Mono County

The Chemung gold mine over looking the Bridgeport Valley.. Photograph by James L Rathbun
The Chemung gold mine overlooking the Bridgeport Valley. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Mono County 4×4 trails offer the explorer the ultimate in camping, scenery, history, animal life and outdoor activity. Mono County was formed in 1861 and was named after a large salt water lake of the same name. The lake was named for the Native America Mono people who lived in the between Mono Lake and the Owens Lake the south. The Mono people where known as the monachie or “fly people” because they used fly larvae as their food staple. Mono Lake has a very high saline level and offers no fishing or boating. For the adventurous, you can gain access to swim at Navy Beach along the southern shore. The unique part of swimming in Mono Lake is the high saline levels make floating an unique experience. Very cold!

Mono County and its High Sierra lake country are popular fishing spots for anglers. Mammoth Mountain, June Lake and Bridgeport Reservoir are the most popular of these destinations. The local history of mining cause many town to be founded and later abandoned for a variety of reasons. The various Mono County back roads offer access to these lost destinations of history.

Mono County is a sparsely populated area with only 14,000 some people living within the county in 2010.


The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun
The Standard Mill, Bodie, CA. Photograph by James L Rathbun

Bodie is a California State Historic Park and the official California gold rush town. This town passed into history and preserved in a state of “Arrested Decay” as it was in the 1960’s. The ghost town of Bodie is an extremely popular destination of for those of us with four wheel drive offers a gateway to many mine sites and ghost towns.

Mono County Trial map

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Mono County 4×4 Trails