Banner Ridge

Looking south from this fine peak at the Mt Sill and the Palisades. Mt Tom is the prominent peak in the middle

17 SEPTEMBER 2022 W6/ND-029

Three stars – Highly recommended.
Route: Use trail
Hike Distance: 2.6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 675′
Navigation: A bit tricky
Steepness: Moderate
Vehicle: Passenger car
Road: Paved
Cell Coverage: None (Verizon), APRS Excellent
Hike basics

After completing 37 miles of the John Muir Trail with a 38 pound backpack, my good friends Bill Smith, Steve Tennant and I hung out in Lee Vining overnight. In the morning after we had said our farewells, I decided to head out to the Benton Range and activated the highest point – Banner Ridge.

This turned out to be a spectacular idea. I would rate this summit 3 stars for the view and the overall wilderness experience. It just missed getting 4 stars (a classic) as it is a easy hike but it is over some wonderful terrain.

I traveled along the south shore of Mono Lake on highway 120 east – a section of California I had never seen. Before you reach Benton Hot Springs, turn south on Benton Crossing Road. Then drive south to forest service road 3S50 and turn left.

I parked here near the Gold Crown mine.

The hike is up a moderately steep hill that is pretty easy to navigate. I was rewarded with a terrific view of the Sierra Nevada from the Palisades to Yosemite. The register went back to 1967! I got very nostalgic recalling all my family’s pilgrimages to an isolated cabin on Twin Lakes out of Bridgeport back in the early sixties. What a different place 395 was back then.

The station with Boundary Peak, Nevada in the background.
Looking west across Benton Crossing Road to Mount Ritter and Banner.
The station looking south donw the Owens valley with White Mountain Peak on the left.
One of two bencjmarks on the summit
Gold Crown mine.

Published by wringmaster

I'm a graphic artist in the movie business. When I was a kid I got interested in astronomy. When it would get too cloudy to observe the heavens, my buddy and I would sit at the VFO of his Hallicrafters S 38c like safe crackers trying to coax faraway signals out of that humble radio. My love of astronomy and radio survive to this day fifty+ years later.

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