This trail begins from the Mono Meadow Trailhead on a spur road south of Glacier Point Road. The trail leads into the Illilouette Creek drainage. There are several campsites along the route and options for longer backcountry treks or loop hikes through the area.
Begin your hike by walking northward from the Mono Meadow Trailhead. The trail descends slightly, about 250 feet, for a half mile then turns eastward into Mono Meadow. This area is marshy with a few conifers and profuse wildflowers (during the summer months).
After traversing the meadow the trail continues along a level route for one half mile then begins to slowly ascend. Approximately one and a half miles from the trailhead Mono Meadow Trail crosses a significant tributary to Illilouette Creek then begins to climb. Reaching a high point of 7,000 feet you'll gain views of the domes and cascades to the north and east. Look for Mt. Starr King directly ahead of you on the trail.
Mono Meadow Trail begins to descend into the Illilouette Creek drainage and reaches a trail junction short of three miles from the trailhead. Turn right at this junction, following the Buena Vista Trail. Walk a short distance southward to a second trail junction where the Mono Meadow Trail leads eastward to a few camping sites and across Illilouette Creek. The Buena Vista Trail leads southward paralleling Illilouette Creek on its western bank. A trail from Merced Pass also intersects this area utilizing the campsites.
From this frequently used camping area at Illilouette Creek the Mono Meadow Trail climbs northward. The trail crosses another Illilouette Creek tributary as it ascends the ridge to the east. In approximately one mile the path crosses another stream and continues to climb. In the next mile and a half Mono Meadow trail ascends 200 feet and turns toward the east. Two and a quarter miles from Illilouette Creek, the trail reaches a junction. It ends at this trail,which leads northward to the Panorama Trail and southeastward to Merced Pass.
Directions from Arch Rock Entrance: Travel eastward into the park on Highway 140. Bear right on to Southside Drive and after approximately one mile turn right on to Wawona Road (Highway 41). Follow this road 9 miles to Glacier Point Road and turn left. Travel 10 miles to the Mono Meadow Trailhead.
June through October
(NOTE: Weather conditions may close the access roads to Mono Meadow Trailhead before dates noted above.)