Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Yosemite NP, Inyo NF, Mono County (Phone Pt. 1) - Mammoth Lakes Trip

My parents and I spent 2 nights at Mammoth Lakes, CA between October 21 to October 23 in 2022. We explored Yosemite National Park, Inyo National Forest, Mono County, and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in California enjoying the scenery and autumn foliage. I took photos with my phone, my Olympus mirrorless camera, and my Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera. The photos will be split into several blog posts. I hope you enjoy viewing my photos! 

Parts: 

Cellphone: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Olympus: Part 1 (Coming Soon) | Part 2 (Coming Soon)

Canon: Part 1 (Coming Soon) | Part 2 (Coming Soon)

These photos were shot on my cellphone. The photos are from Yosemite National Park, Inyo National Forest, and Mono County, CA. The photos are from Inyo Craters, Earthquake Fault, Hot Creek Geologic Site, Lake Crowley, and more. 

On day 1, we drove to Mammoth Lakes, CA from the SF Bay Area via State Route 120 through Yosemite National Park.

A scenery photo of autumn foliage shot on the side of Tioga Road (SR-120) in Yosemite National Park.

That concludes my day 1 photos from my cellphone. Day 2 of our trip was extremely windy. I think I probably experienced gusts around 50 MPH. That was definitely not fun, and it was the first time I experienced anything like this. I was barely able to stand at times, the wind knocked down my heavy camera tripod several times (with my camera removed), and almost knocked my heavy camera tripod (with my camera on it) several times. I occasionally leave my camera and tripod to the side when I'm taking photos, texting, or posting on social media. I learned pretty fast that I had to hold onto my camera and tripod outside even when I'm not using it. There were times I had to hunker down, squat down, and make myself as small as possible to wait out a gust as to not lose my balance and injure myself. 

Day 2 started off with heavy wind and rain, followed by heavy wind and snow in Mammoth Lakes, CA. I was super disappointed.

A scenery photo of a crater at Inyo Craters in the Inyo National Forest.

Inyo Craters were formed somewhere between 550 to 650 years ago (1350 CE) by volcanic eruption.

The wind at Inyo Craters was intense. At this point, it was only raining. The main trail runs on the edge of the crater, so on that day I actually went off the trail a tiny bit because the wind kept trying to push me into the crater. It was quite dangerous. I didn't end up taking any photos with my Canon because by the time I got set up, the front of my lens is going to get soaked, and I didn't take any photos of my Olympus because it has no weather protection.

A scenery photo of forest and clouds. The photo is from Inyo Craters Trail in the Inyo National Forest.

A scenery photo of Earthquake Fault in the Inyo National Forest and Mammoth Lakes, CA.

The Earthquake Fault was formed by earthquakes. The age of the fissure caused by the earthquakes is not know, but according to the US Forest Service, some of the trees growing around it are 160 years old, so the fissure is at least that age.

After Inyo Craters, I arrived at Earthquake Fault. The rain turned into snow and rain at this point. The wind in this area wasn't too bad as the area was somewhat sheltered by all the trees.

A scenery photo of Earthquake Fault in the Inyo National Forest and Mammoth Lakes, CA.

A scenery photo of Earthquake Fault in the Inyo National Forest and Mammoth Lakes, CA.

After Earthquake Fault, our family drove up to Minaret Vista in Inyo National Forest. I didn't end up taking any photos here on my 2nd day as it was a complete white-out. As we drove up the mountain, the temperature dropped -2°C (28°F), and we drove right into a cloud. It was snowing outside and the wind was very intense. We were not the only ones to drive up there just to leave disappointed. We saw 2 other vehicles drive away from the vista point before us and 3 other vehicles driving in as we were leaving. The only thing I got to do over here was take a piss.


At this point, I got very worried. I thought my plans for the 2nd day was ruined. My dad also felt hopeless, and even suggested we go back to to hotel to get a nap in (we didn't sleep too well the first night due to mild altitude sickness). My mom had hope and said she thinks it won't be storming this bad out in the desert. I ended up changing the plans, and instead of viewing autumn foliage, I decided to go view the hot springs and Lake Crowley out in the desert.

A scenery photo of Hot Creek Hatchery Road, clouds, mountains, and the desert. The photo is shot in the Inyo National Forest. In the distance you can see the snowstorm and rainstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Also in the photo are the Mammoth Yosemite Airport (in the distance) and Hot Creek Trout Hatchery (in the distance on the right).

My mom was right! The rainstorms and snowstorms did not hit the desert. The rain and snow cleared up as we drove out of Mammoth Lakes, CA into the desert. In fact it was quite sunny in some areas. That is where the good news ends. The wind actually got worse when we got into the desert. Due to the intense winds, every minute or 2, a gust would bring in some snow and rain from the Sierra Nevada mountains. My face got sandblasted by snow quite a bit, and a few times by sand. This was quite an experience and I have never experienced anything like this before in my travels. It was somewhat interesting.

I climbed a rocky hill on the side of Hot Creek Hatchery Road to get that photo above. I had to squat down for a while (and keep a good grip on my camera tripod) to ride out an intense gust of wind before I was able to get back down to our car. If I tried to climb down in that wind, I would have most likely lost my balance and got blown over.

A scenery photo of Hot Creek and the hot spring from Hot Creek Geologic Site in Inyo National Forest. This is a natural hot spring in the desert.

A scenery photo of Hot Creek and the hot spring from Hot Creek Geologic Site in Inyo National Forest. This is a natural hot spring in the desert.

A scenery photo from Brees Lookout over looking Hot Creek, Hot Creek Geologic Site, and the Eastern Sierras (in the distance) in the Inyo National Forest.


A scenery photo of the Eastern Sierras (in the distance), desert, clouds, and mountains from Forest Road 30E304 in the Inyo National Forest.

A scenery photo of the desert, rocks, and clouds from the intersection of Benton Crossings Road and Forest Road 30E304 in the Inyo National Forest.

A scenery photo of the Eastern Sierras (in the distance), desert, clouds, and mountains from Owens Gorge Road in the Inyo National Forest. In the distance you can see the snowstorm and rainstorm in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

A panorama of Lake Crowley, Glass Mountain Ridge (in the distance), White Mountains (in the distance on the right), and clouds shot at a vista point on the side of US-395 in Mono County, CA.

A scenery photo of Lake Crowley, Glass Mountain Ridge (in the distance), White Mountains (in the distance on the right), and clouds shot at a vista point on the side of US-395 in Mono County, CA.

A scenery photo of Lake Crowley, Glass Mountain Ridge (in the distance), and clouds shot at a vista point on the side of US-395 in Mono County, CA.


That concludes my day 2 photos from my cellphone. The bad weather cleared up the next day and the wind mostly died down. Unfortunately that also means all the pretty clouds in the sky was gone. The mountain tops got a very light dusting of snow.

The first stop on day 3 (final day) was Minaret Vista, the vista point we weren't able to see on day 2 due to poor weather.

A photo of the sign at Minaret Vista in the Inyo National Forest. The viewpoint is at 2824 m (9265 ft).

A panorama of mountains and forest from Minaret Vista in the Inyo National Forest.

A scenery photo of mountains and forest from Minaret Vista in Inyo National Forest.

A photo of a snow maker and Mammoth Mountain at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area. The photo was shot on the side of Minaret Road in the Inyo National Forest and Mammoth Lakes, CA.

This is all the photos for today. I hope you have enjoyed viewing the photos! Please don't forget to share the blog post with your friends and family members! Also, if you want to get notifications when I post up more photos, "Like" us on Facebook or follow me on Twitter and Instagram. These links can also be found on the top of the right sidebar.

Parts: 

Cellphone: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

Olympus: Part 1 (Coming Soon) | Part 2 (Coming Soon)

Canon: Part 1 (Coming Soon) | Part 2 (Coming Soon)