Featured Day Trip: Bridgeport and Bodie

In northern Mono County, there are lakes to fish, trails to explore, and hot springs to soak in. There’s even an old gold mining ghost town to wander through. Bridgeport is only an hour drive north of Mammoth and there is an entire day of new adventures waiting to unfold.

Of course, there are plenty of amenities along the way, but to maximize your time for play, you’ll want to make sure you have a full tank of gas, snacks and plenty of water before you embark on this adventure day trip.

HERE’S YOUR ADVENTURE GUIDE FOR A DAY TRIP TO BRIDGEPORT.

Early morning

If you head out early enough, you can see the sun rise over Mono Lake. The early morning sun shining on the tufas is a great way to inspire the adventure ahead. Hopefully, you remembered your camera. Grab coffee, a breakfast burrito, and any other supplies you might need for the day from the Mono Market or swing by the Mobil Station’s Whoa Nellie Deli for an egg and bacon croissant sandwich. Continue north enjoying the view.

Morning Exploring a Ghost Town

Located north of Lee Vining and just south of Bridgeport, Bodie State Historic Park is an abandoned gold mining town that was once home to 10,000 people in the late 1800s. On a walking tour of the ghost town, you’ll see an old school house, saloons, and stores. Maybe even the spirit of a former gold miner or even a prostitute?

Today, Bodie is found just as it was left (with minimal preservation). Meander the streets with your camera, and take a guided walk through one of the most intact Stamp Mills in California. You will learn how gold was extracted from quartz and turned into bullion bars. After a few hours, you should have filled your curiosity and it’s time to head into the Humboldt Toiyabe National Forest for a hike.

Afternoon Hike

Continue north to Bridgeport and head out to Twin Lakes. Mammoth also has a Twin Lakes, but these lakes are Bridgeport’s very own gems. Park at the end of Twin Lakes Road at Mono Village and set out on a hike to Barney Lake from the Robinson Creek trailhead. With a relatively moderate hiking trail and stunning views, Barney Lake is the most popular hiking destination in the Bridgeport area for a reason.

The route follows Robinson Creek past bubbling springs and gradually ascends for 3.9 miles to the lakeshore. Situated at 8,200 feet Barney Lake is tucked beneath the craggy peaks of the Sawtooth Range. If that’s not enough, you can continue on another 2.8 miles to Robinson Lakes or Peeler Lake, however, the climbing gets significantly steeper. Return the same route for a 7.8-mile round trip hike.

After you’ve tired yourself out hiking, pick up an ice cream sandwich at the Mono Village store, sit on the shore of Upper Twin Lake, and enjoy the view.

Evening on the Water

Hopefully, you brought your fishing pole because Twin Lakes is home to some of the largest brown trout in the Eastern Sierra. Even if you aren’t into fishing, a tour of the lake is a fantastic way to see the area from another perspective.

Rent a fishing boat from Mono Village or Twin Lakes Resort for the evening and troll the water. If you need a little help on what is working, check the Ken’s Sporting Goods Fishing Report then get your fishing on.

Dinner and a Hot Soak

After touring a ghost town, hiking, and fishing you are probably tired and hungry. If you can wait another hour for dinner, swing by Travertine Hot Springs located off Jack Sawyer Road. The thermal water will most definitely sooth your sore muscles. But don’t get too relaxed, you still have to eat dinner and drive home.

Virginia Creek Settlement is a local favorite; pizza never tasted so good! The resort and restaurant are conveniently located on the highway just south of Bridgeport, stop by and fuel up before you drive back to Mammoth.

RESOURCES:

Mono Market 51303 Highway 395, Lee Vining (760) 647-1010
Bodie State Historic Park (760) 647-6445
Mono Village 13425 Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport (760) 932-7071
Twin Lakes Resort 10316 Twin Lakes Road, Bridgeport (760) 932-7751
Ken’s Sporting Goods 258 Main Street, Bridgeport (760) 932-7707
Virginia Creek Settlement 70847 Highway 395, Bridgeport (760) 932-7780

Monica Prelle

Monica Prelle is an outdoors, wine, and travel writer who would rather be running, climbing, or mountain biking. See more of Monica's posts here, read more of her work at monicaprelle.com and connect on twitter @monicaprelle

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