Memorial Day in the Eastern Sierra: Cerro Gordo, Centennial Canyon, Boxcar Cabin, Jack Gunn Peak, Mono Basin and Sonora Pass
I’ve been so busy lately I’ve had to neglect calipidder.com a bit. But we were able to squeeze out to 395 to pay a visit to some of our favorite country over an extended four day Memorial Day Weekend.
We drove out Friday night and met the crew at Fossil Falls BLM camp along 395 (about 20 mins north of Ridgecrest). Greeted by a sidewinder only a few minutes after stepping out of the car I was certain it was going to be one of *those* kind of trips.
On Saturday morning we headed to Centennial Canyon to hike a loop and check out the petroglyphs (sorry, no GPS track for this one).
We circled the wagons at Astro Artz cabin that night which was a smart move – we were tucked away and a bit protected from the wind that blasted us nearly all weekend.
On Sunday morning we drove up to Cerro Gordo. Robert, the new caretaker, showed us around a bit and then we hiked up to Cerro Gordo Peak. Note that the approach to this peak is on private land and you must obtain permission before passing through – see maps tab below for GPS route info.
After making a brief stop at the U2 Joshua Tree we headed out Saline Valley road.
Where we stayed at the Boxcar Cabin, a really well taken care of cabin that we were surprised to find available at 3 pm on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Lucky, too – some short little windy squalls passed through and it was nice to have a dry and warm place to hide away.
Monday morning we headed into Lee Mines and hiked Jack Gunn/Maltese peak before heading into Lone Pine for breakfast at the Alabama Hills cafe. I haven’t spent much time along Saline Valley road and want to come back and explore some more. Maybe next Thanksgiving.
After Lone Pine we all went our separate ways. We headed north along 395 and cut over to 120 south of Mono Craters to a nice campsite with a view of Glass Mountain. We checked out a few side roads for future reference information and settled in for what we thought would be a really cold night. It ended up being quite pleasant.
Tuesday morning was our first visit to Whoa Nellie of the season and I had the most incredible breakfast sandwich. I miss Whoa Nellie in the winter.
Being the Tuesday after a holiday weekend, we figured Travertine Hot Springs might be empty and we were right. We enjoyed a short soak after taking the rough road in – the conditions have deteriorated enough that it would be difficult getting a passenger car in. Maybe that’s why it was so quiet.
We drove home over Sonora Pass and there is still an insane amount of snow. I’m beginning to wonder if it will ever go away this year.