Sierra crest from Mono Pass trail.
Little Lakes Valley is one of the most popular areas in the Eastern Sierra
. The 10,200' trailhead at Mesquito Flat is within a short distance from many beautiful alpine lakes surrounded by the High Sierra on all sides. The Sierra crest runs northeast at the head of the valley providing a splendid backdrop of 13,000' peaks only a few miles from the trailhead. There are 2 passes leading into the back country, Morgan Pass to the south and Mono Pass to the north.
Between Mt. Mills
(13,451') and Mono Pass is an unnamed section of the crest approximately 13,000' in elevation with glacially carved faces that are shear walls in places. It has been informally named "Ruby Ridge" after Ruby Lake that lies in the valley below the ridge to the east. Ruby Peak
(13,188') is the high point. Just north of the peak is the Ruby Wall with several popular climbing routes.. Just north of the Ruby Wall is a high uplift with a sandy east slanting flat top that I dubbed the "Ruby Mesa". It has one class 5 route and a class 2-3 route on the east side off the Mono Pass trail. The summit has the extensive views up and down the range that you would expect from a 13,000' peak.
South from Ruby Mesa summit, Mt. Humphreys, back left, Bear Creek Spire, right
From the junction of Hwy. 120 and Hwy. 395 by Mono Lake go south 41 miles to Tom's Place. From the junction of Hwy. 203 and 395 at Mammoth Lakes go south 14.5 miles to Tom's Place. From Bishop go north 23.5 miles on 395 to Tom's Place. At Tom's Place turn east into the range on the Rock Creek Road and go 10.5 miles to Mesquito Flat.
CLASS 2-3 ROUTE
: From the trailhead go south .5 miles and take the Mono Pass trail to the right. Continue on the Mono Pass trail approximately 2.5 more miles after it turns north towards the pass and drop to the left into a hanging valley. Cross a boulder field, go right around a snow field and scramble up the northeast slope to the sandy plateau. Go south .4 miles to the high point on the right.
CLASS 5 ROUTE
: Pteradon, 5.10 A1 or 5.11. First ascent Oct. 1968 by Robert SP Parker and Bill Kerwin. First free ascent July, 1989 by Richard Leversee, Kim Miller and Roanne Miller. A description of the route can be found in The High Sierra, Peaks, Passes and Trails
by R.J. Secor. This route is approached from the west side of Ruby Lake which has a trail to it branching off the Mono Pass Trail at 1.7 miles before it turns north up to the pass.
Over Little Lakes Valley to Ruby Peak, Ruby Wall and Ruby Mesa from Mt. Morgan
Ruby Mesa is in the John Muir Wilderness and can be done in a day. There are no permits required for that. For camping in the John Muir Wilderness
permits can be obtained at:
Mammoth Ranger Station and Visitor Center
. 760-924-5500. Box 148 Mammoth Lakes, Ca. 93546
White Mountain Ranger Station
. 760-873-2500. 798 north Main St., Bishop, Ca., 93514
North from Ruby Mesa, Red and White Mtn. and Red Slate Mtn., left, Mt. Baldwin and Mt. Morrison, right
These campgrounds are all in sucession further up the Rock Creek Road.
LOWER ROCK CREEK
campground, 7,300' .3 miles on the Rock Creek Road from Tom's Place then right .2 miles.
, 8,300', at 3,7 miles
, 8,400' at 4 miles
, 8,500' at 4.5 miles
, 8,900' at 5.8 miles
, 8,970' at 5.9 miles then go left .7 miles
, 9,300' at 7.4 miles
There are several campgrounds around Rock Creek Lake
, 9,700' at 8.6 miles
, 10,100', at 10,5 miles.
Ruby Mesa from Mono Pass area
Crowley Lake forecast click here