Hiker's Water Taxi
Our ferry boat, The Edison Queen, travels on the lake from approximately June 1st to October 1st depending on the back country snow conditions and our visitors requirements. It runs seven days a week with special departures upon request. The boat dock at the mouth of Mono Creek is less than a mile from the main PCT/JMT trail.
When the water taxi is in the water, the following schedule applies (from approximately June through October):
Schedule - We are running smaller boats which hold 4 backpackers at a time, so we are now running multiple ferry runs between the hours of 8am and 10:30am.
Should you arrive at the Mono Creek landing side with a large group outside of these times, please call 559-259-4000 for pickup.
Pick up location is the flag on the beach.
Fare for the water taxi is $12 per person one way, $19 round trip, and can be purchased in the general store.
No reservations are needed.
Special Ferry runs can be arranged throughout the day. The charge is $12 per person, with a $75 minimum.
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Trail options in the event the water taxi is not operating because of the drought
For North Bound PCT/JMT Hikers:
Simply use the Bear Ridge Trail, (5.7 miles trail to dam); walk directly on top of dam, concrete to the end where it meets the shoreline, just go straight, the tree-line will be on your left. You will walk past the boat ramp which will be high and dry and just follow the tire tracks straight to VVR. From the end of the dam about 1.5 miles.
For South Bound JMT Hikers:
About a mile before you reach Silver Pass there will be a cut-off trail to Goodale Pass, this is a great alternative to going over Silver Pass and then around the Lake to VVR. Not only will it save you 2.6 miles in distance but will save you the up and down elevation loss/gain grunt around the lake. Walking through Graveyard Meadows is very beautiful too. (We locals prefer this pass to Silver)
**Note, If you end up at the back of the lake where our ferry landing is: You can hike directly along the lake trail to the resort; mileage from the water taxi landing to the lodge is 4.8 miles.
Getting Back on the Trail:
South Bounders: To get back to the JMT (South) you can avoid going back on the lake trail to the switchbacks up Bear Ridge (7900’ to 9880’), by catching our vehicle hiker shuttle ($10.00) to either of the two alternative trails.
- Bear Ridge trail on southern side of lake, trail head is at the spill-way. Mileage is 5.7 to junction of PCT/JMT. (elevation is 7665’ to 9880’) This is a great trail to use if you are north bound (PCT) and want to get to the resort; the trail is sandy and puts you out right at the dam. Simply walk on top of the dam (concrete) till it ends then walk up the shoreline to the lodge. (About 2 miles). We do not recommend this trail to hikers who want to join the PCT/JMT southbound (loose, dry and steep)
- Bear Creek Cut-off trail to Bear Creek trail is the recommended trail for South Bounders to get back to the PCT/JMT. Very pretty trail runs right up the canyon along Bear Creek, picturesque and elevation gain is minimal. (7560’ to 8985’) Mileage total is 10.2.
If you go back the same way you came in using the lake trail your mileage to this junction is 12.4 miles. So, you save time, a couple of miles and a whole lotta switchbacks (Dry & Steep) by using this alternative.
Note: The Tom Harrison JMT Trail map package does not show these trails, use the Tom Harrison Mono Divide Map for this section. Worth its weight in gold! Tom has told me he is going to make some adjustments to the JMT Trail Map package and in future editions these trails will be shown.
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