1 month ago

WARNING: Was lost for 1 hour on the way back from Dorris Lake.**

This lake is not also known as Tule Lake. This is Dorris Lake. Tule Lake is 1.7 miles North West of Dorris Lake. I visited both lakes for the first time, and they are both spectacular views no doubt.

**I must warn you, the paths are not clearly carved and some signs are falling apart. The trail head had an empty ranger post board, so do obtain a map of the trail at the shop/store at the Mono Hot Spring Resort. The map they provide seems straight forward but once youre on the actual hike, it will become more vague as there are several misleading forks the map does not have. I had also purchased a map from a ranger station prior which was a bit more helpful in determining the actual miles of the hike to both lakes.

The first sign is suppose to take you to Dorris Lake but the path will eventually lead to several diminishing paths. Starting around 2:30pm and Hiking with 3 other people, we picked the path that had the most traffic tracks. We ran into a few people on the trail that were going back to the resort, they all informed us they couldnt find Dorris Lake but found Tule Lake. This same path some how lead us to another sign describing a fork to Tule Lake and Edison Lake. Do NOT take the Edison Lake which it will not take you to Dorris Lake based on the map the ranger station provided. Continuing on what is now Tule Lake path we eventually reached Tule Lake. You will know its Tule Lake when you see fields of tall Tule stems and shortly after, a large lake neighboring 2 goregous rock formations on the far side of the Lake. If the Tules are high, there may not be any clearing into the lake. Do not continue forward on the path passed the lake because it does not take you around to the other side of the lake but further North to a new trail. 

Leaving Tule Lake back where we came, we some how stumbled upon a sign we did not see which described a fork to Tule Lake and Dorris Lake. We took the Doris Lake path and ended there. You will know youre at Dorris Lake when you see a large lake embodied by 4 or 6 large rock formations surrounding the lake. 

In August 2018, the sun sets around 8:30pm. We left Dorris Lake, at 6:30pm. We followed the same trail back we came. We thought heading back was a piece of cake but we were wrong. Following the only path that had signs of high traffic, we came to an odd clearing intersecting 4 paths. Each path lead to more diminishing paths further down. As the sun does down, the paths begin to look different. Im not an expert tracker but be very careful not to take any path that may have been carved by animals. Even though we saw cigarette buds, trash, and a lost slipper on a couple of paths neither of them lead to what looked like a real promising path. We had to admit we were lost. We been testing each path and circling back to the clearing intersecting point for an hour. 8:00pm came and we only had 15mins of sun light left. Luckily my gf got her GPS on her phone working and used it pin point our exact location and compass our direction. Remember to always travel South and down hill as Mono Hot Springs Resort is approximately South of Dorris Lake and at a lower elevation. We ended up scaling a steep cliff side and landed into a party of tents that were shocked and surprised to see us. We ended a little ways off the main trail head, but definitely in an area we did not expect.

I hope this information was helpful. We only packed for an easy day hike, so we actually ran out of both food and water before we got lost. Always be prepared for the worse and never give up. Best of Luck!