Mono Pass and Spillway Lake

Dad%20and%20Beth%20at%20Spillway%20Lake.jpgMy family visits me from New England annually, and this year I warned my father and brother to be prepared for a long hike. After trying to narrow down one of my favorite places to share with them, I finally decided on Mono Pass and Spillway Lake, one of the less strenuous hikes on the list (which included Mt Dana and Conness—perhaps a bit ambitious for two people who have lived at sea level their entire life). The area provides a great introduction to the high country as the fairly level trail up to Mono Pass leads though inviting forests to reveal, at the end, a picturesque alpine basin guarded by the Kuna Crest, Mt. Gibbs, and Mt. Lewis. A short hike over a ridge brought our intrepid group to Spillway Lake, its depths fed by water cascading (i.e., spilling) down from the Kuna Crest. Although the altitude proved trying for Dad and Kevin (and Kevin had never walked as far in his life!), both sauntered on and finished the hike.