• Activities:

    Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Winter

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    500 Feet

Food Nearby
Lake
Scenic
Wildlife

Explore 20ft - 50ft canyons on this short, but challenging hike through sand. Along the way, enjoy great views of Mono Lake and the Eastern Sierra.

This area is such a great way to spend time exploring. It's a lot different than what it's surrounded by, making it a great change of pace in the Eastern Sierra.

Just East of Lee Vining, California is Black Point, which sits on the North side of the massive Mono Lake...Which used to be an underwater Volcano. A quick couple miles down a dirt road leads you to a dead end parking lot where you can begin your 45 minute walk up the sandy Black Point. Unfortunately there is no actual 'trail' but that is part of the fun. I chose to walk around the South facing ridge until I felt the peak was to my right and bushwhacked up over the next ridge. Once up here, you can see all of Mono Lake as well as the correct direction you need to head in for the Fissures. With many what appear to be sandstone cliffs, you keep walking up! Be careful though because these 20-50' drops come up on your quickly.

Once at the fissures, there are many separate entrance and canyons. The western most fissure is the deepest I witnessed and was very easy to enter. Although it was very narrow at times, you can walk right in it. As noted, I completed this mid winter, so there may be snow in the bottoms of these making the walking a bit more challenging.

When you are done exploring thesemaygnificent canyons, feel free to climb to the top of Black Point which is just under 7,000'. This will give you a 360º view of your surroundings!

Done for the day? Be sure to head into Lee Vining for a tasty treat at Mono Cone or the Mobile Mart.

Pack List

  • Camera Gear
  • Water
  • Sun Protection
  • Tall Shoes/Boots (very sandy)
  • Celebratory Beverage
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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I've been in Mammoth for most of my life and just found this spot. It's rad! Slot canyons don't happen here much, and this one is amazing and in a spot you'd never expect. Mono Lake was already a cool mission, but the Fissures make it a must-visit.

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Gregg Boydston

U.S. Forest Service Hotshot Living in and exploring the Eastern Sierra.

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