Place Name: Mono County
Place Description: State: California
Elevation: 10,168 Feet
Prominence: 328 Feet
Elevation Gain: 816 Feet
Lists: Andy Zdon's Desert Peaks
The Path Less Traveled
The ghost town of Bodie is heavily visited throughout the summer and for good reason. I would say that 99% of these visitors don’t realize how nice the hiking and off-roading is just outside of the town.
- Great 360 degree views
- Road walkup
- Good access
- Multiple false summits
- Will need a high clearance vehicle
- Windy summit
I have visited the ghost town of Bodie many times over the years, never in those instances did I feel like I needed to find anything to do in the surrounding hills. This trip was going to be different as we set out to bag a pair of 10,000-foot peaks – Bodie Mountain and Potato Peak.
Approaching The Mountain
I started driving up the Bodie Masonic Rd. and after about 4 miles, came into a snow drift that was covering half the road. There was a steep drop into a ravine immediately to the edge. I could have probably made this in my Tacoma, but with the kids in the car, not worth it. I backed down the road a ways to a point I could turn around.
We followed this road back to a spur road that went off to the southwest and was marked by 2 rusty cattle troughs. I drove the road over the ridge and decided that we could get to Bodie Mountain this way.
High clearance is definitely needed for this route. I engaged the 4WD, but could have probably done without. Along the way is a beautiful meadow and aspen grove with a primitive camp site.
This would be a nice place for future climbers to set up camp. We passed by this spot and parked up on a hill. Although, we could have easily driven to a fence line before the road climbs very steeply to Bodie Mountain. Since we were there to hike, we decided to walk a bit and from where we parked, it was .45 miles to the fence line.
We started hiking up the very steep Jeep road (which you can see from the town) and climbed over 800 feet.
The road then flattens out and cutting cross country aiming towards the red rock pile is the smart play. Even though the red rock pile is a false summit, it’s still an easy marker to follow.
From there we walked up further to a rock pile that has a broken fishing pole sticking out of it. However, this was also a false summit. The summit pile is just 50 yards NE and there is a jar with a register in the rock pile. Bodie Mountain surprised me with the beautiful views from the top. The sky was crystal clear and had perfect views of the White Mountains, Glass Mountain, the Sierras, Mount Grant, And the Sweetwaters.
The walk over to Potato Peak would have been super easy, but my 6-year old girl was petering out. Deciding against pushing her any further, we started our descent.
Oh well, this just means we get to hike in this amazing area again! Next time Potato Peak and Mount Biedeman will be on the agneda!