredible hike! I started off around 9:45 AM, made it to Ruby Lake around 10:45. It is the quintessential Alpine lake, just awesomely scenic, surrounded by jagged peaks. After a small snack, I started my way up the switchbacks. Right before you make the turn north, keep an eye out for a small cairn on top of a large flat rock. This leads down the hill a little to an epic view of Ruby Lake. Amazing to just sit, relax, and take everything in.

There was still a little bit of snow remaining at the top of the pass but it was easily manageable in hiking shoes. I have to say the Summit Lake is a bit anticlimactic, just a large puddle, pretty much.

From there, I took a side trip up to Mt. Starr. The best way seemed to be diagonal towards the SE, then switching back NE. The sluff was tough but the loose cobbles, you really had to be vigilant to prevent them shifting and sliding under you. Once you get within 100 feet of the top, you have more solid rock, which provides excellent footing. Then you just work your way along the ridge towards the top. Very sketchy on top as it is a long way down the other side. If you have a fear of heights, you'll feel a little vertigo, especially with the wind. it took about an hour to get to the top from Mono Pass. Round trip with breaks, photos, etc. was a little less than 6 hours.

10 months ago

Solid hike, we were stupid and made it to the top with no spikes or axe. Was insanely dangerous but still made it. Bummed there was no sign up at the top.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

One of the best hikes I've ever done in my life and I've done quite a few. I hiked past Mono Pass a good bit and you get incredible views of the Sierra backcountry...just breathtaking. Plus the views on the actual main route are just unbelievable. You can also summit Mount Starr from Mono Pass if you want, but I will have to return to do that one.

There was still a good bit of snow on the route but it was hard packed and fairly safe, although wearing microspikes or similar is advised. Although I do that anyway on these trails with a lot of loose rock and gravel.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

This place is always a good choice; however, be cautious if you don't have proper snow/ice gear or training. We attempted the pass yesterday - in the heat of July - and there was still so much snow on the trail that we had to turn back to avoid slipping down the higher cliffs and getting injured. Take a look at our photo to see Ruby Lake almost entirely covered in ice.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Hiked up to Ruby lake yesterday, this is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Ruby lake 99% covered in ice and snow right now in July. Had to leave the mountains to drive home, so didn't have enough time to go up Mono Pass. Lots of snow covering the trail as you approach Ruby Lake. Some hikers slapped on the crampons.
Trail is not strenuous if you're in decent shape, but you will feel the elevation above 11000'. Almost got eaten alive by mosquitos first half of the climb. They were literally swarming like bees lol. Bring bug spray for early summer.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Very challenging with gorgeous views.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I have backpacked this trail twice now going all the way to Pioneer basin. you will see at least 5-6 lakes Ruby,summit,golden,4th recesse and the pioneer basin lakes. you can hike and meet up with the JMT and go to Yosemite or Mount Whitney.
I highly recommend this trail.
good fishing at all lakes.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A fantastic trail to experience the high Sierra's. I personally chose this trail for the high altitude training for peaks like Mt. Whitney. The trail isn't too terribly difficult due to its relatively short length. Summit Lake is so incredibly crystal clear at the top and really refreshing after a long hike! Personally I continued a little past the lake and went to the ridge on the left of the trail to overlook some of the most fantastic scenery I have ever seen for lunch. Overall a fantastic trail with some of the best scenery I have ever seen.

3 months ago

3 months ago

recorded Track - Jul 02, 03:35 PM

4 months ago

4 months ago

recorded Mono Pass Rock Creek

Monday, October 09, 2017

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Monday, August 07, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017