Appliance Repair in Mono Hot Springs, CA

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At Appliance Service Plus, we're passionate about providing personalized services and helpful advice with a friendly smile. We believe our commitment to quality distinguishes us from the crowd. When your appliances fail, we're here when you need us the most.

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We support all major brands and appliances, handling extended service warranty agreements for Lowe's, Home Depot, and other major brands. When you contact us, we strive to provide an engaging, positive experience. It all begins with a friendly smile from our office staff and hard work from our licensed and insured technicians.

Here are just a few of the most common appliance problems we solve every day:

Your Top Choice for Expert Appliance Repair in Mono Hot Springs, CA

Whatever appliance repair issue you're stressed over, there's no problem too big or small for our team to handle. At Appliance Service Plus, we offer a total package of quality service, fair prices, friendly customer service, and effective fixes. Unlike some appliance companies in Mono Hot Springs, our technicians are trained rigorously and undergo extensive background checks. We work with all major appliances and are capable of GE appliance repair, Maytag appliance repair, Frigidaire appliance repair, and more.

New and repeat customers choose Appliance Repair Plus because we offer:

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Whether you need an emergency repair for your clothes washer or need routine maintenance for your dishwasher, we're here to exceed your expectations - no if's, and's, or but's.

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Think New England Is the Only Place for Fall Foliage? Try California

Best U.S. states for fall foliage? Vermont and New Hampshire are the usual suspects. Yet the third-largest state’s mostly Mediterranean climate means a huge variety of deciduous trees, and elevation ranging from 14,000 feet to sea level produces a long season of color. Elevation, more than latitude, determines the descent of fall hues in California. Changing at a rate of 500 or more feet a week, the Golden State’s season for leaf peepers stretches from September through November. Here are some of the top spots for nature’s ...

Best U.S. states for fall foliage? Vermont and New Hampshire are the usual suspects. Yet the third-largest state’s mostly Mediterranean climate means a huge variety of deciduous trees, and elevation ranging from 14,000 feet to sea level produces a long season of color. Elevation, more than latitude, determines the descent of fall hues in California. Changing at a rate of 500 or more feet a week, the Golden State’s season for leaf peepers stretches from September through November. Here are some of the top spots for nature’s awesome autumn art.

Mammoth Lakes

U.S. Route 395 runs some 550 miles along the eastern Sierras and rivals Highway 1 as California’s most scenic drive, especially the 55 miles from Bridgeport to Mammoth Lakes. And it offers the bonus of two unique geologic detours along the way: ancient Mono Lake, with its otherworldly tufa (limestone columns) and Devils Postpile, a national monument of columns of basalt up to 60 feet high.

Eastern Sierra lakes surrounded by multihued trees include June Lake, Convict Lake, Lake George, and Lundy Lake. The June Lake Loop Road (aka Highway 158) is 16 miles of scenery with several lakes; aspens and willows are among the trees providing autumn hues; it’s a popular detour off Route 395. Convict Lake features an easy 2-mile loop trail to stretch your legs.

Yosemite and other national parks

In October, Yosemite is an obvious choice for enjoying fall’s palette: You’ll see pink- and red-leafed Pacific dogwoods, pumpkin shades of black oaks and golden big-leaf maples, plus yellows of deer brush, Indian hemp, and some grasses. Near the east entrance, Tioga Pass offers quaking aspens. But for fewer crowds, try Sequoia National Park. No, sequoias do not change their appearance, but among the towering evergreens are plants and trees that do. For an easy day trip from the Bay Area, try Pinnacles National Park; at the eastern entrance a few years ago, stands of rusty orange sycamores greeted me in November (and outnumbered the visitors). And in fall, you’ll have more comfortable temperatures than summer.

Napa Valley and nearby wine country

When you rave about the reds in Napa Valley in fall, you might mean leaves as well as wines. At various wineries, you may spot golden ginkgos or scarlet liquid amber leaves, as well as the shifting shades of countless grape leaves. Fall harvests mean you may also sit in traffic on weekends on the main road, Highway 29, through Napa Valley, so consider heading west to Sonoma County’s parks and vineyards. And in Mendocino County, instead of flat, straight Highway 29, the route through the Anderson Valley’s vineyards is often twisty along scenic Highway 128.

Other wine country options include the River Road Wine Trail that links wineries in the Salinas Valley, near Monterey. Further south, you’ll encounter vineyards galore in the Santa Ynez Valley, northeast of Santa Barbara. Head for the Foxen Canyon Wine Trail, linking Santa Maria, known for its distinctive barbecue, and Los Olivos, so small it’s officially a “census designated place” but loaded with wineries and tasting rooms.

Lake Tahoe and vicinity

Thanks to aspens and cottonwoods, yellow is the star hue here, at an elevation of some 6,000 feet. North and west of Lake Tahoe, a short drive takes you to Truckee, a good base for scenic small towns—like historic Sierraville and the nearby Sierra Hot Springs—and forests along Highway 89. To escape the commercial coast of Lake Tahoe, head to Donner Lake to focus on foliage. At the south end of Lake Tahoe, Camp Richardson offers a fall palette and options for viewing it: biking, hiking, horseback riding, or an afternoon cruise of Emerald Bay (available until mid-October). Nearby are two other notable color spots: Taylor Creek Visitor Center and the high alpine Fallen Leaf Lake. Taylor Creek’s Rainbow Trail is a wheelchair-accessible way to view aspens. An easy flat walk at Fallen Leaf leads to Cathedral Meadow’s aspen grove. And a half-hour drive to undeveloped Hope Valley supplies more fall foliage.

Southern California

The SoCal coast is not the place for leaf peeping. You’ll need to head inland and uphill from Los Angeles and San Diego for shades of autumn. Two spots offer the bonus of apple orchards. Oak Glen, with eponymous oaks and black walnut trees showing off (plus an apple butter festival in November), is in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains. Julian, about a 90-minute drive from San Diego, is near Volcan Mountain; besides apple trees, you’ll find colorful oaks and vineyards near this former gold mining town. A short drive away is Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, also noted for the yellows and oranges of its oak trees.

And two places more commonly associated with summer and winter feature ample fall foliage. Lake Arrowhead (with an Oktoberfest every weekend in October) is northeast of San Bernardino. Crimson and amber maples and golden aspens are among the striking trees on view along various hikes near Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino National Forest. Both lakes are about a two-hour drive from L.A.

Climate change and unpredictable weather in general impact when leaves turn. (I’m recalling snow on yellowing aspens near Lake Tahoe in September a few years ago.) But even if you miss color peaks, your travels around the Golden State will include memorable scenery. Be sure to check californiafallcolor.com for the latest developments.

Where to Take the Waters: A U.S. Hot Springs Guide

Even years later, I can call up the memory of easing into the piping hot, silty waters of Travertine Hot Springs in Mono County, Calif. Sliding in, I took a sharp intake of breath at the water’s steaming temperature, a contrast to the cold mountain air on my shoulders. I felt the squelch of mud between my toes and a gleeful relaxation of my muscles, taut and aching after days of hiking the Eastern Sierra Nevada range. As th...

Even years later, I can call up the memory of easing into the piping hot, silty waters of Travertine Hot Springs in Mono County, Calif. Sliding in, I took a sharp intake of breath at the water’s steaming temperature, a contrast to the cold mountain air on my shoulders. I felt the squelch of mud between my toes and a gleeful relaxation of my muscles, taut and aching after days of hiking the Eastern Sierra Nevada range. As the golden glow of a late summer sunset gave way to a moonless, star-filled sky, I embraced an increasingly necessary, elusive sensation of absolute calm.

Therein lies the magic of hot springs, mineral-rich water heated by the earth’s core and bubbling to the surface. Some, like the springs at Yellowstone National Park, are too hot to touch, with some waters exceeding 250 degrees Fahrenheit. But many, cooled naturally or by clever construction, have been used for bathing, as medicine and as community gathering places, for millenniums.

In the United States, rich, warm mineral waters can be found everywhere from luxurious spas to rustic, clothing-optional mud pits, and the pull of these mineral waters has always been potent. Towns including Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and Calistoga, Calif., plus national parks like Yellowstone and Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas owe much of their early tourism draw to hot springs.

The basic premise: That the minerals found in the water, which vary by location and can include iron, lithium and sulfur (that last one lends some springs a distinct, rotten egg odor), can help cure or at least relieve a variety of ailments from rheumatic conditions to inflammation. A renewed interest in wellness tourism worldwide, plus the rise in popularity of outdoor recreation because of the pandemic, has hot springs poised for a 21st-century revival.

“You can find wild stories of people being brought back to life,” said Jeff Birkby, a geothermal energy consultant and the author of several guides on the hot springs of Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon. (The Hot Springs of America website has also cataloged over 200 resorts in the U.S.) Mr. Birkby is “agnostic” when it comes to miracle cures, he said, “but I’ll say that I love soaking in hot springs. I love the way I feel.”

Exploring America’s National Parks

Inspired to “take the waters” yourself? Here’s where and how to get started.

In the West

The majority of accessible hot springs in the country can be found in the Western U.S., thanks to long-ago tectonic activity: Cracks in the earth’s surface, which tend to exist near fault lines and often in mountain valleys, allow hot water to bubble to the surface and emerge as a spring. Many resorts and resort towns got their start during the Gold Rush in the mid-19th century, as a destination for tired miners to wash their clothes, soak their aching bodies and, occasionally, experience a miraculous cure or two of their own. Others opened after the Civil War.

Nowadays, hot springs and spa offerings go hand and hand. In Calistoga, Dr. Wilkinson’s Backyard Resort & Mineral Springs reopened last summer after a renovation that includes a new restaurant with kombucha on tap and a wide selection of Napa Valley wines. The resort has 50 midcentury guest rooms and spa treatments ranging from mud baths to massages with CBD-enhanced oils, along with three mineral pools and eight mineral baths.

But there’s no shortage of stylish, destination-worthy springs in the West, including Castle Hot Springs in Arizona, Ojo Caliente in New Mexico and Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, where a ghost town has been transformed into a resort.

Looking to hot springs hop, perhaps with some spa services on the side? Visit a bona fide hot springs town, like Steamboat Springs, Colo., Hot Springs, Mont., or head to Wyoming’s Hot Springs County, where ample amounts of mineral-rich water has led many resorts to crop up in a relatively close radius. The city of Desert Hot Springs, in California’s Coachella Valley, is another worthy destination, with plentiful soaking options ranging from retro to plant-filled oases.

But sometimes, there’s no beating the simple pleasure of soaking in hot water in a rustic, natural environment, where the amenities are few and swimsuits are usually optional. Travertine Hot Springs in Bridgeport, Calif., the site of my blissful post-camping soak, is a prime example of a more rustic kind of hot spring; Goldmyer Hot Springs near Washington’s Cascade Mountains limit entry to 20 people per day and require a four-and-a-half mile hike to access the springs. While there are few “secrets” in the internet age, rustic springs that require some effort to access often come with seclusion, and the opportunity to be surrounded by nature while you soak.

When visiting any hot spring, particularly those with limited services, take extra care to leave no trace — overuse, littering and poor maintenance can lead to closures.

In the East

Hot springs offerings in the Eastern U.S. are decidedly less numerous than in the West. But what Eastern hot springs lack in quantity, they make up for in stature. At Saratoga Springs, N.Y., home of the Saratoga Spa State Park, you can find the Roosevelt Baths & Spa in the Gideon Putnam hotel. Preserved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 as part of a New Deal initiative, the waters have been a major draw to the area throughout the 20th century (and now can be paired with massage services, body treatments and more).

Roosevelt was far from the first president to seek the healing benefits of hot springs. Thomas Jefferson allegedly spent 22 days at the Gentlemen’s Pool House in Warm Springs, Va., which is now a part of the Omni Homestead Resort in nearby Hot Springs, Va. The original pool house, built in 1791 and reportedly the oldest spa structure in the U.S., is being rehabilitated with a planned reopening later this year.

George Washington didn’t need any such frills when he’d seek out a soak in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., which he first visited as a 16-year-old assistant to a land surveyor. Berkeley Springs State Park has recreated “Washington’s Bathtub” (and hosts an annual celebration in its honor every March), alongside more modern bathing offerings at the park’s Roman and Main bathhouses. President Andrew Jackson passed legislation to protect the area that is now Hot Springs National Park in Hot Springs, Ark., in 1832 (technically predating Yellowstone by 40 years). While there are no longer any opportunities to bathe outdoors, there are places to drink and touch the water and two locations for soaking on the park’s historic Bathhouse Row.

With an outdoor lake, an indoor pool, and indoor and outdoor hot tubs, Chena Hot Springs Resort, in Fairbanks, Alaska, is at the forefront of the use of alternative energy. Happened on by gold miners in 1905, Chena now uses geothermal energy to power the resort as well as maintain an ice museum (in the winter and the summer) and grow hydroponic produce. The commitment to geothermal energy has allowed the resort to stay open year-round and remain profitable, said Javier Villasenor-Gaona, Chena’s vice president of marketing, and the resort offers two free daily tours for guests interested in learning more.

Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Mont., also makes use of geothermal techniques, using runoff from its hot springs to irrigate and warm their gardens, extending their growing season by a few months. The springs also heat one of the two greenhouses on the property (one of which boasts a fruiting banana tree), along with a number of resort buildings.

206 miles featuring lofty pavement, hot springs, active volcano & eerie tufa towers

One of the most magical rides in California can be taken on the 206-mile long Highway 120 that runs from Manteca in the west to Benton in the east.*It starts from the edge of the Western Hemisphere’s only delta on the Pacific Coast*Goes through the Yosemite National Park high country.*Crosses over the highest pavement in the state highway system at 9,943 feet at Tioga Pass.*Skirts one of the oldest lakes in the United States — Mono lake — estimated to be between 760,000 and 3 million years old....

One of the most magical rides in California can be taken on the 206-mile long Highway 120 that runs from Manteca in the west to Benton in the east.

*It starts from the edge of the Western Hemisphere’s only delta on the Pacific Coast

*Goes through the Yosemite National Park high country.

*Crosses over the highest pavement in the state highway system at 9,943 feet at Tioga Pass.

*Skirts one of the oldest lakes in the United States — Mono lake — estimated to be between 760,000 and 3 million years old.

*And goes past the northern edge of the Long Valley Caldera, one of seven active volcanoes in California as identified by the United States Geological Survey.

It starts at Interstate 5 in Lathrop — the only north-south interstate that runs from Canada to Mexico on the West Coast — and ends at US Highway 6 also known as the Grand Highway of the Republic, the longest continuous highway (non-interstate) in the country.

Summer and early fall are the best time to take a road trip on Highway 120. That's because often as early as November to as late as Memorial Day large segments of the highway are closed.

The Tioga Pass portion that runs from Crane Flat to Lee Vining and Highway 395 plus the Mono Basin segment between Lee Vining and a point just west of Benton are closed during the winter due to snow.

Manteca, for the record, is the largest city on Highway 120,

Along the route from the Great Valley to the Great Basin you will find:

*The world's largest stand of sweet smelling Jeffrey Pines.

*Hiking trail heads to two stands of giant sequoias (the biggest living things on earth) — the Merced Grove and Tuolumne Grove.

*The unique ecological system of Mono Lake with its eerie limestone fed tufa towers.

*Groveland, one of the oldest and largest Gold Rush era towns still plugging along.

*The stunning Tioga Canyon.

*The trailhead to the easiest accessible 13,000-foot plus mountain peak in California.

*The largest covered wooden bridge west of the Mississippi River.

*The oldest continuous operating general store in California.

*A unique campground with hot tubs filled with hot springs water.

And that's just for starters.

Manteca has biggest

draw along the 120

Most folks in the 209 think of Highway 120 and the 120 Bypass comes to mind — an often crowed four-lane connector between Highway 99 and Interstate 5 popular with Bay Area commuters as well as Bay Area resents fleeing to the Sierra on weekends.

But it is much more than that. Just ask the camera toting tourists that gawk at the inside of Bass Pro Sports in Manteca. Some 3.75 million people walk through the massive pseudo drive-thru redwood that graces the lobby of the store at the 120 Bypass and Union Road.

And while Manteca residents might do a "so what", the Bass Pro Shops is the biggest visitor attraction that lures traffic to the 120 corridor save for Yosemite National Park although a slightly larger share of the 4 million annual visitors access Yosemite from Highway 41 and Highway 140.

Leaving Manteca and heading east of the 120 you will run across the largest number of fruit stands on a Central Valley-Sierra highway — seven — over 14 miles between Manteca and a point just east of Escalon. The Nature's Country Corner fruit stand at Jack Tone Road stand is famous for its fresh baked fruit pies.

Residents of the 209 may not realize it but tourists from around the world marvel at the fresh produce that come from the fields and orchards that Highway 120 passes through.

Oakdale has an interesting cowboy museum along Highway 108/120. The museum (oakdalecowboymusuem.org) is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 p.m. It is located in an old railroad station.

Oldest operating

general store

in California

East of Oakdale a quick less than a mile side trip takes you to Knights Ferry.

It is here where you can walk among the ruins of California's first hydroelectric plant, walk across the longest covered wood bridge west of the Mississippi and buy a cold ice cream bar from the Knights Ferry General Store complete with old-style wooden plank floor complete with gaps that has been filling orders since it opened in 1852.

This is where Sunshine Rafting (www.raftadventure.com) operates rafting trips (more like float trips) as flows on the Stanislaus River are much more dependable there all the way down to Orange Blossom.

The route to Yosemite's northern entrance takes you through Chinese Camp (the site of the famous 19th century tong wars), the northern arm of Don Pedro Reservoir, Groveland, and endless access roads to campgrounds and rivers. You can also see the massive destruction of the Rim Fire of 2013, the 11th largest ever in modern California history. It can be taken in with all its starkness at the Rim of the World vista point just east of Buck Meadows.

120 runs through

Yosemite high country

Highway 120 takes you by the trailheads for two of Yosemite's three redwood tree groves — Merced and Tuolumne. Each require fairly easy two to three mile hikes from the highway and are within distance of services at Crane Flat.

Highway 120 morphs into Tioga Pass Road as it runs through the Yosemite high country. It passes along the edge of Tenaya Lake, considered the best lake for swimming in Yosemite. There are picnic and camping areas around the lake plus an easy hiking trail that loops.

For the more adventurous Tenaya Lake is also at the trailhead to reach Cloud's Rest that looms above Half Dome and standards guard some 4,000 feet above Yosemite Valley's northwest corner. It is a strenuous day hike but worth the effort.

Further up near Tioga Pass is Tuolumne Meadows. It is the jumping off point for numerous multi-day hikes in the high country but it also has a slew of day hikes that aren't exhausting at all allowing you to take in the expansive meadows and surrounding peaks.

At Tioga Pass (9,943 feet) itself, you are 2.9 miles from Mt. Dana's summit at 13,061 feet. It's a strenuous half day hike. It is also the most accessible 13,000 plus peak in California. While the trail is not maintained it is extremely obvious as it is well marked by cairns. Among trail accessible peaks it has the best commanding views of the Sierra.

Mono Lake &

its tufa towers

Dropping down from lofty Tioga Pass at 9,943 feet you swing by several alpine lakes and then start the descent down the Tioga Canyon to Lee Vining. It is here, just off Highway 396 heading west that you will find the farthest sign advising motorists they are driving toward Manteca. It is 160 miles from Manteca.

Lee Vining is just above Mono Lake. The lake itself is an amazing sight with its towering limestone towers exposed over the past 60 years once Los Angeles started diverting water from creeks that flow into the lake to try and satisfy their unquenchable thirst.

There's a state-run visitors center just north of Lee Vining although it’s arguably the Mono Lake Committee visitors center and bookstore offers much more information on Mono Lake, water politics, and the geology and nature of the Eastern Sierra.

The lake itself is significantly saltier than the ocean. The best tufa tower area to visit is on the south shore complete with an easy and well-marked hiking trail. There is a great old-fashioned frostie drive-in dubbed the Mono Cone that serves incredibly great milkshakes, burgers and even veggie burgers.

Highway 120 swings south and follows Highway 395 a bit until swinging to the east and ultimately ending in Benton. On the way, you will pass the world's latest stand of Jeffrey Pines that soar up to 135 feet. Get close to a Jeffrey pine tree and sniff its bark and you will catch a distinct smell of butterscotch although some say it is vanilla or even pineapple.

Benton is a rarity among Gold Rush boom towns. It was founded in 1852 with the discovery of gold swelling the population almost overnight to 5,000 before silver replaced gold as the mainstay. And while more famous mining towns such as nearby Bodie — California's largest Gold Rush ghost town that is kept in state of arrested decay — were eventually abandoned, Benton has hanged on although its population is just several dozen today.

Highway 120 offers

one-of-a-kind

campgrounds

Just near the end of Highway 120 where it intersects with Highway 6 in Benton, you will find one of the world's most unusual campgrounds and it’s just off the asphalt ribbon that started 200 miles to the west in Manteca.

Benton Hot Springs Campgrounds offers 11 private campgrounds each complete with a hot tub fed from the hot springs. Four camp sites have hot tubs that can accommodate up to three people while the remainder can handle up to 10.

The campground (www.bentonhotsprings.com) offers stunning views of the sunset over the White Mountains. There is hourly as well as nightly rates.

For those not into camping nearby Benton Hot Springs Inn has seven rooms on an historic 1940s era building three private houses and 10 private tubs all fed with the hot springs water.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

10 can’t-miss stops along California’s Highway 395

U.S. Route 395 is one of California’s most beautiful drives, stretching 1,305 miles from east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Southern California all the way north to the Oregon border. Compared to the Golden State’s other big draws, like the Pacific Coast Highway or the Redwood Highway, Route 395 is less traveled but certainly doesn’t lack in scenery and things to do: Ghost towns, filming locations, ski resorts, tufa formation...

U.S. Route 395 is one of California’s most beautiful drives, stretching 1,305 miles from east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in Southern California all the way north to the Oregon border. Compared to the Golden State’s other big draws, like the Pacific Coast Highway or the Redwood Highway, Route 395 is less traveled but certainly doesn’t lack in scenery and things to do: Ghost towns, filming locations, ski resorts, tufa formations, and more await along this scenic stretch.

The best time to roadtrip along Highway 395 is in the summer for hiking and swimming in many alpine lakes, and fall for great scenery with the changing colors of the forests. Here are 10 stops you shouldn’t miss when traveling California’s Route 395.

1. Alabama Hills

Located in Lone Pine, right at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, Alabama Hills is a formation of rocks and eroded hills. Known as one of Hollywood’s favorite filming locations, movies such as Gladiator, Iron Man, and Tremors were filmed there. The area is also a popular spot for photographers, rock climbers, and mountain bikers.

2. Mount Whitney Portal

Even if you’re not planning on reaching the tallest peak in the contiguous U.S., you should still take a drive up to Mount Whitney Portal. Located just 13 miles west of Lone Pine, this scenic drive will reward you with a view of towering granite peaks on both sides of the canyon. Mount Whitney is the centerpiece of this area, and with many viewpoints, you’re guaranteed the best view.

3. Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest

It’s definitely worth a short detour off Highway 395 to see some of the oldest living trees in the world. Located near the small town of Big Pine, Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is home to trees that are more than 4,000 years old. The world’s largest bristlecone pine, dubbed the Patriarch Tree, can be found in the forest’s Patriarch Grove, accessible only by dirt road.

4. Hot Creek Geologic Site

Located near the town of Mammoth Lakes, Hot Creek Geologic Site is a breathtaking place with boiling, bubbling water in turquoise pools. Heated and pressurized before it emerges to the earth’s surface—a process believed to take approximately 1,000 years—the temperature of the spring water at Hot Creek is about 199 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll find this natural attraction in the Inyo National Forest; swimming is not allowed.

5. Wild Willy’s Hot Springs

There are at least five different hot spring sites to check out off Benton Crossing Road. Wild Willy’s Hot Spring is the most popular one, and also the nicest, with many pools to enjoy. The road to the hot springs is a bit rough, but it’s definitely worth the drive. Others include the Rock Tub Springs, Shepherd Hot Springs, Hilltop Hot Springs, and Crab Cooker Hot Springs. Remember to leave no trace and pack out what you pack in.

6. Convict Lake

Located in Mono County, Convict Lake is known for its turquoise water and the dramatic mountains that surround it. With such easy access—just a short drive off Highway 395—it’s hard to find a prettier lake where you can go hiking, fishing, or spend some time at the beach.

7. June Lake Loop

California’s Highway 395 offers some jaw-dropping scenery: Just a short detour takes you down a scenic loop road that offers views of four alpine lakes. If you have time to spare, go swimming or paddle boarding at June Lake Beach, grab a cup of coffee at The Lift, dine in at Eagle’s Landing restaurant, or try your hand at fishing on Silver Lake.

8. Bodie State Historic Park

Located south of Bridgeport, 13 miles east of Highway 395, Bodie State Historic Park is an old Wild West ghost town and a former gold mining hub that once had a population of 10,000 people. Visitors can walk down deserted streets and explore nearly 200 abandoned buildings left in a state of arrested decay.

9. Mono Lake

If the Hot Creek Geological Site and hot springs weren’t unusual enough, make sure to stop at Mono Lake, known as the “Dead Sea of California.” Located in the town of Lee Vining, the ancient saline lake is home to brine shrimp, birds, and world-famous limestone formations called tufa towers. Mono Lake is calm and beautiful, offering an amazing backdrop of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

10. Devils Postpile National Monument

Located near the town of Mammoth Lakes, Devils Postpile is considered a geologic wonder. Its columnar-jointed basalt is a rare sight, formed when lava erupted in the valley. Devils Postpile National Monument is open to visitors during the summer months and is accessible by a shuttle bus.

Natalia is a family travel blogger and content creator at This Adventure Family. She likes all things outdoors, hiking with her family, and seeing new places in the U.S. She dreams of writing a book about her family’s travels and she will never pass up a good photo-op.

200-Plus Miles Of Roadway Feature Hot Springs, Volcano

One of the most magical rides in California can be taken on the 206-mile long Highway 120 that runs from Manteca in the west to Benton in the east.Some unique facts about this stretch of highway:It starts from the edge of the Western Hemisphere’s only delta on the Pacific Coast;Goes through the Yosemite National Park high country;Crosses over the highest pavement in the state highway system at 9,943 feet at Tioga Pass;Skirts one of the oldest lakes in the United States — Mono Lake — estima...

One of the most magical rides in California can be taken on the 206-mile long Highway 120 that runs from Manteca in the west to Benton in the east.

Some unique facts about this stretch of highway:

It starts from the edge of the Western Hemisphere’s only delta on the Pacific Coast;

Goes through the Yosemite National Park high country;

Crosses over the highest pavement in the state highway system at 9,943 feet at Tioga Pass;

Skirts one of the oldest lakes in the United States — Mono Lake — estimated to be between 760,000 and 3 million years old; and

Goes past the northern edge of the Long Valley Caldera, one of seven active volcanoes in California as identified by the United States Geological Survey.

It starts at Interstate 5 in Lathrop — the only north-south interstate that runs from Canada to Mexico on the West Coast — and ends at US Highway 6 also known as the Grand Highway of the Republic, the longest continuous highway (non-interstate) in the country.

Summer and early fall are the best time to take a road trip on Highway 120. That’s because often as early as November to as late as Memorial Day large segments of the highway are closed.

The Tioga Pass portion that runs from Crane Flat to Lee Vining and Highway 395 plus the Mono Basin segment between Lee Vining and a point just west of Benton are closed during the winter due to snow.

Manteca, for the record, is the largest city on Highway 120.

Along the route from the Great Valley to the Great Basin you will find:

The world’s largest stand of sweet-smelling Jeffrey Pines.

Hiking trail heads to two stands of giant sequoias (the biggest living things on earth) — the Merced Grove and Tuolumne Grove.

The unique ecological system of Mono Lake with its eerie limestone fed tufa towers.

Groveland, one of the oldest and largest Gold Rush era towns still plugging along.

The stunning Tioga Canyon.

The trailhead to the easiest accessible 13,000-foot plus mountain peak in California.

The largest covered wooden bridge west of the Mississippi River.

The oldest continuous operating general store in California.

A unique campground with hot tubs filled with hot springs water.

And that's just for starters.

Manteca has biggest

draw along the 120

Most folks in the 209 think of Highway 120 and the 120 Bypass comes to mind — an often crowed four-lane connector between Highway 99 and Interstate 5 popular with Bay Area commuters as well as Bay Area resents fleeing to the Sierra on weekends.

But it is much more than that. Just ask the camera toting tourists that gawk at the inside of Bass Pro Shops in Manteca. Some 3.75 million people walk through the massive pseudo drive-thru redwood that graces the lobby of the store at the 120 Bypass and Union Road.

And while Manteca residents might do a “so what”, the Bass Pro Shops is the biggest visitor attraction that lures traffic to the 120 corridor save for Yosemite National Park although a slightly larger share of the 4 million annual visitors access Yosemite from Highway 41 and Highway 140.

Leaving Manteca and heading east on the 120 you will run across the largest number of fruit stands on a Central Valley-Sierra highway — seven — over 14 miles between Manteca and a point just east of Escalon. The Nature’s Country Corner fruit stand at Jack Tone Road stand is famous for its fresh baked fruit pies.

Residents of the 209 may not realize it but tourists from around the world marvel at the fresh produce that come from the fields and orchards that Highway 120 passes through.

Oakdale has an interesting cowboy museum along Highway 108/120. The museum (oakdalecowboymusuem.org) is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located in an old railroad station.

Oldest operating

general store

in California

East of Oakdale a quick less than a mile side trip takes you to Knights Ferry.

It is here where you can walk among the ruins of California’s first hydroelectric plant, walk across the longest covered wood bridge west of the Mississippi and buy a cold ice cream bar from the Knights Ferry General Store complete with old-style wooden plank floor complete with gaps that has been filling orders since it opened in 1852.

This is where Sunshine Rafting (www.raftadventure.com) operates rafting trips (more like float trips) as flows on the Stanislaus River are much more dependable there all the way down to Orange Blossom.

The route to Yosemite’s northern entrance takes you through Chinese Camp (the site of the famous 19th century tong wars), the northern arm of Don Pedro Reservoir, Groveland, and endless access roads to campgrounds and rivers. You can also see the massive destruction of the Rim Fire of 2013, the 11th largest ever in modern California history. It can be taken in with all its starkness at the Rim of the World vista point just east of Buck Meadows.

120 runs through

Yosemite high country

Highway 120 takes you by the trailheads for two of Yosemite’s three redwood tree groves — Merced and Tuolumne. Each require fairly easy two- to three-mile hikes from the highway and are within distance of services at Crane Flat.

Highway 120 morphs into Tioga Pass Road as it runs through the Yosemite high country. It passes along the edge of Tenaya Lake, considered the best lake for swimming in Yosemite. There are picnic and camping areas around the lake plus an easy hiking trail that loops.

For the more adventurous Tenaya Lake is also at the trailhead to reach Cloud’s Rest that looms above Half Dome and stands guard some 4,000 feet above Yosemite Valley’s northwest corner. It is a strenuous day hike but worth the effort.

Further up near Tioga Pass is Tuolumne Meadows. It is the jumping off point for numerous multi-day hikes in the high country but it also has a slew of day hikes that aren’t exhausting at all allowing you to take in the expansive meadows and surrounding peaks.

At Tioga Pass (9,943 feet) itself, you are 2.9 miles from Mt. Dana’s summit at 13,061 feet. It’s a strenuous half day hike. It is also the most accessible 13,000 plus peak in California. While the trail is not maintained it is extremely obvious as it is well marked by cairns. Among trail accessible peaks it has the best commanding views of the Sierra.

Mono Lake and

its tufa towers

Dropping down from lofty Tioga Pass at 9,943 feet you swing by several alpine lakes and then start the descent down the Tioga Canyon to Lee Vining. It is here, just off Highway 396 heading west that you will find the farthest sign advising motorists they are driving toward Manteca. It is 160 miles from Manteca.

Lee Vining is just above Mono Lake. The lake itself is an amazing sight with its towering limestone towers exposed over the past 60 years once Los Angeles started diverting water from creeks that flow into the lake to try and satisfy their unquenchable thirst.

There’s a state-run visitors center just north of Lee Vining although it’s arguably the Mono Lake Committee visitors center and bookstore offers much more information on Mono Lake, water politics, and the geology and nature of the Eastern Sierra.

The lake itself is significantly saltier than the ocean. The best tufa tower area to visit is on the south shore complete with an easy and well-marked hiking trail. There is a great old-fashioned frostie drive-in dubbed the Mono Cone that serves incredibly great milkshakes, burgers and even veggie burgers.

Highway 120 swings south and follows Highway 395 a bit until swinging to the east and ultimately ending in Benton. On the way, you will pass the world’s latest stand of Jeffrey Pines that soar up to 135 feet. Get close to a Jeffrey pine tree and sniff its bark and you will catch a distinct smell of butterscotch although some say it is vanilla or even pineapple.

Benton is a rarity among Gold Rush boom towns. It was founded in 1852 with the discovery of gold swelling the population almost overnight to 5,000 before silver replaced gold as the mainstay. And while more famous mining towns such as nearby Bodie — California’s largest Gold Rush ghost town that is kept in a state of arrested decay — were eventually abandoned, Benton has hung on although its population is just several dozen today.

Highway 120 offers

one-of-a-kind

campgrounds

Just near the end of Highway 120 where it intersects with Highway 6 in Benton, you will find one of the world’s most unusual campgrounds and it’s just off the asphalt ribbon that started 200 miles to the west in Manteca.

Benton Hot Springs Campgrounds offers 11 private campgrounds each complete with a hot tub fed from the hot springs. Four camp sites have hot tubs that can accommodate up to three people while the remainder can handle up to 10.

The campground (www.bentonhotsprings.com) offers stunning views of the sunset over the White Mountains. There are hourly as well as nightly rates.

For those not into camping nearby Benton Hot Springs Inn has rooms available in an historic 1940s era building with private hot tubs all fed with the hot springs water.

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