Plan your trip
Stock up on major supplies and gasoline before leaving Prather or Shaver Lake on State 168. Get maps, wilderness permits, and visitor information at the High Sierra Ranger Station (8–4:30 daily; 29688 Auberry Rd., off State 168, Prather; www.fs.fed.us/r5/sierra or 559/855-5355).
High Sierra Visitor Center. Call ahead. 559/877-7173.
Mono Hot Springs Resort. Very rustic cabins (18 total) and natural bathing tubs. From $55. www.monohotsprings.com or 559/325-1710.
Vermilion Valley Resort. 5 tent cabins and 4 motel rooms from $50. www.edisonlake.com or 559/ 259-4000.
High Sierra Pack Station. Guided half-day ($60) and all-day ($120) rides and multiday pack trips (call for rates). www.highsierrapackstation.com or 559/ 285-7225.
Florence Lake Store & Ferry. Ferry $9, $17 round-trip. www.florence-lake.com.
Muir Trail Ranch. Typically, the entire ranch is rented by the week for groups of 15 to 20, but space is sometimes available for smaller groups and for individuals (check the ranch’s website for dates). $595 per person per week. www.muirtrailranch.com or 209/966- 3195.
The area around Kaiser Pass Road is made for summer hiking. Here are three of our favorite trails.
Devil’s Bathtub. After a steep tromp through Twin Meadows, a rocky, alpine lake awaits swimmers.
DISTANCE: 8.8 miles round-trip.
START HERE: Near Vermilion Campground at Edison Lake.
Mono Meadow; Doris and Tule Lakes. Stop at Doris Lake, 1 mile out, or press on to Tule Lake and Mono Meadow.
DISTANCE: 5 miles round-trip.
START HERE: Mono Hot Springs Resort, near entrance to Mono Hot Springs Campground.
Twin Lakes. Spectacular views from Potter Pass and a visit to two granite-bound lakes.
DISTANCE: 6.4 miles round-trip.
START HERE: 4.8 miles east on Kaiser Pass Rd. from State 168. Park on the south side of the road; the trail begins on the north side.