Mono Pass & White Sierra Clothing (Rock Creek Lake)


A few weeks back, on Labor Day weekend, I joined some friends on a mountain getaway, to the Bishop and Mammoth area. It was beautiful seeing bits of leftover snow at the top of Sonora Pass, after our record-breaking winter. (I did not see any Pacific Crest Trail hikers, like I did the previous July.)



On our first night we met at one of the campgrounds in the June Lake area. June Lake offers some great scenery, a swimming lake, a few stores, and some high-altitude acclimation (acclimitization?), without the crowds of Mammoth Lakes.

Mom, and two babies behind her, visited the our campsite


The next morning we had a great “diner style” breakfast, at the nearby Silver Lake Resort.


After breakfast, we headed up the highest paved road in California, past Rock Creek Lake. The lake is at 9695 foot elevation, and we drove a bit past that to the trailhead, for an awesome hike.

We parked at the end of the road, along with many other cars, on this busy Labor Day weekend, and soon entered the “John Muir Wilderness”


No, the trail was not flat, but thank you for asking!


Up we go, higher above that lake down there…


That’s “Ruby Lake” at 11,121 feet, and we’re heading westbound, just above the lake, towards Mono Pass:


In the picture below, the 13,125 foot wall to our left, is on the edge of the map, SW of Mono Pass. We’re heading up to the right of the wall to Mono Pass:



Here’s the top:


This is the crest of the Sierra. The snow, where we are standing, drains NE towards Nevada, while the snow just up ahead drains to the Pacific Ocean


Map and GPS track of the hike:

Later that weekend we enjoyed a visit to Coppertop BBQ, in Big Pine. It was (oddly) rated as the best restaurant in America on a Yelp poll a few years back. I would say that was a bit skewed, but it’s very good, and definitely the best post-hiking food for 50 miles in either direction.


On our last night of camping, after it got too dark to take pictures, I started getting really chilly. I started thinking what I had packed (and not packed) in the car. After all, wasn’t it 95F degrees in Bishop just yesterday? Oops!

Oh! I have two new items from White Sierra, which were provided for my review.


White Sierra is a small company, with their HQ right in Silicon Valley They do some private label work, as well as their own brand. The story of the immigrant family that owns the company, is fascinating, yet shares a common theme with many other successful people.

The first item is a full-zip fleece, with a zipper pouch on the left arm, called the “Cloud Rest”. (A familiar name, if you’ve ventured to the less touristy parts of Yosemite.)



Comfy, stylish, and I’m a fan of full-zipper clothing.


The second item, that kept me warm at that high elevation campground, is the “Sierra Ridge II Stripe” quarter-zip (below). It’s much lighter than a fleece, and features a zipper pouch in the upper-left chest area.


They are almost the same color, but very different in terms of the material and construction.


The Sierra Ridge is light, in between a standard shirt and a sweatshirt. Soft and comfy!


If you live in Silicon Valley, near Sunnyvale, they occasionally have close-out sales at their offices. If you’re not a “local”, they have an easy-to-use website for ordering. Using code “Alpha33” will get you a 33% discount at checkout.

Thanks White Sierra! …now go plan your next trip, and remember their hashtag #MyOutdoors

About AlphaRoaming

Random outdoor roaming: hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking & plotting more of the above Grew up on the edges of the Adirondack mountains of New York, just a bit west of Vermont. Now living in Silicon Valley and venturing out when and where I can!
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