Mono Lake and "The June Lakes Loop" Trip
In July of 2003, paddlin' buddy Jim Lile and I decided to get out of the bay and paddle Mono Lake. We chose Mono because it is a VERY different body of water. The lake is large (something like 9 by 3 miles, but don't quote me on that), very alkali (nothing lives in it but billions of brine shrimp), and of course, it has those cool tufa formations (think stalagmites, or is it stalagtites?). The lake is located on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada in California (almost Nevada) in high desert country around 7000 feet or so. Poor us, we had to drive all the way through Yosemite to get there! The ride, by the way, was worth it by itself. Jim chose the June Lake area as a possible camping site, and it was a great call. While Mono Lake is very unusual, this paddling duo must admit to really getting our jollies in a number of high Sierra lakes. We paddled Convict Lake, June Lake, Gull Lake and Silver Lake during the trip. All were drop-dead-gorgeous clear water mountain lakes filled with lucky fisherman and few kayakers. We fought some stiff winds a few times (we kind of enjoy that), but otherwise were rewarded with the kind of beauty that we just can't get in the lower altitudes in the west. Silver Lake included a bonus of a tight and clear/cold paddle of the Reversed Creek that feeds the lake. The area also featured un-believable views, great camping and small tourist towns with good food. Lots of digital photos were taken. View Jim's and/or Steve's paddle trip pictures.