Hike of the Week: Mono Pass via Lyell Fork

Hiker Susan Barlett makes the most of the unexpected winter storm this week on the Lyell Fork trail. Photo/Wendilyn Grasseschi
Wendilyn Grasseschi
Staff Writer

Tioga Pass is rumored to open this weekend and if so, this hike is your best bet for early season hiking in the high country; the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River to Mono Pass.
The hike starts at the Dog Lake parking area on the north side of the road and west of the park gate a few miles, then travels leisurely along the Tuolumne River for several mostly level miles before beginning a steep climb up the John Muir Trail.
The views on this short, easy hike (turn around at any point) are incredible toward glacier-clothed Mt. Lyell. The drought will quickly drop the water levels of this gorgeous river so the next few months are the prime time to visit—and for the next few weeks at least, the crowds will still be mostly absent.