I had just finished hiking in the Sierras for a few days and was driving back home. I had some time and had always wanted to try to swim across Mono Lake. It was mid September so the weather was still nice and the water was warm, almost bath tub warm, so I decided to give it a go. The route that I had looked at, shown below, entailed about three miles of swimming to get to Paoha Island, about 2.5 miles of hiking across the island, then one mile of swimming to Negit Island, about a mile of hiking across the island, and finally one to two miles of swimming to the north shore. In total, about six miles of swimming and three and half miles of hiking. All in all a pretty solid day trip and fun adventure. The total time took about ten hours.
Mono Lake is an amazing lake with spectacular tufa formations along parts of the shoreline. I highly recommend a trip to check them out. There is also an uncanny amount of flies that congregate along the shoreline. As I was doing the hiking sections of the journey it continually felt like things were flying into my legs. The swimming sections were a nice change to being bombarded with flies. I would highly recommend wearing shoes if you are planning to do a trip like this. The bottom is very mucky and there are random hard rocks, so it is nice to have some protection.