My original plan was to do a quick trans-Sierra hike, since it is only 12 miles to the Rock Creek drainage, unfortunately, the ferry across the lake only runs twice a day, which didn't provide enough time to make the round trip. Instead, I settled on an open loop from the east end of the lake, up to Silver Pass, among the lakes on the north side of the Silver Divide, back over the divide at Goodale Pass and down the Goodale drainage back to the Vermilion Resort where our car was parked.
The ferry allows you to avoid a bunch of not very interesting mileage, even so, the first few miles are gently graded and forested. Once you leave Mono Creek, it gets steeper and more interesting. We had a small confusion when another hiker gave us wrong information, but we recovered quickly. When the Mott Lake Trail branches off, the Silver Pass Trail (aka JMT&PCT) abruptly climbs the side of the the canyon to reach Silver Pass Creek's hanging valley. From there it is a steady climb through meadows and open forest, then alpine meadow up to the pass (10895').
From the pass, we crossed through the head of Indian Valley...liberally scattered with very handsome "indian" named lakes. The climb from Papoose Lake to Goodale Pass (10997') is steep and sandy, if not very long. I made a side trip from the pass up to the top of one of the unnamed peaks to the east of Goodale Pass (11424'). Sadly, soon after dropping down from the pass, you enter the forest, and face a long slog back to the trailhead at teh resort (there not being time nor a loop to catch the afternoon ferry). About 9 miles of not very interesting hiking.
21.5 miles, 4750' of ascent, 7:15 trail time. Bunnyhike rating: 117
Clear and cool, very pleasant.
Map of hike location and route detail maps, route in blue and red
Detailed Map (125K)
And the surrounding days:Mono Hot Springs area
Home . ImagesSilver Pass / Robert Parks / email@example.com / revised July '05