Mono Lake: Fissures Atop a Hill of Ash

Just A Day, Trips

Cramped Up Mono Lake fissures inside

 

Its dry, hot, dusty, cold, windy, snowy, rainy; unforgiving.  Its big, grandiose, epic, awesome, righteous; spiritual.  The Eastern Sierra kind of rules all of California, reigning over it from the east side and laughing in the face of those in the west who think the trip is too much work; the east doesn’t want you, the east doesn’t need you, and most importantly, the east doesn’t care.
The area in and around Mono Lake is full of secret hot springs, craters, and fourteeners no one has heard of.  It boasts memories of our presence and departure through abandoned towns, mines, cave dwellings and petroglyphs.  This area tells us the story of its history through volcanic shapes and remnants.
The Fissures are a kept secret of the East side; hidden in plain view atop a hill made of volcanic ash just waiting to be explored and treasured.  They are a series of slot canyons 20-50 ft deep and 2-6 ft wide, shaped volcanically telling an intrinsic piece of the geological history of the Eastern Sierras and Mono Lake.  Finding them can be tough but is worth the short jaunt for such a massive reward.

Cramped Up Mono Lake view

Cramped Up Mono Lake vista

Cramped Up Mono Lake mountains

Cramped Up Mono Lake fissures jump

Cramped Up Mono Lake fissures inside 2

Cramped Up Mono Lake fissures inside 3

Cramped Up Mono Lake fissures above

Cramped Up Mono Lake mountains 2

Cramped Up Mono Lake fissures plants

 

All photos taken with 35mm film on a Canon AE-1.

The Reward: Hot Spring Haven

Trips, Weekends

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Backcountry – John Muir Wilderness – Out and Back
26 miles total
Saturday – 13 miles Rainbow Falls trailhead to springs
Sunday – 13 miles back to trailhead
Thirteen miles in a day is a long distance for your legs to carry you. But when you’re walking towards something so enticing, you seem to fly! A collection of pristine hot spring tubs in the middle of the wilderness is the greatest reward a hiker can ask for. Your muscles melt into the steaming water and the miles are far, far away.
Giving yourself a gift at the end of a hard day of work can really do a lot for you, even if you’re not in the middle of the Eastern Sierras – treat yourself daily! A good meal and a beer, a stroll through town, a jump in the ocean; anything that gives you pleasure that you think you can’t squeeze into your busy day – squeeze it in. You’ll see it can go a long way, and help take your daily stresses away…

hike 1
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tub1
shady tub
camptub
sunset