Late fall good time to visit Mono County | RecordCourier.com

Late fall good time to visit Mono County

Staff Reports

A wintery Highway 395 in Mono County.

After the bright yellow, gold and orange leaves have fallen from the trees and before the snow starts to stack up in earnest, there's a quiet time in Mono County where visitors will have destinations to themselves and might find locals with a little more time to share their secrets.

Here are a few ideas to start planning an off-season trip to the Eastern Sierra.

Top spots without the crowds: Visit some of Mono County's premier destinations without another soul in sight. If State Route 270 is not closed for the season, wandering the dirt streets of Bodie State Historic Parks ghost town really drives in the solitude the ghost town experience that much more eerie. Mono Lake's other-worldly tufa towers and calm, alkali waters take on a new character when the only sound is the wind in the sagebrush. Convict Lake's glass-smooth waters reflect the stunning peaks of Mount Laurel and Morrison without anyone to disturb its surface.

Channel Ansel Adams: Without another person around to walk into the frame, this time of year – along with the clear air, stark light and changing seasons – is perfect for practicing landscape photography and dabbling in black-and-white. Go to http://www.monocounty.org/things-to-do/sightseeing/photogogrpahy/ for inspiration and advice. Or call Mono County at 800-845-7922 to find out about great off-season hikes.

Go beer tasting: There's really no wrong time of year to visit Mono County's breweries, but in the quiet shoulder season the lines are nearly non-existent and visitors will find more locals bellied up to the bar as well as brewers with more time to talk about their craft. June Lake Brewing in June Lake, along with Mammoth Brewing and Black Doubt Brewing in Mammoth offer a great range of brews to check out.

Hot Springs on Cold Evenings: There's nothing better than sitting in one of Mono County's numerous hot springs on a cool off-season evening. Soakers won't have to share the tub with as many people and the temperature is just right to sit back and enjoy the views of the High Sierra stretching across the horizon. Go to http://www.monocounty.org/places-to-go/hot-springs/ to learn more. Accessibility to these spots depends on road conditions and weather.

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Want a little more luxury? Check out the Spa at the Double Eagle in June Lake. The Creekside Spa offers massages, facials, body treatments and a wide range of other luxurious ways to unwind after a day of exploring the Eastern Sierra. Go to http://www.doubleeagle.com to learn more.

These suggestions just scratch the surface of Mono County's off-season as ski resorts ready to open and fishing season comes to a close. To find more ideas for an off-season trip, go to http://www.monocounty.org.