Parker Bench and Peak 9275 Via West Moraine

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 4 Intermediate-advanced
Length 15.2 miles round trip
6850 feet
+2900, 2900 round trip
Navigation Road and map
Time Full day
Season Mid-December through mid-March
Snowmobiles Use Low
USGS Topo 7.5' series. Lee Vining, June Lake, Koip Peak
Start June Lake Loop North Entrance on Highway 395, 0.5 mile north of the Highway 120 East and 4.5 miles south of the Highway 120 West.

Description   Link to more information about description

From Highway 395 you can see Parker Bench, the flat shelf to the east of Mt. Wood. At the south end of the shelf you can also see Peak 9275, perched at the edge of a sheer drop-off to Grant Lake.

The views of the Mono Lake Basin, Mono Craters, and south along the Sierra escarpment are excellent as you climb to Parker Bench and Peak 9275. Once you are on the summit, the view becomes a 360 degree delight to the eye. If the views are not enough to entice you on this tour, pick a time when the snow conditions are perfect for telemarking and enjoy more than 1500 feet of excellent downhill terrain. Although many people think in terms of powder snow on the east side of the Sierra, consider this tour when forgiving corn snow makes carving turns on the descent easy.

An alternate route to Parker Bench and Peak 9275 is described in the Parker Bench and Peak 9275 Via East Moraine tour. If there is minimal snow, the route along the east lateral moraine is the better route.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 1.4
Elevation change: +200

From the trailhead (1), ski southwest on the June Lake Loop road for 1.4 miles until you reach the turnoff (2) on the northwest (right) side of the June Lake Loop road, which leads to Parker Lake and Walker Lake.

In this section you will pass several small buildings at the 0.2-mile mark, and a sign on the southeast (left) side of the road at the 1.2-mile mark that describes the events that created the beautiful Mono Craters to the east.

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 1.4 - 1.9
Elevation change: +100 

Leave the June Lake Loop road and ski southwest (right) on a lesser road for 0.5 mile until you reach a 4-way junction (3).

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 1.9 - 2.7
Elevation change: +250

Continue by gradually climbing southwest (straight) on a road for 0.8 mile until you reach a junction (4) with a lesser, closed road (Forest Service Road 1S27). This tour continues on the road to the southwest (straight).

Waypoint 4 to 5
Miles: 2.7 - 2.9
Elevation change: +50

Follow the more well-defined road to the southwest (straight) for 0.2 mile until you reach the base of a ridge (5) that ascends to the southwest. This is where the tour leaves the road.

Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 2.9 - 4.7
Elevation change: +850

Leave the road and climb southwest on the lateral moraine for 1.8 miles until you reach the point where you must enter a grove of aspens (6). Beyond here the terrain gets noticeably steeper.

Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 4.7 - 6.1
Elevation change: +950 

Enter the trees and climb 950 feet southwest and then southeast for a total of 1.4 miles until you reach a flat area (7). It is at the south end of this flat area that the west and east moraine routes merge.

Waypoint 7 to 8
Miles: 6.1 - 7.1
Elevation change: -250

Ski south through the flat area and then continue southeast for a total of 1.0 mile until you reach a point where the terrain drops abruptly to the south (8).

Waypoint 8 to 9
Miles: 7.1 - 7.6
Elevation change: +250

Ski east above the abrupt drop-off and then climb northeast for a total of 0.5 mile until you reach Peak 9275 (9).

Return to trailhead
Miles: 7.6 - 15.2
Elevation change: +250, -2650

Retrace the route for 7.6 miles back to the trailhead (1).


Print version of map for tour
Print version of map for tour