Spillway Lake Trail Satellite View

View Spillway Lake in a larger map

Distance:  8 miles (13 km) round trip
Trailhead Elevation:  9,700 feet (2,950 meters)
Spillway Lake Elevation:  10,480 feet (3,195 meters)
Elevation Gain:  800 feet (240 meters)

The red line marks the Mono Pass trail, your guide for the first 2.3 miles (3.7 km) of the hike. After that, you'll part from the Mono Pass and Parker Pass (the blue line) hikers and take the green route for another 1.7 miles (2.7 km) to reach Spillway Lake.

Mono Pass marks the boundary from the western slope of the Sierras to the eastern, where the landscape becomes dramatically drier. The long north-south ridge of granite west of the trail, separating the Mono Pass area from Lyell Canyon, is Kuna Crest, which peaks at 12,170 feet (3,709 meters), with Mammoth Peak (12,117 feet/3,693 meters) at the very north end. Mt. Gibbs (12,764 feet/3,890 meters) is the reddish peak northeast of the trail. You can get memorable views of both Mammoth Peak and Mt. Gibbs from Dana Meadows near the Tioga Pass pass entrance, about a mile northeast of the trailhead.