Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mono Lake Crack

(GPS for Black Point: N38 01.680 W119 05.815)

Here is one I like because it has a spooky effect to it. The first minute or so is at Black Point which is not that impressive, but is to show you where I was at. A few hundred feet away is the opening to the area "Mono Crack."

If done correctly I would not consider this a major hike. A few years ago I came up from the wrong side during the hot summer making it almost a death march. If you have 4x4 you can get real close. I do not, but I knew a road that would get us within about 45 minutes of getting to the top of Black Point. It is the high point around Mono Lake, but I would not consider it a serious elevation hike. Although it looks impressive from seeing it from the 395 HWY. The picture below shows the type of terrain you have to go through to get to the top.

Since the area is really bushy you can not go straight to the top, but follow any dirt path you can around each bush. The bushes are not that crowded around, but enough at some points where you have to walk away from the destination you want to go to in order to get around. Once at the top I checked out the views of the area, but due to the excess of clouds and gray weather it was not as scenic as what you might see during the summer.
You will notice the islands above. Below you can see towards the south and the South Tufa where Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter was filmed. That area would be toward the middle on the other side of the lake. Eventually, I am going to head back over there. It has been about ten years since I was last there so I need to head back in one of my next trips there.

Here is what I really came for. There is an area to the southwest of the top that has a few areas that the earth has opened up a bit. You can stand on top of it and look down below. Some places you can jump across the crack easily, but if you mess up then you fall at least 30 feet if not more. This is not an area that one should go to alone, if you do becareful, because if something happens to you then you will be stuck out here for a very long time before another person shows up.

Note: the gps coords N 38 01.600, W 119 06.000 get you pretty close to the area, but it will be up to you to find where to go in. You will want to check out the area overhead first anyways standing over it before you head in. You need to keep heading west to find the entrance I used. Please be very careful when standing above the crack.
The area narrows a bit at different points. The picture below is where I like to stop and hang out for a little while.
I am at the same point as above, but this is looking down. This is why I do not continue through.
I have not tried, but am told that you can drop down here and continue through. There is someway out in the other direction. I do not know when or if I will go back, but when I do go back I will probably search for an exit from above before I try. Of course, if I had brought a ladder...

Let me list some of my old blog entries where I have shown a few different looks of Mono Lake:

Awesome View of Mono Lake
High Plains Drifter

The High Plains Drifter one is actually pretty old being taken some time back in the late 90's. As I mentioned, I really want to get back there and do a better job getting more precise locations on that one. It is okay for what I did at the time, but I can do much better these days.