I have been sorting and going through pictures and was taken back to my days as a child. Every summer we’d pack up the truck with food, clothes, fishing poles, and camping gear to go spend three weeks to a month swimming, fishing, and hiking up at Mono Hot Springs in the High Sierras. It was always an adventure filled with lots of fun and surprises, but always the same too.
There were a lot of the same families that came up every year while we were there so we got to know some of the regular kids and had fun playing horseshoes and hiking around. I remember we use to also have a horseshoe contest and it was fun trying to beat the other team or family. Many times we would all go to bed tired and with sore arms from throwing them so much, but it was fun. My mom probably thought tired kids were good kids, lol. Actually, I am pretty sure she thought that lol.
We also did a lot of fishing when my sister seemed to always be the best fisherman so to speak. I liked fishing enough I guess, but I always liked to read so I would usually just bait a hook, throw the line in the water, and sit and read and go swimming in the lake. Needless to say, I didn’t catch much fish, but I still had a good time enjoying being outside in nature and enjoying the beauty around me. Even without my support from fishing, we usually had plenty of fish for dinner many nights.
One of the things I remember clearly too was a family whistle we used to let our parents know we were safe and ok while they were out on a boat on the lake. One of them would whistle our crazy whistle and we would all whistle it back. If we didn’t, or they didn’t hear us, they would come looking for us. It seemed to work very well for us, and we still use that whistle today sometimes to find each other in a store. (Why use a cell phone when you have a whistle? lol).
The other thing I really enjoyed while camping up there was the mineral hot springs baths. Even though they were really hot, it was so nice to relax and soak for a while. There was nothing like waking up to birds chirping and water running. It was a great experience spending part of our summer up there. I just checked out their website and it looks like it changed a little since I’ve been there many years ago, but I still have fond memories of our time spent there.
Here is some information directly from their site: Mono Hot Springs Campground sits above Kaiser Pass in the High Sierra, on the South Fork of the San Joaquin River in an area known for its hot mineral baths. The camp is divided into two sections that are separated by Mono Hot Springs Resort, and some sites are shaded by aspen and lodgepole pine. Each campsite has a picnic table, grill, and bear-proof food storage locker. Vault toilets are provided. Drinking water is not available at the camp but can be acquired along with other supplies at the general store at Mono Hot Springs Resort. Paved and dirt roads provided access to the campground and large RV’s are not recommended on Kaiser Pass Road.
The campground sits at an elevation of 6,700 feet with many cliffs in the area. It makes a great base for exploring the nearby Ansel Adams and John Muir Wilderness areas or for simply relaxing and enjoying the scenery. The Mono Hot Springs area provides opportunities for fishing, birding, mountain biking, hiking, and relaxing in the hot springs. Interpretive programs are offered at the campground on Friday nights during the summer.
Take Hwy 168 east from Clovis to Shaver Lake. Continue thru Shaver Lake to Huntington Lake. At the east end of Huntington Lake turn right on the Kaiser Pass Road (at Eastwood Visitor Center). Travel 17 miles to the junction of Edison and Florence Lake roads. Turn left (towards Edison Lake) and travel 1.6 miles to the campground.
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