Inyo National Forest

• Hiking in Inyo NF • Photos and Video  NFS Website  • Trail Map 


Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest    
 Discovery Trail (P.O.I.)   Easy 1 mile
Synopsis: Referring to this trip as a Point-Of-Interest really undersells it. If you only have a few minutes to spend in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest this is the trail to take. There are immensely old and beautiful specimens along this path, as well as interpretive plaques and places to sit and take in the solitude. Highly recommended. 
 Methuselah Walk (dayhike) Moderate 4 miles
Synopsis: This hike extends the reverent pleasure of the Discovery Trail by adding even more ancient, gnarled trees and some terrific views to the east and south. The trip is not long, but there is still the altitude to make things more labored on your ascents. If you plan only one hike in this park, the Methuselah Walk is a must-not-miss.
 Pinyon Nature Trail (P.O.I.) Easy 0.5 miles
Synopsis: A short, pleasant walk through Pinyon-Juniper habitat with some informative interpretive signs that highlight the major plant species. There is also a picnic area and a restroom so this is a nice spot for the kids and a lunch break.
 Sierra Viewpoint (P.O.I.) Easy 0.4 miles
Synopsis: This is a viewpoint worthy of the name and well worth the stop. From this spot you can see the long line of Eastern Sierra peaks ranging from as far north to as far south as the air quality will allow. There are some exhibits a few feet down the walkway that name the peaks and glaciers spread out before you.
Golden Trout Wilderness    
 Chicken Spring Lake back (backpack)   Moderate-Difficult 7.7 miles 
Synopsis: This return hike from Chicken Spring Lake to the Cottonwood Pass trailhead takes the long way round on the Pacific Crest Trail. The scenery along the PCT heading south takes in the Kern Plateau and the Great Western Divide and is spectacular. The hike ends with a walk through a sandy moonscape section of Horseshoe Meadow. 
 Chicken Spring Lake out (backpack) Moderate-Difficult 4.5 miles
Synopsis: The hike to Cottonwood Pass is flat, easy and very pretty for the first couple of miles. After you begin to climb it's still a pretty hike but the switchbacks may command much of your attention, at least until you near the pass itself, where the views are tremendous. The last bit to dramatic Chicken Spring Lake is an easy finish.
 Cottonwood Creek (dayhike) Easy  3.5 miles
Synopsis: We did this short hike as a warm-up and elevation acclimation for a backpacking trip. It's an easy walk along the Cottonwood Lakes trail through pines and along hillsides to the crossing of Cottonwood Creek, a good spot for a break and a bite.  
White Mountains Wilderness    
 White Mountain Peak (dayhike)   Strenuous 15.2 miles
Synopsis: White Mountain Peak is a fourteener that can be had without the technical skills of a pro climber or the investment of time required for climbing Whitney (even with the hours' drive to the trailhead on a rutted road). It's a long, strenuous hike, but it can be done in a day without having to leave before the marmots wake and you don't have to carry a biffy bag. Don't take this hike lightly, and check the weather before you go, but if you're prepared, and you want to bag a peak that's just a couple of hundred feet short of Whitney, go for it.

All photos and video by Laura or Bob Camp unless otherwise indicated. Use without permission is not cool.