As beautiful as Yosemite is, at this time of year I prefer driving through the park, over Mono pass, and heading for the Mammoth Lakes area. Tamarack Lodge is several miles outside the developed Mammoth area and situation on a Twin Lakes. Although there were lots of people camping and staying in the area, it was serene and uncrowded compared to Yosemite.
View of Twin Lakes from Tamarack Lodge.
With only one full day to stay in the area, we hiked the Duck Pass trail to Emerald Lake and then upwards to a view point at about 9.800 feet elevation. The lake was small but beautiful and quite peaceful until the teenagers on a day camp adventure bolted onto the scene. There were about three different groups of kids hiking that day, all having a great time.
Later that day, we took the short hike to the ruins of the Consolidated Mining Company. I learned that not all natural things are good for you!
There were a few bunkhouses that were standing, several company buildings that were partially or completely fallen, and lots of mining equipment.
The mine had a lower entrance (called an adit) and an upper one. Each was closed with a barred door to keep humans out and preserve the bat habitat. The upper Adit had an amazing view of the mountains, although I suspect the men working there were too busy to enjoy it as much as I did.
Upper mine entrance on the left.
Detail of old building
Detail of bunkhouse