Winter came late this year giving Oakhurst another miracle March. With snow starting to melt, now is the time to think about those adventures into our neighboring mountains to witness the amazing spring colors.
One of my favorite areas and one that I continually revisit is located in the eastern area of Fresno County. The resort is called Mono Hot Springs in the Ansel Adams Wilderness.
This unique adventure starts at Huntington Lake. As you continue driving this 17 mile narrow road it increases in elevation to Kaiser Pass at 9,200 feet.
At the summit located on the right are three small rock mounds. These are the grave sites of Whiskey, Babe and Trim, the sled dogs of Jerry Dyer. During the winters of 1920 to 1925 they brought in supplies and mail to those workers of the Edison Company.
This narrow winding road gradually decreases in elevation through the remote Kaiser Wilderness. Next the area opens up to a spectacular view of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The distant views of this long valley seem endless reaching westerly toward the Minaret Mountains.
Soon you will cross the San Joaquin River and within a quarter of a mile is the location of Mono Hot Springs. Although rustic, one might be surprised by all amenities for comfort and relaxation at such a remote remote location.
The cabins date back to the 1930s with a few made from stone which create that Sierra Mountains feeling. Mono Hot Springs offers a general store and an updated restaurant. What makes this resort unique is the natural hot springs located across the river. This water is also piped into their modern bath house.
My preferences are the many miles of hiking trails in the area. Two of these trails lead to thermal heated lakes which are ideal for trout fishing or swimming.
Mono Creek and the San Joaquin River also flow through this area which offers great fly fishing. For those of you who enjoy off trail experiences, Devils Table and Mary’s Mountain will definitely challenge your skills.
Also in this area are roads leading to Edison and Florence Lake which feature many trails into this mountain wilderness areas.
The famous John Muir Trail is within hiking distance for those who prefer overnight stays in the backcountry. Each of these three areas have sites for tent camping.
Just think only three hours from Fresno will give you a wilderness experience. I could write a four page article featuring some of these remote areas I personally experienced over the past three decades. If you are looking for that rustic charm with modern facilities, check out the Mono Hot Spring web site for your 2018 summer vacation season.