Sonora Pass (9 photos)

I’m finally finding the time to continue with photos from our Eastern Sierra Trip in late September*. After our morning stop at Mono Lake we continued north on Highway 395 and then took Highway 108 (Sonora Pass Road) to Leavitt Meadows.That actually wasn’t our original plan – it looked like it was going to be at least partially cloudy so I wanted to go to the old ghost town of Bodie (a State Historic Park) to finally see it. After our initial 20 minute delay at Mono Lake because of some road work, there was another 20 minute delay between Conway Summit and Bridgeport – and when we were finally moving again, I missed the turnoff to Bodie!

Going back would have meant waiting for 20 minutes again so Shuwen consulted one of the many pamphlets she had picked up, and Leavitt Meadows sounded quite nice. Plus, according to the pamphlet, it was the only hike we were still missing to complete the eight “most scenic fall color hikes in the Eastern Sierra” (or something like that). A pamphlet trophy, yippie! :-)

We arrived at the Leavitt Meadows trailhead, it was pretty warm, and because of the spontaneous change of plans, weren’t really equipped to hike (note to self: always pack more snacks, at the very least). We crossed the Walker River and hiked on the dusty trail through open sagebrush steppe, but the scenery didn’t change too much within the first 1.5 miles or so. We decided to be lazy instead, hiked back to the car, and continued to drive further up on Sonora Pass Road.

And that was really worth it! The views opened up to the east, and the entire landscape is much different from Mammoth, Lee Vining and the Tioga Pass Area. Plus, Sonora Pass Road is quite small and winding, a really charming drive, slower and more relaxed than the haste that I always perceive on Tioga Pass Road, where everyone seems to be in a hurry to just get up to the Yosemite entrance already.

We stopped multiple times along the road to take in the views and make photos. It seems there are some nice hikes in the area too. Below are some impressions.

*) it also took some painfully ruthless culling because I was too much in love with the landscape in that area. This selection of nine photos is what’s left of originally ~70 photos that I made there (not including the nine frames from which the first photo is stitched). That’s still a quite generous selection of course, but well, it’s just a blog post, not a portfolio gallery, so that’s okay. :-)

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2 Responses

  1. Wonderful shots! I love the Walker River, but you’re right, you have to hike in a bit before the scenery changes. It is well worth it if you have the time (and snacks) though.

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