24 Hours of Fun

When preparing to climb a mountain – pack a LIGHT HEART.
~Dan May

It truly amazes me what adventures can ensue with just a few ingredients:

3 100% SMILING WILLING participants
1 iPhone with Internet
3 Loaded daypacks

On our way home from Reno, Nevada passing through Owens Valley that sits beneath the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, we realized we had a few extra hours before heading back to work. Together we brainstormed some short excursions that we had heard about, but not experienced in the Mono Lake/Mammoth Lakes area. I got on the iPhone and within 15 minutes our 24 hours were planned, complete with maps (loaded on Topo Maps app), guidebook directions, and reservations at Mammoth RV Park.

First on the list was Travertine Hot Springs that is easily accessed just south of Bridgeport. There are several springs that are diverse, warm, beautiful, and public. On the day we visited there were a number of bathers enjoying the day.

Travertine Hot Springs

Next stop, Black Point and the Black Point Fissures along the north shore of Mono Lake. We had directions, but had some trouble locating the trail head and the fissures themselves. The hike to the fissures is cross-country over sand and scratchy bushes, but is so worth the effort once you enter the slots. We explored, climbed, and leaped just in time to watch the sun go down.
Black Point Fissures
Black Point Fissures
 Black Point Sunset

After literally running the 2 miles back to the car, we enjoyed a magnificent dinner at Whoa Nellie Deli located in the Mobile Station at the Tioga Pass turn-off. Then headed to Mammoth Lakes to camp in the Mammoth Lakes RV Park that sports a pool, jacuzzi, showers, and flush toilets.

Crystal Crag is a big outcropping of rock that overlooks Lake George in the Mammoth Lakes Basin. It is a class 3 climb (requires hand holds with some exposure) and has been on our “to do” list for years. Needless to say, we were pumped in the morning to get an early start. The climb turned out to be fun, challenging, and we got a lot of good exercise. I was thankful to be with 2 safe, patient, and encouraging climbers. Teamwork at its finest! After reaching the top and taking the very funny and scary photo below of all of us on the summit block, the boys viewed other high points of rock to explore. AND of course we had to perform more maneuvers to reach the other pinnacles. It was a great day, full of smiles and laughter.

Crystal Crag Climb
Crystal Crag Summit

Crystal Crag

Check out the video of our adventure. If you have ever wondered what exactly does a “Class 3 Climb” look like, enjoy. Also the video music is really motivating, “Sweet Disposition” by The Temper Trap. Have fun!


  1. Finally got down to the fissures last weekend. What a fun place! Thanks for the inspiration. We chickened out on the jump photography, and got to the hot springs too late. There’s always next time though…

  2. Pingback: Black Point Fissures | The Path Less Beaten

  3. Looks like an awesome spot! Thanks for stopping by my blog and the follow!

  4. Loved, loved, loved the photos. It makes my hands sweat watching Silly Chili jump over the crevass (sp?) but you photographed it well. 🙂

  5. Gorgeous, beautiful photos! Awesome!

  6. What an awesome 24 hours!

  7. Ummmm, Class 3, not for me! Really awesome views but I’m not sure I’d have that much fun doing that. I did a Class 3 once trying to get to a place where my scoutmaster wanted his ashes scattered (I think, just based on your photos and video) and it was rewarding but stressful. Yes, we had a permit wink*wink.

    Rockin’ neat photos and a great way to spend your last days before returning to work. I hope you have a great work year and that your planning goes well for your next long hikes. It’s been really fun following along with you this year. I look forward to more of your adventures.

    • Hey Warren,
      Guess what? I WILL be hiking with Wired this weekend! She is currently hiking the John Muir Trail. I am bringing a resupply to her and hiking together the last three days of her trip. We are hoping to summit Whitney and Mount Muir. Mount Muir is a class 3. I am super excited and anxious to put a pack back on.

      Thank you for your encouragement and I am sure looking forward to planning for next summer. I think that is half the fun. 🙂

      • Will be glad to read about you and Wired. Hope you two have a great time. My buddy John K. is on the JMT as I write this. Go Rockin’-N-Wired Go!

        • We looked for John K and missed him. It was an amazing, fun, cold, and about time trip. Talked, laughed, and traded a load of trail info between us over what seemed a couple weeks. I am looking forward to writing about some of that in an upcoming blog entry. Happy hiking.

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