Mono Pass Trail is a 10.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Lee Vining, California that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until November.

Length10.8 miElevation gain1,653 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingHikingNature tripsWalkingForestLakeRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeFeeNo dogs
Description
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Contact
Getting There

Yosemite National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot, horse, or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. Yosemite is open with some services limited due to COVID-19. Reservations are required to drive into Yosemite. Some services and facilities are limited, and shuttles are not operating. See the park website for more info: https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/covid19.htm This is an amazing intermediate trek to Mono pass. Upper Sardine Lake is a pleasant camping spot. Very beautiful views of Mono lake and a wonderful sunrise.

California Travel and Tourism Commision, P.O. Box 1499 , Sacramento, CA, 95812-1499, Phone: 800-862-2543

Directions from Tioga Pass: Travel one and a half miles westward along Tioga Road to the parking area for the Mono Trail. Parking is available on the southern side of the highway.

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Reviews (84)
Photos (307)
Recordings (77)
Completed (192)
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Michal Dominiak
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Hiking
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Yemia Hashimoto
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2020
Backpacking

This was a backpacking trip for my son son (11) and his friend (9) to enjoy a last fun few days before school started up again. My son is an experienced backpacker, but this was his friend's first backpack trip. I chose this trail because it is relatively easy. There aren't switchbacks up the grade. It is a gradual uphill. Despite this, the first day was SLOW for the kids - mile an hour. Were it only me, I could have quickly trail ran this (and we did see 3 trail runners). It is a mello hike through meadows, though you are starting at a higher elevation. We camped 2 nights at Upper Sardine Lake. There was NO ONE ELSE at the lake. We had it all to ourselves, which was fantastic. There are views of other lakes, including Mono Lake. This is in Bloody Canyon, so some hikers are coming up from the other end of this trail. Bugs - No one was bitten by mosquitoes, but I know there are mosquitoes. I only saw a few on the outside of our tent in the evening. Again, they weren't agressive and dissipated quickly. The lake - we all swam in it. Refreshing. The Air Quality - we were worried it may be smoky - from the fires in the Bay Area, but it was not. The hike out - kids flew out in half the time it took to hike in. We saw only 6 other people that morning. This is not a crowded trail and is mostly shaded. Scenery - The scenic views you really only see the last half of the hike. The first part of this trail the scenery is meadows, a few streams to cross. I recommend this as a good starter backpack trip, a good trail run route, or a day hike.

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George Marro
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Hiking
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Patrick Mart
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Hiking

Nice hike views really get nice about 3.3 miles in

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Brittany Horton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Very moderate hike with steady elevation gain. If you’re an avid hiker this will be a breeze - started at 10:15 and up there just before noon. I highly recommend that you plan to keep moving or check out Parker pass, which is gorgeous

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Dan Hix
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020
Hiking

Solid trail. One river in the first 15 minutes that you have to cross, go a bit to the right and you can find some rocks that you can walk over to keep your toes dry. Lots of deer messing about, cool lake at the top!

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Jacob Rosen
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HikingBugs

Most phenomenal trail in Yosemite in my opinion! We hiked it at peek season in late July and we only passed 4 other hikers along the way, it was extremely remote, empty and just beautiful. The trail begins through meadows with streams of which we recommend taking off your boots and socks or they’ll be soaked as there is no crossing for the streams - this part of the hike with wildflowers and a mountain overhead was like a fairy land. The views at the top were extremely vast with lakes and mountains all around - it was like a grassy moonscape, we felt so free. If you continue after the mono pass sign around a rocky hill there is the most incredible view of the Mono Lake and Eastern Sierra desert 3000 m below. Outstanding

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Sharon Kovar
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HikingBlowdownMuddy
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Esteban Ortega
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HikingNo shadeRocky
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Mecia Serafino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2019
HikingBugsMuddy

Fun mellow hike. Great views of Mammoth Peak and Kuna Crest. Also hiked to upper Sardine lake for a beautiful view of Mono Lake.

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Corey Leamon
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HikingMuddySnow

Fantastic and varied hike. Hiking in early July, it was quite boggy in the earlier sections due to snow melt. Due to this and a few runoff/creek crossings, I'd say sturdy and water resistant boots are a must. There is a great deal of shade most of the way up, with walks along meadow edges (lots of deer activity). The last couple miles to Upper Sardine are fully exposed. I had a few smaller sections of climbing through snowpack after the peak sign, as well. But, you'd be crazy not proceed the extra mile or so to Upper Sardine. The view of Mono Lake is insane! I'd recommend dedicating 4-6 hours (or a little extra if you aren't used to high-altitude hikes).

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Matt Krueger
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 12, 2018

Hiked this in late June. Still plenty of snow on the peaks and in the shadows then. Definitely go past the sign for a killer view of Mono Lake.

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Jesse Laplaca
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I’m a Yosemite junkie. This hike tops many. Banger meadows, views, lakes, rivers, cabins, wild flowers..the list keeps going. Go past the mono pass post and go check sardine lake. So dope! Get some! Cheers from Reno\tahoe

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madame33licious .
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2018
Hiking

This was one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever hiked. So beautiful everything in one hike, water, streams, lakes , meadows, peaks , and wild flowers! I would do this again in a heart beat. Go past the mono pass sign a bit not very far and you come around the corner and can see mono lake as well is lower sardine. Take your time because of the elevation but this is a solid moderate hike. The incline is so gradual most of the way it’s the elevation that gets you . But over all hands down best hike I’ve done in the park.

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E F
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2018
Hiking

Great half-day bike from Tioga Road, takes about 2 hours each way. Be sure to go to the end in order to see the view of Mono Lake.

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Nina Kraustronaut
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2017

I attempted this trail with my brother a few years ago in late May. I don't recommend trying it for your first time that time if year. thanks to snow covering the trail we spent hours wandering in circles looking for other people's foot prints. we turned around once we realized after many hours we were still about two miles from our final destination, and the frozen snow made it difficult to follow our own tracks home. incredible scenery, but please take caution in the winter/spring/fall. worth noting we didn't see a single other person out there.

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Lining Sun
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2017
Hiking

There are lots beautiful flowers in meadows, nice walk

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Jerry Horner
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Nice views with varied landscapes. Very windy when you reach the pass.

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Rachel Cumberland
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Hiking

Good hike, we added 3.8miles by taking the trail to Parker Pass too.

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Cassandra Beutler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2016
Hiking

One of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done! Definitely not as popular as other trails in Yosemite and I hope it stays that way. Tons of scenery, however there was a ton of mosquitoes though (I went last week of June). Not that difficult for an experienced hiker however the elevation may get you. There was also a thunder storm but that is to be expected considering the elevation and the fact it is the sierras. Started at 7 finished around 12 (including the breaks we took for photos), may take longer for a beginner. Definitely recommend though.

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Robert Bell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 6, 2016
Hiking

This hike is not one of the most popular trails but perhaps should be. You will not see as many people as you would with the more popular Yosemite hikes like Yosemite falls or Cathedral lakes. Maybe a few backpackers, a few day hikers, and you and the trail. The route is mostly forested with the occasional meadow until nearly the end. The end itself, doesn't need to be. There is another pass and countless places to go nearby, as well as Bloody canyon, which would take you all the way back down to the Lee Vining and Mono lake area. The lakes near the pass are beautiful and quiet. There are a few old cabins in various states of condition, some having collapsed years ago, and others remaining somewhat. Please preserve them for others later. Really, this is a nice day hike, and the opportunity to do more is all up to you.

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John Fiene
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 15, 2015
Hiking

This is an amazing trail. About five miles in, there are the ruins of silver miners' cabins. Expansive beautiful meadows and great views. Few folks were out here in late August.

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Skyler Hardy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 22, 2015

Overnighted it couple summers ago with my first YCC crew. beutiful as heck!!! Got stormed out but the lightning and storm hitting the ridge line only added to the effect!!

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Akhilesh Malavalli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 26, 2014
Hiking

This is an amazing intermediate trek to mono pass. Camping at upper sardine lake. Very beautiful view of mono lake and a wonderful sun rise :) http://adventures.garmin.com/en-US/by/akhilesh/mono-pass/

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Eric Chase
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 10, 2013
Hiking

Serene trail with relatively low usage and some beautiful vistas. Certainly the most moving hike I took out there.

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Jim Bahn
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Hiking
First to Review

Nice hike; lots of other reviews on the web. Parking lot may fill early so beware. Hike is about 8.5 miles, with approx 1250' elevation gain. Nowhere near Long Barn; nearest town is Lee Vining. Here's the tip: keep walking past the summit. You'll walk for a short while and you'll see the valley below and start descending. Don't descend more than a few feet; go off trail to the right and you see Upper Sardine Lake below you. There's no trail to the best overlook; you'll just have to pick your way but it's worth it. Link below. Also, unless it's been really dry; bring along bug spray for the middle part of the hike.

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