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TR: 5-Day Trip out of Mono Meadow

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TR: 5-Day Trip out of Mono Meadow
September 05, 2019 02:26PM
We took advantage of the Labor Day weekend to do a 5-day loop out of the Mono Meadow Trail Head and exited the Ostrander Lake Trailhead passing Chilnualna Lakes. You can see our route we took here: 5-Day Mono Meadow Loop
The weather was warmer than we anticipated. That, mixed with the dry dusty trail, made for pretty slow and miserable hiking conditions once we passed Mono Meadows. Hiking umbrellas came in very handy


Water was more abundant than I thought. One thing I noticed was that streams that originate from lakes only had standing pools, whereas streams from larger drainage areas had flowing water.

The views from the pass near Buena Vista Lake (not sure of the name of it) were amazing.

We would have done the Buena Vista Loop, but one person in our party had a bad knee so we decided to take the shorter route.

As we got closer towards Turner Meadow area, the meadows got thicker and more lush.

As did the mosquitoes. Head nets were nice, but not necessary. I came across with no bites, but I did treat my clothes with permetherin and was liberal with the DEET. Others opted to shun the bug repellent and paid dearly with their choices.

As we left the Turner Meadow area, we entered the area burned by the 2017 Empire fire. It was a stark contrast to the lush forested meadow we had been previously hiking through.

There are signs of new growth

We only saw 5 groups of people the entire trip. Three of those groups were within 3 miles of either trail head, so it was nice to have some solitude on an otherwise busy weekend.
We did see lots of bees, yellow jackets, and some weird type of bee none of us had seen before. That particular type of bee was more aggressive and ended up stinging 2 people (not the same bee), That was something really unexpected.
We saw 2 cubs and the mother bear about 1/4 mile from the Ostrander Lake Trail Head, but they ran away with no incident.
Weather was clear until Sunday, when we started to see clouds build farther east. Monday the clouds were worse as we looked east. For us, we had no rain, but a check of the radar once we got into Oakdale showed that Tuolumne area was getting hit hard.

We wrapped up the trip with a great burrito at Taqueria El Agave in Oakdale. A must for anyone passing by.
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