Panum Crater

Lee Vining, California 93541

Panum Crater

Panum Crater Professional Review and Guide

"Panum Crater is a cinder cone that rises from the expanse of sagebrush near the southwestern edge of Mono Lake. Walking around the caldera rim provides exquisite views of Mono Lake, especially in the late afternoon and evening, while the middle of the cone lets you admire jagged volcanic rock. Beware that the loop around the crater rim is a lot more difficult than it appears because you climb up long sandy slopes three times, with your shoes sinking into the soft substrate and slipping backward with each step. However, the views of Mono Lake are well worth the effort. This walk is accessible year-round, excluding particularly snowy winter periods. Also avoid it midday on hot summer days."

More Panum Crater Professional Reviews and Guides

"In full view of the towering Sierra Crest, this hike around the rim of an unusual crater surveys one of the most enthralling, resplendent, surreal landscapes in the American West. Go when the shadows are long, during the lengthy afternoon or morning hours farthest from noon, or on any cloudy day (when lightning’s not threatening), to enjoy the extraordinary spectacle of shifting light that can cast a mountain, spire, or sagebrush plain momentarily into deep shadow, and seconds later highlight it with a burst of brilliant sunlight."

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Trail Information

Lee Vining
Nearby City
2.1
Distance
600 feet
Elevation Gain
Loop/Lollipop
Trail Type
Easy
Skill Level
Year-round
Season