This was a little over 20 miles on very easy terrain. We ran slow on the flat and downhill sections, and walked uphill. Starting on Tioga Pass Rd, Just past the Park Entrance is the Mono Lake Trailhead. Just before you get to Mono Pass, you can veer off towards Parker Pass. We took a side trip up to Parker Peak's summit 12,800', and then down to Gem Lakes and eventually Silver Lake near June Mountain Ski Area. We might have done 4000' of uphill, and 6000' of downhill.
Lots of water along the way, wild flowers, greenery, and awsome views of Mono Lake and the High Sierra Crest. This route goes beneath Koip and Kuna Peak, which are packed in next to Parker Peak. We were behind Mt. Lewis, Mt. Wood, and came out beneath Carson Peak.
I'm going to bore anyone reading this with peak naming, mainly for my own future ski trip planning beta. Otherwise I'll never remember what anything was.
This is Parker Pass 11,000'. We started at 9500', and the run to get here is really easy and beautiful. Lots of grass and wildflowers and no people. The John Muir Trail is nearby and gets most of the action.
This is Parker Peak above the snow patches.
Pretty sure this is Kuna Peak on right, Koip peak to the left. Both around 13,000'. Amazing ski terrain, can't wait to go back there in the spring. Best access would tioga Pass in a big snow year, wrapping around the back side of Mt. Dana. More likely I'll go earlier in the year, from down lower Parker Lake trailhead near the June Lake Road Turnoff.
This is the southwest side of Mt. Lewis. There is no trail in this drainage, but looks like a reasonable way to approach these high peaks from Parker Lake.
East side of Koip Peak 12,962'. The summit may be higher than this picture shows, as seen 2 pictures below.
This short trip was part of Steph's 40th Birthday celebration. Here we are on Parker's summit. Great views of Banner, Ritter, and many other High Sierra Peaks. Don't go to parker pass without the easy, off-trail sidetrip to the summit.
This is Blacktop Peak above the trail and Alger Lakes. Banner and Ritter in the background. This is the east side of the Koip Crest, with Koip Peak on the right.
Mt. Banner and Ritter
Running down to Alger Lakes. June Lake Ski Area trails on the left.
Looking back at the south side of Koip Peak.
Koip Peak is the big guy right of center. I think the small bump on the left might be neighboring Kuna Peak. Parker pass is the saddle on the right.
Carson Peak's west side and the east end of Gem Lake.
Coming down to the Silver Lake Campground.
North side of Carson Peak. We stayed in a condo at the Creekside Spa. Highly recommended for an Eastside vacation. There are amazing trails to hike, run, or bike right out the door, and you look up at Carson Peak from every window. Steph got a massage while I rode my motorcycle back up to Tioga Pass to fetch the Truck.
Check out the burned out hole at the base of this tree.
Silver Lake Campground.
View from Tuolmne Meadows.