This past weekend we loaded up in our car and headed across Sonora Pass for a fun road trip to Mono County. Mono County sits on the east side of the Sierra Nevada mountains. It is home to some of the most beautiful mountains, lakes, and rivers in California. When I was younger I went a few times with my dad, and it has always been one of my favorite parts of California. This trip happened to be my husbands first time. Needless to say, we will definitely be back soon!
I love Mono County because not only does it offer some of the most beautiful scenery in California, but it also holds so much rich California history. Bodie State Historical Park, now a ghost town, once was one of the busiest and biggest mining towns in California. Countless times we have been on dirt roads exploring and stumbled upon an old house or farm dating back to the glory days of the gold rush. So cool!
Mono County is fun to sight see, but also explore! Here are our top places to visit, eat, and explore when visiting Mono County, California…
Mono Lake is a saline soda lake that formed at least 760,000 years ago. It’s a must stop spot while in Mono County. We love visiting the Mono Lake South Tufa area (bring cash, it costs $3). Walk around, see the tufa up close, and learn more about Mono Lake. It’s kid friendly and a great adventure for the whole family.
Eat at Schat’s Bakery
The original Schat’s Bakery is located in Bishop, Ca, but there is also one located in Mammoth Lakes. With a wide selection of baked goods, sandwiches, and even fresh squeezed juices, Schat’s is a must visit when visiting the Mono County area. We always grab fresh sheepherders bread to take back home with us.
Visit one of the many beautiful lakes Mono County has to offer
June Lake, Convict Lake, Twin Lakes, Crowley Lake, and Virginia Lake are all must stop lakes. Our family enjoyed a picnic lunch at June Lake while looking out at the bright blue water. Bring a blanket and soak in the sun while watching the kids swim.
Mono Basin Museum in Lee Vining
The Mono Basin Museum is filled with tons of history of the area. This trip we stopped and spent time walking around. The kids loved checking out the Upside Down House as well as the old tractors, trucks, and machinery that are nestled to the side of the museum.
Check out one of the many hot springs
This trip we weren’t able to make it to one of the hot springs due to time, but Mono County has some awesome (and totally FREE) hot springs.
Walk around Mammoth Lakes and do some shopping
Mammoth Lakes has some cool shops to explore along with some awesome restaurants, breweries, AX throwing, live music, and trails. There is something for just about everyone!
Stay at one of the many resorts or find a local camping spot
There are a ton of free spots to camp all around Mono County. We chose to stay at Juniper Springs Resort. Juniper Springs Resort offers condos with beautiful mountains views for an affordable price. Depending on the time of the year and weather, prices will vary. I recommend checking out Hotels.com to find the best deals.
Highway 395 offers some of the most gorgeous views along the way. We drove up Sonora Pass which also is another California beauty that offers scenic views, waterfalls, lakes, hiking, camping, and more. Mono County has many amazing hiking trails too so don’t forget to check that out while your in the area.
Have you ever visited Mono County?
More from our trip…